Simply the Most Refreshing Experience Out There

Andrew (’15)
Major: International Studies
Rockville Center, NY

Virginia Power Shift is simply the most refreshing experience out there. It beats Pepsi, or any other drink/product. The bubbly personalities, cohesion of minds, and explosive aspirations of everyone involved created an oasis of good feelings and powerful thought. The event was entirely orchestrated by students from Virginia with the intent of educating other students about green energy and how to bring about change.

This green conference was held at Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, VA, from Sep. 30-Oct. 2, 2011, and gave the students the opportunity to rally the against a monstrosity of a coal plant that covers Thomas Hall (dormitory) in coal dust. The dust is so bad that the students in those dorms have to sign waivers relinquishing the university of all responsibility for any illness caused by that coal dust.

The conference offered tons of options in terms of speaking events, and by the end of the conference, I had learned about wind energy, space-based solar, and even how to predict the future. I do say “predict the future” with some levity, but if I learned one thing from the speaker Michael Blackwell, a teacher of tracking at VT, it’s that everything is a sign, and if you use all of your five senses, intuition becomes your sixth.

Such a great conference as this was bound to have some profound outcomes. By the end of the weekend, nine schools’ environmental clubs had created the Virginia Alliance for Clean Energy (VACE). This alliance will push for the abolition of coal and transition to renewable energy, starting with a campaign against the proposed coal plant in Surry. This is what I mean by refreshing: unity for a more certain and prosperous future. It sounds an awful like this country’s founding idea, no?

*The CCE provided some funding for Power Shift through the Education and Awareness Fund.

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