Say NO to Prop 23 with Power Vote the California Student Sustainability Coalition and the Student Sustainability Collective Collaborate

by Jared A Muscat 

Way back when there was still mediocre debate in regards to the reality of climate change, 2006, a Bi-Partisan California State Legislature worked hand in hand to pass a monumental piece of legislation, The Global Warming Solutions Act or AB 32.  It was piece of legislation that was revered as much for its effects as for its display of what is possible when collaboration is present and aimed towards change for all.  However, on November 2nd this grand effort is in danger of being stopped by the Dirty Energy Bill, Proposition 23. 

AB 32 is internationally recognized as landmark legislation in the fight against climate change and often used as a model which other governments seek to build from.  The bill set incredible precedents for bettering California’s energy practices, cleaning up big corporations pollution, and creating a job market that not only provided a living but bettered the economy.  In fact, because of AB 32 over 500,000 green jobs are in California, a number which is only growing 10 times faster than any other job market in the state.  Furthermore the legislation has set standards for California’s effort in sustainability which have helped to strengthen the roots movement in support of the effort and bring clean energy to houses throughout the state. 

Unfortunately, this great legislation is trying to be shut down, and worse yet, it is trying to be stopped by Big Oil companies from outside our state.  Over 89% of the 90 million dollar campaign in support of Proposition 23 has come from outside the state of California.  Not only is this a sign that those in support don’t care for California’s environment, people, or economy; but more so, it displays the simple fact that we can no longer play the games of Big Oil.  It is most obvious that green activists cannot afford to spend as Big Oil spends and even more obvious that activists do not have the political power of the corporations which stuff politicians pockets. 

While that may sound sad and put you on the verge of despair, this need not be the case.  For the simple and pragmatic solution: mobilize, empower, inform, and vote.  For over a decade the sustainability movement has been building in size through grassroots networking and a relentless passion for the environment, today we are stronger than ever and have more tools than ever before.   

This is why Power Vote California, the California Student Sustainability Collective, and the Student Sustainability are coming together to bring the election to our campus and thus defeat the Dirty Energy Bill.  Aside from an incredibly well organized campaign including tabling, on-campus events, film screenings, workshops, and more, the 3 have come together for the 9th Annual Fall Sustainability Convergence at UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 15 – 17. 

There is indeed a long road ahead, but it is a road with fun, with energy, with friends,  and with lots and lots of purpose, for the stoppage of Prop 23 will once again set a precedent for our nation and the world.  Big Oil tosses out money and we respond with our voices and our passion, and this time, we are going to win. 

Vote NO on 23.