focus the nation.jpg

I had the opportunity to speak to Will Fischer, civil engineering student at Washington University earlier this week. Will is like a lot of guys his age, trying to find time to relax in all the hustle and bustle of his studies, looking forward to better weather so he can have fun outdoors, and thinking about pretty girls. But despite his laid-back and sunny demeanor, he’s very serious about turning the tide towards action on climate change.

Fischer was one of about 30 students from Washington University to attend Power Shift ’09 Summit, a massive meeting of over 12,000 young people to come up with ways to hold their elected leaders accountable for creating green collar jobs, reducing emissions, and re-engaging with the world community on climate change. Fischer and his fellow Power Shifters decided to capitalize on the energy and lessons of the summit and create forums across the nation called Focus the Nation. The one in Saint Louis will take place this Saturday.

WHEN: April 18, 2009

1:00-4:30 P.M.

WHERE: 560 Music Building, E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall

560 Trinity Ave.

St. Louis, MO 63130

Map here.

After a brief introduction that will give us an overview of current proposals to responsibly fight climate change, Congressman Russ Carnahan (MO-3), State Senator Jeff Smith (SD4) (interesting combo, that one) and aides from City Hall and other congressional offices, along with business leaders and community activists, will share the stage in the townhall-style forum. They will interact with one another and respond to questions and suggestions from the audience. And after a brief intermission with coffee, tea, and baked goods from Companion (yum!) the audience will reorganize into small groups for breakout sessions. Far from a congressman lecturing us on how well they have done in office and fielding choreographed questions, it really will be an opportunity for everyone to learn from and to teach one another.