Change We Can Believe In :: Tyler Dunham :: 11/06/08 :: CC Voice

Excerpts and additions from an e-mail to the Renewable Energy Club, November 6, 2008.

In my four years at Connecticut College, and possibly in my entire life, I have never been as excited about the prospects of a greener future for America, New England, and the College than I am right now. You and I have witnessed something truly remarkable. We have elected a President who is going to change the direction of this country for the better. While we haven't won yet, we leapt over our first hurdle with incredible agility and I have great optimism that President-Elect Obama will bring the change we all expect from him.

Case and point: "A government-propelled transition to an alternative-energy economy will be his most important initiative" (Joe Klein Interview for Time). THIS IS WHAT WE HAVE BEEN FIGHTING FOR. The person with arguably the most influence in the entire world over energy consumption now recognizes that building a solid economy should be based on real, homegrown, alternative energy. Economists across the board agree that large and quick spending on job-intensive infrastructure investments will be the quickest way out of the current recession. Today, of course, we need different projects then we did so long ago for the first New Deal. Today we need new energy sources and a smart grid to get that energy from production sources to consumption sources efficiently. Let us create the green collar jobs sector.

And the green economy vision isn't just at the top. My home district in Maine elected a young representative 60-40 over a running incumbent. Andy's entire platform was bringing renewable energy to the state and people dug it! This is the power of voting for clean energy. We need support at all levels of government to move our country forward to a greener future.

Here on campus as well, several invigorating things are also happening simultaneously this week. Beyond encouraging voting for clean energy on local to national levels, members of REC have been pushing for change on campus. A proposal for a grant for a wind turbine gains momentum daily, and by the time this goes to print, will have already been submitted for judging. Our work in establishing a Green Giving Program with the Office of Advancement is also finally coming together with the help of Pat Wallace, Environmental Affairs Representative for SGA.

But all is not won yet. As Al Gore said in a November 9th editorial in the New York Times, “The electrifying redemption of America's revolutionary declaration that all human beings are born equal sets the stage for the renewal of United States leadership in a world that desperately needs to protect its primary endowment: the integrity and livability of the planet.”

Or in the timeless words of Abe: “The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew.” So it is with these words that I ask you to stand up and fight for our planet.

I ask of you: Call your congressional representatives and ask for their support in building legislation for a clean energy future. They must know that this is what their constituents are demanding.

Come to Powershift in February and rally with 10,000 other college students for clean, just energy (More information:

And in fighting for change, know that we now have more power than ever to make a green future the future, so we can’t delay for a second.

I hope you are all equally excited and continue to celebrate a tremendous victory for the environment, no matter what side of the isle you follow.


Thank you for reading and thank you for all the work you have done to bring us to where we are today.

-Tyler Dunham • Co-President • REC