Power Shift in Pittsburgh

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Students looking to go on a four-day field trip in Pittsburgh for a good cause, take note.

Power Shift is an annual youth activist summit held at various locations throughout the U.S. and now other countries that focuses on climate change policy is set to take place Oct. 18 for four days.

This yearÕs summit in Pittsburgh is slated to focus on the hydrofracking sites that surround this city, something that has become a hot, and contested topic in the environmental world. The attendance is expected to exceed 10,000 according to Power Shift staff.

The University will have a presence there, too. More than 30 students have already registered to attend, which is nearly a threefold increase of the number of attendees back in 2011 when the conference was held in Washington, D.C.

The D.C. conference, which was the inaugural event for Power Shift, is thought to have been the largest youth activist summit addressing climate change in history.

The four-day event has evolved over time and now includes workshops, expert panel discussions and keynote speakers. Guest speakers at the last conference in 2011 included former vice president Al Gore and environmental advocate Van Jones.

Jones will make an appearance again this year along with VermontÕs own Bill McKibben, a founder of climate change group 350VT, and six other key leaders in the environmental movement today.

The final day of the event is scheduled to be a ÒDay of ActionÓ where youth activists voice their opinions about the governmentÕs alleged weaknesses on environmental issues.

The EcoReps are determined to show our support in even stronger numbers and fight for a clean and just energy future.

Students interested in getting involved in the planning process can stop by Room 315 in Living/Learning on Thursday nights at 8 pm to discuss fundraising, transportation, housing, and recruitment.

To sign up, check out wearepowershift.org. The registration fee is $65 until Oct. 3 and then increases to $80 until Oct. 10.

For more information, visit the Burlington Power Shift Facebook page that has details about the planning here at UVM and, sometimes, provides codes for discounted registration.