JOUR 285 Assignments

This assignment was to use source sound and natural sound to paint a picture of Cal Poly.

“The Planet’s Best Green Journalist” Meets and Greets Cal Poly

The man Time Magazine called “the planet’s best green journalist” held a meet and greet discussion at Cal Poly Monday morning, following his lecture at the nearly sold-out Fremont theatre.

Bill McKibben, a journalist, author, environmentalist and activist, spoke to and answered questions from roughly 50 students, faculty and community members on Monday.  McKibben focused on spreading awareness about how the world’s environment has changed and what students and community members can and should be doing in “the fight for a livable climate.”

“Don’t underestimate how important it is to be fighting these particular political battles at the moment,” McKibben said.

Specifically, McKibben explained that a key issue right now is the flow of dirty oil into the United States from Canada.

In short, the TransCanada Keystone pipeline started bringing oil from Alberta, Canada to U.S. oil refineries in June 2010, and the Keystone XL pipeline would expand the pipeline further into the U.S., increasing the amount of dirty oil being brought in.

According to McKibben, President Obama said he will make a decision on whether or not the bill authorizing the pipeline extension will pass by the end of this year.

“Our job is simply to change the trajectory of this bill,” McKibben said, “Once that happens things can change very very fast.”

Monday’s discussion circle also covered topics beyond the pipeline, such as Occupy Wall Street and Occupy SLO, global warming, renewable energy, President Obama, and green job creation.

McKibben explained that Obama made many campaign promises in 2008 that he has not yet fulfilled, and it is our responsibility as community members to take action before and during the 2012 campaigns and election to turn them into realities.

“We need to get involved and work together as a group and prove that our student voice is really important and should be heard,” said Ravi Sahai, Mechanical Engineering Senior and an attendee of both the lecture and the meet and greet.

McKibben pushed going to the democratic party headquarters downtown and talking to them about specific issues like the pipeline.

“The Democratic party people don’t really want to arrest a bunch of potential voters for talking about an issue.  They want input,” McKibben said.

The meet and greet was put on by the Central Coast Clergy and Laity for Justice and the Empower Poly Coalition, which has approximately 200 active members and works throughout the year with local community members to promote environmental health.

President of the Empower Poly Coalition, Victoria Carranza, announced at the discussion that there would be a follow up open discussion about what the next step is at the Ludwig Community Center Monday, November 7th from 7-9 pm.

“It’s just so wonderful to see not only the university community but the wider community respond so positively to Bill McKibben’s call,” said Gina Whitaker, a board member at the Central Coast Clergy and Laity for Justice, “It’s a call to all of us to really examine our lifestyle and our lives and how we can fit into the conversation.”
“The stuff you do will ramify,” said McKibben, “People will notice.”
For more imformation, check out McKibben’s climate campaign at, and

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