There was a time when climate change was a topic reserved for scientists and, occasionally, politicians. That has changed, and the discussion is front and center across the globe. Productive discussions about the next steps to take have taken place from Paris to Richmond, but real change will come from the grass-roots level: house by house and state by state.
Powered by Facts was excited to lend our voice to this discussion at the VA Power Dialog hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond. At the conference, students from more than 12 schools across the Commonwealth discussed how Virginia would contribute to the nation’s Clean Power Plan with Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources Angela Navarro and DEQ Director David Paylor.
Several Virginia communities already are experiencing sea level changes, which are attributed to climate change. Navarro and Paylor addressed questions from Old Dominion students about community protection projects while representatives from Roanoke College deliberated with them about how to protect coal-based economies in western Virginia while still pursuing a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. After the panel discussions and a question-and-answer session with Navarro and Paylor, attendees were able to visit with one another to learn more about how students at Virginia universities are addressing the issue.
A high school student, who was on the panel was from Harrisonburg, presented a workshop outline he developed to teach students the basics of climate change in less than two hours. After a full day of discussing, learning and networking it became clear that not only are the students of Virginia interested in finding a solution to climate change, but they also are qualified for the job!
This was the first event for Powered by Facts, but we hope to attend many more as we engage in discussions with future leaders about how to change the energy mix in Virginia. We encourage you to join us as we continue this dialog on our blog and social media where we provide up-to-date facts on energy production and weigh the costs and benefits of mixed energy production in Virginia.