Democratic Rep. Scott Peters promoted student activism and voting in response to increased energy consumption at the screening of the documentary, “The Burden,” Oct. 8 in Colt Hall.
Peters is the congressman for the 52nd district, representing the northern portion of San Diego, Coronado and Poway, including Point Loma. He said students need to understand the importance and effect fossil fuels have, especially on campus.
“We don’t talk enough about education and the environment, which are the two issues that your generation is most invested in. Get involved and let people know you’re a customer too,” said Peters at the event. “If you know this topic pretty well, you should educate other people about it. You don’t have to be a teacher, you can be someone who talks about these things and lets people know that these issues are going on.”
Peters said that because San Diego is ahead of other places in looking for solutions to these issues.
“San Diego is already a leader in the effort to find and implement innovative solutions for bringing more renewable energy into our military and civilian portfolios,” said in a release from “The Burden” website. “We must give our military the tools necessary to increase self-sufficiency and protect our troops while simultaneously reducing our energy consumption. Reducing the amount of fuel we use is a national security imperative, and the Department of Defense should continue to lead the way toward a more diverse and renewable-focused energy future.”
“The Burden” event was hosted by the Institute of Politics & Public Service. Roughly 70 people went to the event, which included a question and answer panel of faculty members and experts on fossil fuels.
Andrea Marr with Truman National Security Project and Nicole Capretz, a council representative with the City of San Diego, were also on the panel. Faculty members April Maskiewicz, associate professor of biology, and Rosco Williamson, professor of political science, attended.
“The Burden,” directed by Roger Sorkin, is a 45-minute documentary that tells the story of our country’s dependence on nonrenewable sources and its effect on our economy, national security and geographic reliance on other countries for our provision of fuels. This documentary has not been widely released to the public.
Director of Public Affairs, Jill Monroe co-moderated the event.
“This is part of our Creation Care Week efforts and this is just another opportunity for students to begin talking about the environment in which we find ourselves and how we, as students and Christians at PLNU, can be good stewards of the environment,” said Moore.
The other moderator, Lindsay Lupo, is a political science professor and the director of the Institute of Politics & Public Service, which is a division of PLNU that encourages students to engage in public affairs and provides them with opportunities to do so with events or internships.
“This is a way for students to be educated on the topic so that they can speak into it and act on some of the solutions and be part of the solution,” Lupo said.
Maskiewicz said over time the concern of global climate change has become more politicized.
“Its not a political issue, it’s a science issue and we need to get everyone thinking,” said Maskiewicz.
Marr said the energy dependency is an indirect threat to the United States and this generation needs to come up with other natural sources. If someone is interested in helping with these efforts, students should step up and take action.
“Have the audacity to pick up the phone or email somebody. Don’t hold back. No one is going to not answer you if you’re curious and you want to get involved. that’s how I got into the Truman National Security Project,” said Marr, energy efficiency engineer and Truman Project member.
At the end of the panel, experts and professors gave advice to students on how they can stay active in this topic. To become active, Capretz suggested to get connected with www.350.org, an organization that is building a global climate movement. Its branch in San Diego hosts local activities to raise awareness about climate change.
“Don’t underestimate the power you have; it’s a common thing to think ‘No one is going to listen to me,’ but you can have a tremendous impact,” said Peters.