By Barbara Kessler
Youth is impatient, impetuous and idealistic – and thank God for that. All that impatience and impetuousness will certainly shake out some good ideas this weekend when more than 5,000 high school and college-age kids are expected to tackle global warming issues at the 2007 Power Shift gathering Nov. 2-5 at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md. (Register through Oct. 31.) The event, a combo teach-in, rally, lobbying effort and networking affair, is the first major climate summit by youth in the United States. It is sponsored by the Energy Action Coalition based in Washington and San Francisco, with assistance from many other environmental groups. Organizers include dozens of young adults who already have amassed voluminous environmental credentials working with various local energy conservation campaigns and sustainability projects across the country.

The event, which w wind up the weekend with a Nov. 5 noon rally on the Capitol steps, has set three admittedly ambitious goals for the Power Shift conference:
1 – Make the U.S. presidential candidates and Congress “take global warming seriously.”
2 – Empower a truly diverse network of young leaders from all walks of life not just the “primarily white, highly educated privileged citizens on the left” that support “mainstream environmentalism.” (Ouch.)
3 – Achieve broad geographic diversity so this “convergence” represents every Congressional district in the United States and can build the power to “take on the fossil fuel industry.’’
And to all that we can only say: Bring it on. And good luck, y’all.
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