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Nov 052009

Green Right Now Reports

Dr. James Hansen, the NASA scientist known for sounding an early alarm about climate change, will join student protesters at a “sleep out” in Boston this weekend.

The students, from Boston-area and other Massachusetts colleges, have been sleeping out on Boston Common and at various campuses to push the state to pass a law committing to clean energy. Their target goal: Have Massachusetts pledge to be using 100 percent clean energy by 2020.

They’ve asked Gov. Deval Patrick, already known for signing the Global Warming Solutions Act, to again put the state at the forefront of combatting climate change by introducing clean energy¬† legislation before the legislature adjourns later this month. The students have won a meeting with the governor on Nov. 17.

The sleep outs began two weeks ago, with the overnight campouts followed by lobbying with legislators on Monday mornings. Four Last week, police ticketed the campers for trespassing, student leaders said.

This weekend the group expects at least 100 student activists to meet with Dr. Hansen (whose Phd is in Physics from the University of Iowa) at a 4 p.m. Sunday rally, followed by the camp out. Dr. Hansen is scheduled to hold a press conference at 9:30 a.m. Monday morning (Nov. 9).

In June, Dr. Hansen, along with actress and environmental activists Daryl Hannah, was arrested for civil disobedience for blocking a road at a coal plant protest in West Virginia. The pair, along with several local residents, were protesting mountaintop removal.

Known for his testimony to Congress in 1988, alerting leaders to the dangers of greenhouse gases, Hansen has said that the world needs to move away from burning coal to create electricity.

The student sleep out was inspired by the idea that protesters would not rely on the “dirty energy” heating their homes and dorms until lawmakers pledged to move in a new direction.