At the conference, a papier-mâché polar bear and a petition with 1,000 signatures was presented to Sen. Craig Pridemore (D-WA), asking that the Washington state legislature make climate change and other environmental issues a top priority.
Junior Tamara Mitchell gave a speech addressing why climate change is an important issue for the legislature and important to college students across the country.
“The actions of America’s leaders today directly affect the severity of this threat to upcoming generations,” she said. “Clearly this threat is an intergenerational problem that requires an intergenerational solution.
”Pridemore agreed with the significance of the four energy efficiency bills WashPIRG is advocating. Two of the bills, one focusing on creating affordable energy efficient appliances and one encouraging energy efficiency in public buildings, failed early on in the process due to a lack of bi-partisan support.
“This is the greatest challenge we have faced,” Pridemore said. “Not enough people are concerned.”