UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMB plugs into Powershift

UMass Boston global warming activist Rutsuko Kajii piled into a van with other Massachusetts students last Friday, joining thousands of young people who descended upon College Park, Maryland this past weekend to fight climate change.

“As a young person, I have the most at stake when it comes to global warming.” said Rutsako Kajii, a senior at UMass Boston and Campus Climate Challenge Coordinator.

Rutsako Kajii is a campus leader on efforts to combat global warming at UMass Boston. Just this year, Kajii has committed her time to collecting hundreds of petitions in support of the Global Warming Solutions Act, which when passed will have Massachusetts committed to cutting global warming emissions eighty percent by 2050, as well as planning an environmental film festival at UMass Boston. By traveling to College Park, Kajii hopes to bring her grassroots efforts to combat climate change directly to national decision-makers.

“We’ve already shown we can take action in our community. Now we are going straight to the people who can make change for the entire nation, instead of waiting for them to come to me,” said Kajii.

Monday’s student lobby day, marked the culmination of Powershift 2007 – a conference to highlight the importance of global warming to Congress, the Presidential Candidates and the Administration. In addition to hundreds of meetings with representatives, students also rallied on the steps of Capitol Hill on Monday and testified before the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.

Despite growing concern regarding climate change within the public at large and amongst young people in particular, Congress has yet to pass a strong global warming law that will achieve the eighty percent global warming pollution cuts that scientists believe are necessary to stave off the worst effects of climate change.

Rutsako Kajii joined thousands of students who stood up for effective global warming legislation this past week to demand strong action such as increased fuel efficiency and a mandatory renewable electricity standard to meet this target.

“We know what we need to do to fight global warming,” said Kajii. “Now all we need is for politicians to hear our call.”