Fossil-Free Penn State Seeking Founding Statement Signatories

UPDATE 12.15.13 – Campaign cancelled.

Following up on last week’s developments in the campaign to create a fossil-free Penn State, here’s a draft position statement that could form the basis of a press release to the Centre Daily Times announcing the formation of the FFPS coalition.

When I invited as many stakeholders as I could think of to the Dec. 7 kick-off meeting, I was testing the hypothesis that there’s a critical mass of people on campus ready to engage Penn State leadership publicly in a fossil-free energy transition campaign, with support from off-campus community members.

In light of email responses to earlier statement drafts developed from the goals identified at the Dec. 7 meeting, and some other conversations I’ve had over the last few days, I think the answer is “not yet.”

There are several community members – on and off campus – who may endorse the broad goal of a Fossil-Free Penn State, but not endorse specific conclusions drawn by activists involved in the pipeline issue and its aftermath, or specific strategies and tactics proposed by those activists.

Since coalition-building around shared goals should come before the (inevitable) fragmentation over strategy and tactics, I’m seeking a clear “yes” or “no” from members of the community of stakeholders about whether you want to sign on to the attached draft statement, by name.

If at least five people are ready and willing to engage at this level, then I think we have the beginnings of a coalition and we can present the position statement to the public in a credible way. If you are ready to sign on, please let me know by Monday evening (Dec. 16) at 9 p.m.

If fewer than five people are ready to make that public commitment, then we have more basic networking to do before we announce the coalition and we should postpone such an announcement.

In either case, the next check-in meeting will still be Jan. 4 at my house, with a general purpose of filling each other in on what we’ve been doing individually and in small groups in the meantime.


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