I feel like a big old school marm, but it's true when I say it was great to see a sea of young faces interested in learning about renewable energy. Sure, sure...some were there for extra credit. Some were there to try to ask Gotcha questions to what they thought would be the sandal wearing hippie moderating the Q & A session (me). But many were there to learn more about renewable energy and green jobs.
One of the members of our group, the West Michigan Jobs Group, organized a renewable energy presentation at Muskegon Community College, hosted by the MCC Alternative and Renewable Energy Program. Over 100 people showed up. Yikes.
That blurry guy down there in the front is me, moderating a Question and Answer session with the help of a panel of very knowledgeable folks.
We had a couple of middle aged Tea Party type folks ask questions bout subsidies and government spending, and you know what? That's OKAY. Valid questions. And they were very respectful. One of them got a little up on his soap box and talked about the national debt and suggested that none of the young people in the audience wanted to pay for that.
When her turn came to speak, a young woman responded to the Tea Party fellow's comments saying she absolutely supported investing in renewable energy, if it meant less mercury in the water and fewer of her friends had to be blown up halfway across the world because they were trying to keep the oil flowing.
That got mad applause from the audience.
Here in Muskegon, young people are training to install wind turbines and solar panels. We can't let these folks down when they graduate. When they graduate....they need to have something waiting for them on the other end. A renewable energy future where their skills are needed. And dammit....we're gonna make that happen, aren't we?