The White House will host the first ever Youth Clean Energy Forum today, Dec. 2, a mere five days from the beginning of the Copenhagen conference. Though President Obama will not be attending, four members of his cabinet (Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis, Energy Secretary Steven Chu and EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson) will lead the discussion.
Dozens of youth leaders were also invited, including Jessy Tolkan, the executive director of the Energy Action Coalition
(the group that organized the PowerShift Summits
). As Jessy said in her article for the Huffington Post
, "We're excited to embrace this opportunity as a dialogue that can yield substantial, bold results in a timely manner. ... This meeting and Obama's presence in Copenhagen won't guarantee all the solutions we need, but these announcements do show that the power and voices of young people are being heard inside the walls of the White House."
Don't fret if you didn't receive a gold-plated envelope
. The event will be broadcast live (at http://www.whitehouse.gov/live
) Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. EST, and youth nationwide can participate through a live discussion on Facebook. The thoughts and questions will be incorporated into the forum. Jessy is also taking questions through Twitter: "If you'd like us to ask a question at the meeting on your behalf, just send us a tweet @powershift09
and add the hashtag #ClimateQs." (My question: Why address health care instead of focusing on climate change, especially with Copenhagen in December?)