More than 190 Middlebury students and several faculty and staff members will travel to Washington, D.C., this weekend to attend the 2009 Powershift conference, a youth climate gathering that organizers hope will draw as many as 10,000 students from across the country.
Many of the students will also attend Capitol Climate Action, co-organized by Middlebury Scholar in Residence Bill McKibben, which organizers expect to be the largest civil disobedience protest on climate change in history.
This is the second Powershift conference—the first was in November 2007—and is designed to give students the knowledge and training to become effective climate lobbyists. Students spend the first part of the weekend in workshops and lectures. Monday is a day of lobbying during which students descend on Capitol Hill to speak with legislators and their staff about issues related to climate change.