Power Shift Ohio was so much fun!  Several people even confided in me that they thought this one was better than the one that had so inspired me in DC.

https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e3/OHMap-doton-Oberlin.pngI persuaded my sister to come with me…so she could get volunteer hours…which we then forgot to do.  We left Friday afternoon on a little yellow school bus for Oberlin, which is 4 hours north of Cincinnati (see the red dot on the map).  Not a lot of folks from my alma mater came with us, which, given that our school has a population of 37 000 students, is horrible–but props to the two (three?) who did!  Cincinnati State more than made up for UC with their presence.  Props to Cincinnati State!!

The conference itself was great.  There were approximately 400 in attendence from around the state of Ohio.  Here are some of the awesome things that happened to me:

  • Katie and I stayed in the dorms with our gracious hosts, Sarah and Michelle.  We slept on the floor.  In sleeping bags.  With great cameraderie.
  • I met up extremely randomly with someone I met at the original Power Shift in DC.  She lives in the room next to ours.
  • I saw Jupiter and four of her moons through a telescope!  I did not come to Oberlin expecting this.
  • I did come to Oberlin expecting to make a presentation, but did not expect to do it under the following circumstances:  First, I was originally supposed to be part of a panel, but that got switched around so that I was supposed to give a workshop with Max (Max who took me to Athens that once).  That was okay, but they put us in the Health room, which was pretty much like being in Hell.  There were graphic and blood-curdling threats all over the walls, in poster form, demonstrating the effects of drugs and sex.  These posters covered literally every square inch of every wall; emanating from them were the wails of the damned.  It’s easy to make fun of now, but it was both distracting and offensive when we were trying to talk about climate legislation.
  • In addition to teaching about the Copenhagen climate treaty process, I attended 3 other workshops about environmental issues.  I can’t remember what they are now, but I did learn one thing.  It takes 1.5 gallons of gasoline to make 1 gallon of corn-based ethanol.  Ethanol=fail.
  • We got free lunch and dinner at Oberlin college’s cafeteria.  It was freaking posh.
  • I collected 130 signatures on my Climate Countdown petition (the same one I made a button for 3 entries downSign it already!).  That was the best part; I just took the clipboard around the dorm on Saturday night and went door to door to all the different parties asking folks to sign.  Oberlin is very liberal.  Everyone rides a bike, and everyone I asked signed the petition.  These people rock, and I wish I had gotten my degree here.
  • We formed a rally with flags and masks and stuff and marched through Oberlin.  Why we were raising climate awareness on the most liberal campus in Ohio I have not yet figured out…but Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich came to speak to us, and Jennifer Brunner gave a keynote, all right there at the rally.  She signed my petition as well, and when she runs for Senate this upcoming year, she most certainly has my vote.

All in all, it was a very fun weekend.  I got to meet with all sorts of awesome folks from around my home state, discuss various issues, inform others about my trip to Copenhagen, visit Oberlin, meet famous people, and bask in the warm sunshine and the joy of living.

I pity the fool who chose not to come.  And if you’re still reading at this point I pity you too, because you have too much time and not enough stuff to do.  Take some more time and look at my picture album.