Saturday, January 28, 2012

Frack University, You're Accepted!

Congratulations! You're Accepted!

The Energy Justice Network would like to announce a new project called Frack University, (Frack U. for short) offering a myriad and growing list of trainings to help your community group or campus organization fight the use of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") for oil and gas. For veteran anti-fracking activists, the topics will expand your tool box for organizing, including other environmental issues, green solutions, and new skills. Contact to book your training or find out more.

What is Frack University?

Frack University is an interactive, diverse media presentation of organizing tools, narratives, and fact-based education available for students of all ages who are interested in stopping the use of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, for oil and gas while displacing the need for fossil fuels with a green and sustainable energy future.

Participants will choose from a diversity of workshops in order to customize Frack University based on their interests, talents, and skills.

How to Bring Frack University to Your Campus:

Frack University can take place over a series of days or in a single workshop. The length and topics covered for our visit is up to you. Trainers do require money for transportation and an honorarium to compensate our time. If you are affiliated with a college or university, we will help you work with your student government or faculty department to request funds for our trip. If you are with a community group, we can develop a fund raising plan for the event.

Fundraising Letter 
To Whom It May Concern, 
Frack University is an interactive, diverse media presentation of organizing tools, narratives, and fact-based education available for students of all ages who are interested in stopping the use of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, for oil and gas while displacing the need for fossil fuels with a green and sustainable energy future. Frack University is a project of the Energy Justice Network. 
The Energy Justice Network is a 501c3 non-profit based in Philadelphia, PA. EJN has a proud history of supporting communities threatened by polluting energy and waste technologies. Taking direction from a grassroots base and the Principles of Environmental Justice, EJN advocates a clean energy, zero-emission, zero-waste future for all. 
As part of our visit to your campus our trainers will be traveling in a single car from the northeast Pennsylvania region originating from Dingmans Ferry, PA and require travel funds equal to our mileage times the IRS reimbursement rate of $0.65 per mile. Our calculated rate for our visit to you is $##.##. 
In addition, we request an honorarium of $### to compensate our trainers and to support our program taking place on campuses, in classrooms, and in pollution-impacted communities where funds cannot be found. 
Students will choose from a diversity of lessons in order to customize Frack University based on their interests, talents, and skills.
The curriculum for the event is attached. 

The curriculum includes:

Anatomy of Gas Drilling 101 -  Explore the life cycle of natural gas including the supply chain, extraction process, natural gas infrastructure, and waste processing. Learn about the economic and environmental issues that present themselves along the way. 
Strategic Corporate Research and Institutional Divestment -  Learn ways to research corporations involved in shale gas development, including SEC documents, shareholder communication, and financing operation, and the ways in which your school, church, or union’s investments may be sustaining the industry with your money. This workshop culminates in designing a strategy to win a socially responsible investing campaign. 
Public Relations for Activism -  Students will learn and practice creating a press list, media advisories, press releases, and talking points for interviews. 
Legislative and Electoral Approaches -  Students will examine the ways that school boards, municipal, county, state, and federal governments can legislate to create a green economy, ratchet up the restrictions, or to simply ban the drilling. In addition, students will look at examples of policy proposals that have been put forth already, the drilling stances of prominent politicians, and what electoral strategies are in place to influence candidates this election year. 
Endangered Species and Wildlife Protection -  Students will learn about the critical species that are losing their habitat due to pipeline right of ways, well pads, chemical spills, and illegal dumping in their region. In addition, students will learn how to identify endangered species and their habitat. This lesson can include outdoor nature walks, map and compass orienteering, and contour map sketching. 
Effective Protest and Direct Action -  There are two questions to ask when choosing to use protest as a tool. First, will protesting bring me closer to my goal? Second, will protesting help me grow my group bigger and stronger? This interactive workshop will discuss several protest methods, tactics, and scenarios that have been used historically, what roles people fill at protests, and planning for before, during, and after. Students will practice role plays that may occur during a protest including conversations with police that may be present, talking to opponents, media interviews, and outreach to passersby. 
What Do We Want? Sustainable Alternatives, False Solutions, and a Green Economy -  This session will explore the myriad of solutions that have been proposed to displace the need for fossil fuels in our world including green construction, solar, wind, geothermal, and more. We will also discuss the false energy solutions that have been proposed such as nuclear, biomass, “clean” coal, and large hydroelectric dams.
Student Organizing 101 - 
Many student organizations have a hard time maintaining an effective organization, not to mention long-term, strategically organized campaigns. This workshop will teach you how to get and keep members, break down apathy, win effective campaigns, build student power and more.
Learn about:

  • Picking an Issue: Service Projects vs. Issue Campaigns
  • Dismantling apathy
  • Dealing with cliques
  • Fixing lame groups
  • Democratic decision-making
  • Recruiting and retaining members
  • Effective meetings
  • Strategy charts / power mapping
  • Who REALLY runs your school?
  • Being visible
  • Dis-Orientation Guides
  • Taking over student government
  • Effective networking and coalition building, on- and off-campus
  • Making sure your group survives after you graduate
As there are many components to this presentation, it works best as an extended organizing workshop covering at least 3-4 hours. Less-detailed 1-2 hour presentations can be made, but would only cover parts of the material. Try bringing leaders of various groups together for this workshop. 
Community Organizing - 
Fighting to protect your community from some polluting industry or other noxious development? What’s the difference between tactics and strategy? How do I map out my supporters, possible supporters, and opponents? How do I choose what to do first? These are all questions that will be answered as students practice and learn issue campaign strategy. Learn what works for communities and how to avoid pitfalls that cause groups to lose. Learn how to win without having to rely on expensive lawyers. Participants will practice role plays for door-knocking, media interviews, and meetings with public or campus officials. We can also design this workshop for student groups seeking to work with in solidarity with impacted communities.  
Don't Nuke the Climate! - 
Nuclear power is being promoted as a solution to climate change, yet the nuclear fuel cycle DOES contribute to global warming. Nuclear power is also the most expensive, most racist and most environmentally damaging form of energy we have. Learn about pollution from nuclear reactors and the nuclear fuel chain, from mining to waste disposal, including nuclear power's connection to nuclear weapons and militarism. 
Green Energy or Green Scam? -- "Green Energy" Marketing and Biomass - 
How do you know if a green energy marketer is legitimate? Do you know where the money REALLY goes? Are "biomass" and "biofuels" green energy sources or just another set of dirty technologies? Can buying "green" energy really make a difference? Learn the surprising answers to these questions from the one who exposed Green Mountain Energy's dirty and deceptive marketing practices, launching a boycott of the nation's leading "green" energy marketer. 
The Burning Issues with Biomass and Biofuels - 
What are the down-sides of the use of "biomass" incineration for electricity or biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel? There are many issues, including toxic feedstocks, biotech crops, polluting smokestacked incinerators/refineries, excessive use of fossil fuel inputs, water and soil depletion, damage to forests, proliferation of factory farms, lack of adequate land and competition with food production. Biomass and biofuels aren't necessary and don't really help us get to the clean energy solutions we need to address global warming and fossil fuel depletion. 
Beyond Combustion Engines: Breaking the Oil Addiction with Clean Energy in Transportation - 
Natural gas, coal-based liquid fuels, ethanol, biodiesel, waste-based fuels and hydrogen are all unacceptably polluting if used to replace the immense amount of oil consumed in the U.S. We need to move beyond combustion engines and mythical energy-wasting "solutions" like hydrogen and jump directly into a future that relies on aggressive conservation and efficiency tactics combined with the use of electric vehicles powered by clean energy. 
No New Coal Plants! - 
A new wave of hundreds of coal power plants, coal-powered ethanol plants and coal-to-oil refineries are being proposed in the U.S. None of these are needed. Oil and gas aren't the only fossil fuels whose production are peaking. Peak coal is already on the horizon and the end of cheap coal is closer than most realize. Energy Justice has developed a national "No New Coal Plants" grassroots network. We can use everyone's help to stop this new wave of misguided energy development. 
Global Warming Loopholes - 
Many environmentalists are skeptical of market-based emissions trading schemes, carbon "offsets" and "carbon-neutrality" demands. Many policies -- both legislative and at the campus purchasing level -- have loopholes that end up harming communities and undermining their climate-friendly intentions. Learn what these loopholes look like and how to advocate for policies that don't compromise away our goals and the rights of communities. This workshop will teach you how to be careful about your demands and how to make sure your campus-based policies are implemented in a just way. 
Environmental Justice and Environmental Racism - 
What is environmental racism? Isn't it just about class? Learn about the realities of environmental racism. This workshop discusses the principles of environmental justice and what is means to be involved in the environmental justice movement. 
Garbage Dumps, Incinerators and other Trash Talk - 
Where does your waste go when you throw it "away?" Where is "away" and who lives there? What happens when you let trash be sent to landfills or incinerators? What are the alternatives? This presentation can cover many types of waste, including hazardous waste, construction & demolition waste, sewage sludge, medical waste, contaminated soil and ash. What you don't know can definitely hurt you. 
Milk Does Nobody Good - 
Milk doesn't prevent osteoporosis, it causes it. Milk also causes cancers and other health problems. It provides more than your recommended daily allowance of toxic pesticides, dioxin, growth hormones (like rBGH) and antibiotics residues. Learn the truth about milk and dairy products and how to live without them. Learn about:

  • Health problems linked with milk
  • Milk, protein and osteoporosis
  • Chemical and radioactive pollutants
  • Bovine Growth Hormone, IGF-1 & Cancer
  • Animal cruelty issues & the veal connection
  • How to live without cow secretions
  • VEGetariANism, meat production, food safety (as time allows)
Toxic Waste in you Water: Fluoride and Water Fluoridation - 
What you don't know about your toothpaste and drinking water -- Fluoride is a toxic waste product of the aluminum and phosphate fertilizer industries. If industry weren't permitted to dump this waste product into our drinking water, they'd have to dispose of it as hazardous waste. Learn about fluoride's effects on the brain, bones and other parts of the body and what we can do to reverse the use of people as an industrial dumping ground. 
Exposing Corporate and Military Connections to your Campus
The workshop explains the details on how to research the following types of corporate/military connections to schools:
  • Investments
  • Procurements
  • Waste Contracts
  • Research Grants
  • Students as Products
  • Campus Governance (corporate ties to trustees...)
Learn how to "green" and de-corporatize your school! This workshop can also include a hands-on research trip to offices on campus where files on these corporate ties exist, helping you obtain some of this hard-to-get information on your school. 
"Greening" Your School - 
Schools are institutions which create major environmental and social impacts when they buy everything from food and paper to lightbulbs and clothing. This purchasing power can be redirected to supporting products which are more socially responsible. 
Democratizing Your School - 
Most colleges and universities are run by corporate businesspeople and political appointees rather than those who have the most interest in the educational system. Learn how to fight for fundamental changes to democratize schools, giving more power to students, faculty and staff. 
How to Overthrow Corporate Rule in 5 Not-so-easy Steps - 
Corporations run our government, our media, our schools and ourselves. Corporations have more rights than citizens, but it hasn't always been this way. This workshop outlines specific methods to democratize and de-corporatize our society.


Geoff Granfield said...

At first I thought it was a satirical attempt to get their message across but this Frack U has got something more than meets the eye. I think it actually benefits rigging training for people looking to get started working in the heavy industries.

Xander Lawson said...

You have a point there Geoff. The bottom line here is that you can't do something like customer satisfaction survey without the proper training.

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