Bring SOLAR POWER to Clemson University

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Clemson University is undoubtedly expanding its community just as fast as the football team is racking up victories. Clemson is making plans to install a combined heat and power plant that will run off natural gas, an energy resource that IS a better and more efficient alternative to coal. However, Duke Energy has offered Clemson a possible solar-power program that would power the entire campus! This would make Clemson the GREENEST University in the entire nation and allow us to lead our society into a new era of ALTERNATIVE ENERGY! Not to mention, solar panels are tremendously more sustainable and more forward thinking than a CHP plant. So why are the bold and brave tigers waving off this incredible offer? Because its SCARY and new and it's a RISK.

The bio-fuel plant that failed miserably at The University of South Carolina has everyone scared to take chances with alternative energy. Yes, they took a risk and took a huge financial hit, but now those engineering issues are being figured out and PROGRESS is being made in our society as a whole. But lets face it, tigers do everything better anyway (am I right?)  There are technicalities within these new sustainable technologies that MUST be researched and experimented with before we will make ANY sustainable advances as a society. Alternative power will never become mainstream if we never TRY IT on a large scale! Unless we, proud Clemson tigers, show that we really CARE about investing in our environment, no one will ever take that risk because the benefits are not immediate. However, solar power has far more potential for progress than any type of energy and while it is still a NEW concept - we have to start somewhere. Why not Clemson? 

The power plant was actually protested against from the start by the residents in the near by neighborhood of the old location. NOW they just decided to move the plant onto CAMPUS … where hundreds of students live... no biggie they’re just freshman right? Totally safe.. This article (http://www.foxcarolina.com/story/35062947/duke-energy-clemson-university-partnering-for-combined-heat-and-power-plant-on-campus) states that the power plant will help Clemson reach its carbon neutral goals by 2030, however SOLAR PANELS are carbon negative… think about it. Which is really a better option for our future? Emit MORE carbon and god-only-knows what else into our already warming atmosphere for the next 13 years or, STOP the emissions NOW. We have to stop the this CHP plant because once it is there, that will be the main power source and no one, especially no one with the research abilities of Clemson,  will even think about solar power for the next 50+ years! Where will we be then? Time is of the essence. 

As a Horticulturalist perhaps I’m biased but the way I see it, PLANTS HAVE LIFE FIGURED OUT!! They get ALL their energy from the SUN, a clean, limitless resource. I mean plants were the start of all life on earth (single-cell algae) and have only been around millions of years longer than us; but no let's keep extracting crazy things from the deep dark depths of the earth and coming up with elaborate ways to burn things :) 

 Clemson prides itself on its RESEARCH and this research project is not a cost but an INVESTMENT. An investment economically but more importantly it is an investment in the FUTURE and our children and their children. Economically this could be an incredible opportunity for Clemson to become a leader in the alternative power movement, by bringing in new INNOVATIVE technologies we have the potential to become a leader and a driving force for new power sources (and potentially make a lot of money off of that technology). Clemson administrators are too scared to take this risk, but I am here to tell you that if we do not take risk NOTHING will EVER change, and our generation and future generations will be paying the price!

Two of the most economically DESTRUCTIVE hurricanes in American history happened this passed month. Why? CLIMATE CHANGE PEOPLE! IT'S A THING! The oceans are warmer than ever before, which just means BIGGER and BADDER storms! Not to even mention all the other harmful effects of global warming. Whether you believe humans caused it or not, burning of fossil fuels IS ACCELERATING IT! Do something to STOP it while we still can. Or pay a bigger price later when we run out of these non-renewable resources (or all die from some crazy apocalyptic storm). 

Clemson University is also known for its outstanding number of active FCA members. If you identify yourself as a Christian; this earth is HIS creation.. START TAKING CARE OF IT!! (for God's sake - literally) During a crucial time like this with global warming rapidly increasing, the Christian community must take it upon themselves to CARE for this home that god gave us and figure out how we can make the most of the limited resources that we were blessed with in the first place! BUT regardless of religion, ethnicity, sexuality, political views, opinions, etc. we are ALL inhabitants of Earth, and we ALL need to be conscious of how we treat it. We must do what has never truly been done before ... WORK! TOGETHER! as a Planet! We all need to put aside our differences in order to obtain one common goal - A CLEAN HOME. Start thinking of all the changes YOU can make on an individual / daily basis to BE MORE SUSTAINABLE! For the sake of our children and our grandchildren; SIGN THIS PETITION and start America’s movement to alternative power! In the wise words of my child-hood hero: "UNLESS someone like YOU cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."  



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