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Voice: College students can get involved in environmentalism

June 16, 2002

College students around the country are taking a "graduation pledge" at www.manchester.edu that says: "I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider and will try to improve these aspects of any organizations for which I work."

A student petition of 50,000 signatures and growing at www.ecopledge.com has a list of "ethically challenged" corporations to avoid for employment consideration. With the increasing social and environmental awareness of students, companies will need to improve their business practices to attract top young talent. Students are logging onto www.Sustainus.org to sign a petition: It reads that U.S. youth can save 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide through energy use reduction by July 31 of this year! Carbon dioxide is the gas causing global warming, and U.S. emissions are the world's highest.

SustainUS is betting the U.S. government that if they reach this goal, youths will have five seats on the official delegation to the upcoming U.N. world summit on sustainable development.

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Universities are being challenged to conserve energy at www.kyoto.org.

Banks should consider environmental and social consequences of loans.

Activists can schedule popular political speakers and authors free through www.rollingthundertour.org to educate and empower ordinary citizens to fight for their rights and democracy at grass-roots community fairs and concerts.

You can influence corporate and government decisions on www.actionnetwork.org or wwwgreenpeaceusa.org by sending email on issues by the click of your mouse. It's patriotic to preserve our freedom, health and "keep American beautiful."

JAMES CLIFFORD

El Centro

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