Local students fight global warming

January 31, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
More and more students in America are getting serious about fighting global warming. "Focus the Nation" was a two-day campaign to teach students about sustainability. The effects are expected to last a lifetime.

It was a meeting of the minds at U.C. Berkeley with scientists and researchers delivering a common message.

"The message from the scientific community is we must taken action now," says Daniel McGrath of the Berkeley Institute of the Environment.

Thursday was Lisa McNeilly's second day on the job trying to make the university a greener place to work and live.

"I'm also interested in looking at water conservation, continuing the work on recycling, but also waste minimization, reducing chemicals, green purchasing," says McNeilly, CA Sustainability director.

Like adding electric cars, more energy efficient computers and installing low-flow toilets.

The campaign against global warming went beyond colleges and universities in America, Elementary and high schools also made their pledges on Thursday.

At French-American International School, the commitment to cut greenhouse gases starts by recycling. Composting was introduced Thursday. First grade students are learning how worms can take care of those scraps of food. Scraps of paper were taken, put in a blender and transformed into recycled paper.

The school is only one of two sites in California collecting corks to make floors and countertops.

Governor Schwarzenegger was so impressed, he sent the chairwoman of his Green Action team.

"Young students are deciding to take the pledge. That is very exciting for a Governor who himself is the green giant," says Rosario Marin from the Governor's Green Action team.

There were projects that would take us away from our dependency on oil and how global warming affects icebergs and us. For example, how San Francisco and AT&T Park would look in 2030.

They didn't miss a thing. The microphone used to deliver speeches was not powered by electricity, but by good-old fashioned peddle power.