Billy Parish

Billy Parish is co-founder and coordinator of the Energy Action Coalition. Billy has taken four years off from Yale, where he was co-chair of the Yale Student Environmental Coalition and was majoring in Ethics, Politics & Economics. Billy was a 2004 Brower Youth Award Winner, 2005 Rolling Stone "Climate Hero," Mother Jones magazine's 2006 "Student Activist of the Year," and was recently named a fellow by Ashoka, the global association of the world's leading social entrepreneurs. A co-author of the report "New Energy for Campuses," a guide for colleges and universities on how to cost-effectively cut their greenhouse gas emissions, Billy works to train students and equip them with the tools they need to implement local climate solutions. A native of New York City, Billy now works out of the Washington D.C. office of the Energy Action Coalition.

For the people, by the people

Community solar pioneers

After cutting through untold red tape, University Park Community Solar is ready to begin installation on one of the country's first truly community-owned solar power projects. Let's hope the model spreads.

Community-Owned Clean Energy

When I was a younger man than I am today, I had a vision of the Great Plains transformed: buffalo roaming across great tracts of tallgrass prairie studded with wind farms that powered the whole Midwest. Tribal communities, farmers and ranchers and young people all working together to develop an economy that could sustain the people and restore the land. Maybe even a little folk school, something like the Highlander Center in east Tennessee, to bring everyone together to sing and dance and strategize together. As I’ve learned, usually the hard way, big visions only become reality through perseverance, hard …

Four other Nobel Peace Prize winners have recently endorsed the 350 target. When will President Obama?

Accept it in Oslo, earn it in Copenhagen

Today is “Young and Future Generations Day” here at the International Climate Negotiations in Copenhagen, and I’m here with my wife Wahleah and our two-year-old daughter Tohaana. Along with over a thousand other young people, mostly wearing orange t-shirts today, we’re doing everything in our power to convince world leaders to commit to a fair, ambitious, and legally binding international agreement based on a target of 350 parts per million (ppm), which is the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Less than 400 miles away in Oslo, Norway, President Obama is accepting the Nobel Peace Prize “for …

Why We Fight

We fight, even against insurmountable odds, because sometimes we win. As I get ready to head to Copenhagen this Saturday for the international climate negotiations, I’m thrilled to see the success of The Leadership Campaign and their efforts to have Massachusetts use 100% clean electricity by 2020. On Monday, Representative William Brownsberger will file their bill, An Act to Re-power Massachusetts, in the Massachusetts House, calling on Gov. Deval Patrick to create a task force to formulate a plan to get Massachusetts to100% clean electricity by 2020. To draw attention to their campaign, they have refused to sleep in homes, …

Young, Green, and Out of Work

by Rinku Sen & Billy Parish Last week, the Labor Department reported that youth unemployment stands at 18.2%, nearly twice the national average of 9.8%. The percentage of young people without a job is a staggering 53.4 percent, the highest figure since World War II. Looking deeper, the statistics for youth of color are terrible and telling.  According to the most recent data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 40.7% of black youth between 16-19 are unemployed, almost double the amount of whites teenagers (23%). For Latinos the same age, the rate is nearly 30%. Get a little older and …

A big breakthrough on green jobs

The New York State Senate and Assembly, too often a model of corruption and dysfunctionality, rose above petty politics last week to pass forward-thinking legislation on climate and energy, setting a precedent for bipartisanship and a sensible cap and trade system.  The State Senate passed the groundbreaking Green Job/Green New York Act, with strong support from Republicans, Democrats, and the Working Families Party, which spearheaded the legislation. The bill — expected to be signed into law this week by Gov. David Patterson — leverages $112m in revenue from the Northeasts’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) into $5 billion of private …

i lost my number, can i have yours?

A New Number For a New Era: From 9/11 to 350

Eight years ago today, two planes flew into the World Trade Center, another crashed into the Pentagon, and a fourth landed in a Pennsylvania field. The raw power of that day came to be symbolized by a date composed of three numbers. Three numbers that evoked the shock of being attacked, the horror of the sounds and images on our television sets, and the heroism of so many men and women. Three numbers that framed the events of the last decade and seemed like they would define my generation. But eight years ago, many in my generation couldn’t vote. We …

Gloves off

Seven ways to fight dirty (energy)

In case you missed it, dirty energy is back to dirty tricks. This time with the help of DC lobbyists, Bonner & Associates, who forged letters to Congressman Tom Perriello of Virgina’s 5th District. The letters, written on “official” letterhead from the local NAACP chapter and a Hispanic group, Creciendo Juntos, asked Perriello to vote against the American Clean Energy & Security Act.  Now we know that the fossil fuel industry will stop at nothing to prevent the creation of a just, clean energy economy, but this is a new low! If we are going to pass effective legislation this …

Can a number save the world?

500 marshmallows organize for climate action.Robert van Waarden / Spectral QIt can if that number is 350. That’s the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere: 350 parts per million (ppm). It’s also the rallying cry of a creative campaign to raise awareness of the climate crisis and build grassroots support for the 2009 Climate Conference in Copenhagen. 350.org wants communities around the world to join together on October 24 for an International Day of Climate Action. You can join with your church, your school, or your friends and do something to visibly get the word out about …