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August 17, 2009

The Netroots Nation Experience

ScreenHunter_01 Aug. 17 16.27

As many of you know (if you were following my livetweeting) this past week I was one of Sierra Club's representatives at Netroots Nation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Netroots Nation brings together the best and brightest in the Progressive world of issue politics, social media, online organizing and good old fashioned activism.

With a group this wide and diverse, it's no surprise that there was such a wide range of panels and activities. The environmental movement was strongly represented, with panels such as "Building the Blue-Green Movement Online," "Climate and Security," "Copenhagen and the Web," and many more.

Sierra Club also played a large role at Netroots. The highlight was a longwall mining tour organized by Sierra Club Environmental Justice Organizer Bill Price and our friends at the SW Pennsylvania based Center for Coalfield Justice. Participants, who visited a former recreational lake that had to be drained due to Longwall Mining making the nearby damn unsafe, and met with residents who've had their homes and livelihoods devastated by the coal companies, called the tour eye-opening, and left with an even greater understand of how dirty the coal business really is.

Immediately afterwards, in the third showcase, Netroots Nations patrons got a sneak preview of Coal Country. Evening drinks were provided by Greenpeace, who called on all of us to come together to ensure that we don't lose this opportunity to bring the environmental agenda to the forefront.

With a new President, even amidst the economic recession, there was a sense that we need to come together to get our goals accomplished. And that together, we can accomplish what we've only dreamed about for so many years. But that success is not guaranteed.

Were you at Netroots? What did you think? Comment below and let us know.

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