Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City, UT. Salt Lake City is a place where the emissions that are causing climate change burn in eyes and throats during winter inversions. Republicans and Democrats alike feel the need for action. We found cause for hope in nearby Provo, on the campus of Brigham Young University in the heart, hands and feet of Nick Huey, a BYU senior living in married student housing with his wife, a toddler and a newborn. “It’s a Mormon thing,” Nick says! Nick is amazing. As I wrote to him afterwards:
“There’s a beautiful spirit about you, a spark, a zest for life, an authenticity, a friendliness, a winsomeness. No wonder so many of your friends and classmates showed up. No wonder your name was almost as large as Al Gore’s on the word cloud for the ‘name that first comes to mind when you think of climate change.’”
And did they show up—120 students and faculty came to our event. Half identified as Republicans and half as Democrats, and 91 percent answered that climate change is real and human-caused.
Nick had already been very active on climate change before we got to BYU. He and fellow BYU students started, The Climate Campaign, a friendly competition for climate activism between arch-rivals BYU and the University of Utah. Immediately after our event, The Climate Campaign carpooled to Provo Mayor John Curtis’ office to present to the conservative mayor the “Purple Y” award for his clean-energy leadership. Mayor Curtis is now Congressman Curtis (R-UT3) as a result of a special election to replace Rep. Jason Chaffetz.
Our days in Utah were filled with good things by our wonderful friends at Citizens Climate Lobby. With their help, we arranged a keynote for me at the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute, a speaking opportunity at the Gardiner Institute, a dinner with Utah State House and Senate members, and an editorial board at the Deseret News.
Executive Director - republicEn