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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Concert to focus on cutting carbon

    Using the power of the sun and the power of music, UA faculty and students are rallying together in a Solar Rock concert Saturday to urge Congress to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

    The second annual concert, held at Himmel Park, 1000 N. Tucson Blvd., from noon to 5 p.m., will feature live music, food, speakers and displays focusing on sustainability by different local businesses, nonprofit organizations and schools.

    The concert is a petition to Congress to cut carbon dioxide emission 80 percent by 2050 and to educate the public on how to live a more environmentally conscious lifestyle.

    “”We want people to take home the message that living a green lifestyle is not really a huge change,”” said Richard Rushforth, a soil, water and environmental sciences graduate student and a co-organizer of Solar Rock. “”It’s as simple as turning off the lights in another room.””

    Rushforth is one of four people co-organizing the event. Lisa Dollinger, a UA chemistry lecturer, Torey Ligon, the membership coordinator of the Food Conspiracy Co-op and Natalie Sheppe, a Tucson resident, all coordinated and organized the event.

    “”We just want everyone to have a great time and at the same time to learn about climate change,”” Dollinger said.

    The top three bands from Tucson’s 2008 Battle of the Bands competition and other groups will provide music throughout the day, and various community leaders and experts in climate change will speak as well.

    Tucson Mayor Bob Walkup, Jonathan Overpeck, director of the UA Institute for the Study of Planet Earth and Steve Farley, Arizona’s state representative for District 28, are a few of the scheduled speakers.

    Major sponsors of the event are the Food Conspiracy Co-op and GeoInnovation. Some of the green businesses and groups to be displayed at the event are Tucson Water, Tucson Clean and Beautiful, SunTran and The Nature Conservancy.

    George Villec, Travis Smith and Matt Hicok are solar contractors from GeoInnovation who will provide four portable 190-watt solar panels for the concert.

    “”We are going to set up to teach people about solar energy,”” Villec said. “”We are enthusiastic and passionate and we want to tell people that this (solar power) is real and people can really do it.””

    Stephan Classen, vice president of the Arizona Sustainability Recycling Association club on campus and a senior majoring in environmental sciences and German Studies, said his club will educate people about recycling and set up a game where people have to throw their cans and bottles in specified holes.

    Fair Wheel Bicycles will also attend the event and raffle off a new bike.

    Recycled T-shirts will also be sold.

    Tucson Electric Power and Ace Hardware will be exchanging incandescent light bulbs people bring for a compact fluorescent light bulb.

    The event will be carbon-neutral, as proceeds from the event will be used to purchase carbon offsets for people driving to the event, Dollinger said.

    Last year’s Solar Rock event was part of the national Step It Up 2007: Cut Carbon 80 Percent by 2050 event and drew in more than 2,000 people.

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