Students and faculty at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge found a new character in their presence; an eight foot tall inflatable dinosaur fossil espousing the virtues of fossil fuels. This latest stunt from CFACT certainly took many by surprise but was effective in spurring conversation.
Louisiana, a state which has been drilling for oil for over 100 years, has 18 refineries in operation, and whose sector tens of thousands of people earn a good living in, has good reason to stand up for this often maligned energy source according to CFACT Driessen Fellow Tait Lafonte, a Junior at the “Old War Skule,” a nickname for LSU dating back to its roots as a mid-nineteenth century military college. He wanted those in the pro petroleum based energy faction on campus to know they weren’t alone and to feel comfortable knowing that they too could speak out for their beliefs.
Tait explained his task of the day, “There’s a lot of pushback from some on campus who are passionate, but it was great to be out there and see people who support reliable energy. There’s still a conservative base on campus, even if we aren’t loud.”
He, working in concert with CFACT National Field Coordinator Greg Neff, devised a plan to get the attention of students in a nonthreatening way and to get literature into their hands promoting the many ways fossil fuels improve the lives of our species and dispelling the myths surrounding the supposed destruction they are befalling on the globe. Using a combination of CFACT produced literature as well as a pamphlet from an allied organization (Truth in Energy and Climate), the duo managed to engage hundreds of students over the course of the balmy afternoon. Some stopped to take selfies with the new mascot while others decided to take up attempts at debating the pair of oil advocates. No two interactions were exactly the same, but all were effective in spreading the message that we should love rather than fear fossil fuels.
At the end of the day we feel confident that CFACT made a great impact with the youth of that campus and look forward to our next event in two weeks at LSU.