Check out this post from Bill on the Grist:
Movements need to keep on moving; once the rock starts to budge you've got to push even harder on the pry bar. It's time to Step It Up once more.
Circle Nov. 3, 2007, on your calendar -- it's the next big date in the
fight to get America to finally do something about climate change.
We're calling it Step It Up 2: Who's A Leader? With your help, by the
time night falls on that Saturday -- almost exactly a year before
election day -- we should have a better sense of who will finally
muster the political will for meaningful action about the biggest
threat we face.
Step It Up 1
happened on April 14 and was the first open-source political protest in
U.S. history. People in 1,400 cities and towns in all 50 states staged
rallies to demand strong climate action. For those actions, we
concentrated on American geography: people picked places (the coral
reefs off Key West, the tide lines in a dozen coastal cities, the
dwindling glaciers on western mountains) that showed what was at stake
from global warming.
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This time we're focusing on American history instead. People are
planning rallies at sites that commemorate great American leaders of
the past -- not saints, necessarily, but people who rose to the
occasion and actually dealt with the great questions of their day. Some
are world-famous: we've already heard from people organizing events at
the site of the Lincoln-Douglas debates over slavery, on top of New
Hampshire's Mt. Washington, and even at the church where John F.
Kennedy was married. Other leaders are known in their communities:
there'll be an event in Navajo country, for instance, honoring elder
Roberta Blackgoat, who helped lead the fight against coal development
on tribal land. With any luck, these will be occasions to remind
ourselves what leadership is all about -- and also to have some fun.
(In a country with tens of thousands of people who regularly dress up
to reenact the great battles of American history, the possibilities
should be endless.) Creativity is what we need, and fast.
There's no "group" organizing these protests -- just a few recent
college graduates working from a storefront office in Manchester, N.H.,
to coordinate the actions of volunteers across America. They'll be
making sure all of the presidential candidates
know about the events, of course, but they'll also be helping local
organizers invite senators, congressfolk, and candidates to their
rallies. When they get there, organizers will present them with the
platform drawn up over the summer by One Sky, a new coalition of
climate campaigners from around the country. It calls for a long-term
goal of at least 80 percent reductions in carbon emissions by 2050, an
immediate moratorium on new coal-fired power plants, and a strong
green-jobs program to install all the solar panels and insulation we
could ever use.
We'll make it easy for local organizers to take up this cause, even if
they've never staged a rally before. It needn't be big and it needn't
be slick; homemade is best, in fact. And we can connect you with all
kinds of people in your community who want to take action and just
don't know quite where to begin. Once they've assembled, we'll use the
web to link these rallies together into something larger than the sum
of their parts -- to show our politicians that this is no longer a
second-tier issue, but something they simply have to address.
When we tried this in April, we found out just how eager Americans
really were to start this movement going. In 11 weeks, they created the
biggest day of mass environmental protest since Earth Day in 1970. And
it worked. In the months since, every Democratic candidate for
president has embraced the 80 percent by 2050 goal, and Congress has
passed tougher energylegislation
than many would have predicted. But the movement isn't strong enough
yet to finish the job: President Bush is almost certain to veto any
strong new law, and Congress couldn't quite bring itself to ask Detroit
to increase gas mileage. And the leading Republican candidates for
president have mostly ignored the issue.
That's not all that's changed since April, of course. We've seen the
hottest July in history across a large swath of America, seen record flooding
in the United Kingdom and Asia -- and seen powerful new science
detailing both the threat of global warming and the possibilities for
dealing with it. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported in late spring
that new technologies mean it is both possible and affordable to
transform our energy economy in rapid order. What we lack is political
will -- what we lack is the kind of movement that inspires leadership.
But that kind of energy is a renewable resource. Join us!
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