by Captain Future
Sun Nov 4th, 2007 at 06:40:39 AM EST
The National Day of Climate Action in the U.S. Saturday was the definition of a grassroots event. With practically no media coverage, or mention on even climate-related internet sites, thousands of people gathered in places large and small across the U.S., in large groups and small, for events associated with the Step It Up campaign for action on the Climate Crisis.
Though seniors were conspicuously present at many events, this is basically a youth movement, and though officeholders like Senator John Kerry attended events, the main speaker at one was eleven years old. These are young people addressing their future.
There are photos from everywhere at the Step It Up site, and I have a bunch on my blog, Captain Future's Dreaming Up Daily. Some people look kind of cold-- despite storms along the East Coast generated by Hurricane Noel, they turned out earlier today. More info and links follow the jump.
Also today, the Youth Climate Movement Power Shift convention began in DC. Here's their latest dispatch. Their activities continue through the weekend, climaxing in a "lobby day" on Monday, when they will attend hearings on pending climate bills and lobby members of Congress. (Here's the schedule.)
The Power Shift and Step It Up movements are coalescing around an agenda called 1Sky:
1. Mobilize America: 5 million green jobs conserving 20% of our energy by 2015. 2. Secure Our Future: freeze climate pollution levels now and cut at least 80% by 2050 and 30% by 2020. 3. Transform Our Energy Priorities: No new coal plants until they can safely dispose of climate pollution.
This common agenda has won some impressive endorsements, including well-known Climate Crisis voices like Bill McKibben and James Hansen but also Van Jones of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, the Rev. Sally Bingham of the Regeneration Project and Inuit representative Sheila Watts-Cloutier. Organizations on board include the League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Climate Crisis Coalition and National Resources Defense Council, as well as Physicians for Social Responsibility and several religious groups.
With all the bad news concerning climate, it's important to highlight what people are trying to do to confront it. As those of us who are or have been activists know, it's important to people's lives that they do what they can, and it's important to any possibility of effectively confronting this crisis that people stand up and call for action. These things are important NOW, regardless of how effective they turn out to be in the unknown future.