Sunday, March 25, 2007

Step It Up

Photo of Bill McKibben courtesy of Michele McDonald, Boston Globe

Tim sent me an email with information about Step It Up 2007, a "National Day of Climate Action" scheduled for April 14. Organized by grass-roots environmentalists, the day currently has 1,037 events scheduled, and at least one in every state in the country.

Here is an excerpt from a March 22 San Francisco Chronicle article:
In the Bay Area, Step It Up 2007's events tend toward the fanciful -- including a San Francisco road rally of electric cars, plug-in hybrids and bicycles that will parade from the city north on Highway 101 to San Rafael, where they will encircle a Hummer dealership. An Emeryville rally is billed as the "Submerged Shopping Center Day of Action," taking place in the Bay Street mega-store area, which scientists have projected may sit below sea level later this century after polar ice caps melt and the oceans rise.

"Step It Up really has no business being particularly successful because we have no money and not really any organization, but people are ready to act," said Bill McKibben, a writer and professor at Middlebury College in Vermont who is Step It Up's lead organizer. McKibben spoke to standing-room-only crowds in Berkeley, Corte Madera and Mountain View on Monday and Tuesday. "After 20 years of absolutely nothing happening, things are breaking loose in the most amazing kind of way," he said.

And another short piece from the opposite coast, in the March 19 Boston Globe:
No global warming event on the scale of Step It Up has ever occurred. The closest example, according to McKibben, is a five-day walk he helped organize last summer from outside Middlebury, Vt., to Burlington, which by its last day had gathered 1,000 participants.

The Step it Up activities will highlight the dangers of a rapidly warming earth, including ski mountaineers in Wyoming descending the shrinking Dinwoody Glacier; demonstrators painting a blue line through downtown Seattle to illustrate how far the rising seas could penetrate; and Vermonters hauling sap from a maple sugar bush that is producing much earlier than usual.

So check out the website to see what's going on in your area, and participate!

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