The Skywriter

Climate Action Now DC rally: freezing, but fired up for change!

18
Nov

Climate Action Now DC rally: freezing, but fired up for change!

Over 4,000 climate activists have been fanning out today throughout the country to welcome our newly-elected President and Congress and urge them to take bold climate action next year. More than 300 of them gathered near the U.S. Capitol today for a Climate Action Now rally co-sponsored by 1Sky, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN), 350, and other partner organizations. It was freezing in DC today (I should know -- I was there!) but the crowd was still fired up and ready to deliver the call for bold climate solutions to Capitol Hill.

I came away from the rally with the impression that there's a new sense of optimism about our chances to pass major anti-global warming legislation next year. After eight years of what Bill McKibben referred to as "a bipartisan coalition for inaction" (I'm paraphrasing), we have a new president and several new Members of Congress who recognize the importance of moving beyond fossil fuels to rebuild our economy and turn the tide of climate change. But as Gillian has said, change won't just happen -- we'll have to make it happen. That's why we were all at this rally: To make the change we want to see happen.

Below are some pics I took of the rally. If you were part of today's Climate Leadership Now congressional visits across the country -- or went to the DC rally and lit-drop afterward -- and took some pics of your welcome card deliveries, please share them at congress@1sky.org. Also, feel free to share any thoughts and experiences from the deliveries that you'd like to see featured on this blog, or simply share them in the comments!

Mike Tidwell
CCAN's Mike Tidwell gave an rousing opening speech
and introduced all the speakers at the rally.

Nov. 18 rally crowd
The crowd at the Upper Senate Park was bundled up for the cold -- but fired up to charge the Hill after the rally!

Bill McKibben
350's Bill McKibben talked about the need for Washington to listen to real scientists and work to bring carbon emissions below 350 parts per million.

Poland ticket for Obama
After Bill's speech, he, Mike Tidwell and 350's Phil Aroneanu offered President-elect Obama a symbolic ticket to the attend the U.N. Climate Conference in Poznan, Poland, next month. We hope Obama will accept even though it's an economy ticket.

Climate Solutions Quilt
The beautiful Solutions to Climate Change Quilt, created by Oakland climate activist Ulla Nilsen, traveled to DC for the rally and a visit to President-elect Obama's office. That the quilt essentially turned into a sail in the face of DC's blustery fall wind didn't phase Phil and other brave volunteers who held it up throughout the rally.

Chris Van Hollen
Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen, a reliable supporter of comprehensive climate legislation, also spoke at the rally.

Gillian Caldwell
Our very own Gillian Caldwell spoke (sore throat and all) about the need to keep pressing our leaders for bold measures to deal with climate change. She also introduced Ali Adler, a student and climate activist at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Ali Adler
UMD student and climate activist Ali Adler spoke passionately about young people's impatience with the lack of bold climate action from our leaders in Washington.

Nia Robinson

Nia Robinson, Director of the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative, spoke of the need to put environmental justice at the center of the climate debate.

nov 18 DC rally crowd 2
The rally brought together people from all ages and backgrounds. They had two things in common: they were all freezing, and they were all ready to head to the Hill and press for bold climate action!

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