Celebrate–and Implement–Climate Solutions

     We can’t wait for Congress to get going on climate change.  The Senate has failed miserably thus far, and if some of the climate change-denying Republican Senate candidates win in November, meaningful action will be delayed even longer.

     But there is a great deal we can do now, without action from the top.  We can join with others around the U.S. and the world to participate in practical actions to reduce global warming emissions.  October 10 has been designated, by the new organization known as 10:10, a Day to Celebrate Climate Solutions.  Individuals, families, businesses, organizations, religious groups, neighborhoods, and many others in 180 countries are planning thousands of actions for Sunday, October 10.  The goal of this Global Work Party is to cut global carbon emissions by 10% every year, starting this year, 2010.  

     Here are some examples of what will be happening arund the U.S. on Sunday, October 10:

In Oakland, CA, hundreds of citizens, politicians and musicians will party and plant a community garden at Oakland’s Laney College. One of 20 events in the Bay Area.
In New York City, NY, community members in Harlem will paint the roof of a local high school white to reflect the sun and save energy by reducing the need for air conditioning.
In Washington, DC, residents will install 10kw of solar on a local home, host a special farmers market, and rally at the White House for climate solutions.
In New Bedford, MA,  hundreds of residents will join Mayor Scott Lang to weatherize a home as part of the city’s goal of weatherizing 10,000 homes. The event includes a block party, a climate basketball game, and a concert.
In Atlanta, GA, parishioners of many faiths will join together for a climate justice service at the Central Presbyterian Church, and will participate in a church weatherization event following the service.
In Houston, TX, citizens will launch “GreenWeek Houston” by picking up trash and planting trees in the Greater Fifth Ward neighborhood.
In Burlington, VT, Senator Leahy will join Mayor Kiss and gubernatorial candidate Peter Shumlin for a rally at Battery Park following a day of service across the city.
In Lincoln, NE, hundreds of citizens will get to work planting native grasses to restore the Nebraska prairie.
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, hundreds of community members are organizing a bike ride and rally next to the last coal burning power plant in Minneapolis.
In Los Angeles, CA,  thousands of people are expected to take part in “Ciclavia,” when 7.5 miles of streets will be closed to cars and opened to pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

     A few of the events planned for other countries:

  • Environmentalists will host an environmental film festival in Dubai.
  • Students at 10,000 schools in Russia and Croatia will plant trees.
  • Over 100 cyclists from Jordan, Israel and Palestine will take part in a 3-day bicycle relay to carry water from the Yarmouk River and the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea to symbolize the need for cooperation to stop climate change and save precious water resources.
  • In Ushuaia, at the far southern tip of Argentina, residents will clean up their shoreline where ocean currents bring trash from around the world.
  • In Barcelona, Spain, hundreds of people are expected to take part in a bicycle-powered music festival.
  • In the Namib Desert, Namibia, an education facility will install six solar panels to further their attempt to go carbon neutral.

     You may be thinking that with the Day to Celebrate Climate Solutions just 12 days away, it’s impossible for you to organize an event.  But please consider these two points:

1)  There may already be an activity planned for your area that you can join.  To find out, click on http://www.350.org/en/map.  There you will find a map of planned actions, including the ones nearest you.  You will also find out how to get involved.

2)  You can get together with family, friends, or coworkers to organize a relatively small and simple action to reduce carbon emissions or to raise awareness.  Or you might do something by yourself.  Here are just a few possibilities:

  • Set up clotheslines in a central location and, along with others, bring your laundry and dry it on the line.  Remind your community that ‘solar drying’ is a way to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Decorate cloth grocery bags and give them out to the public.
  • Paint a roof white.
  • Organize a parade of push mowers.
  • Organize a discussion session at your workplace about global warming and solutions.
  • Give a talk about climate change to your local civic group, garden club, or faith group.

     If you do organize an event, no matter how small, please register it at www.1010global.org.   The more events that we can all learn about, the stronger our efforts.  And 10:10 requests that you send in a photo of your event. 

     And have fun.  As for me, I will be speaking next week to the local Lions Club about climate change.  I am told they are a group that largely denies climate change.  I have my work cut out for me!–April Moore






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