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The Blog Reborn...

Posted by The 350.org Coordinating Team on April 15th, 2008

The Step It Up website will remain online as a memorial to all the incredible movement activity and success in 2007.  Yet the Step It Up blog is coming to a close.  In no way does that mean, however, that the movement is closing up shop.  On the contrary -- the movement, and the blog along with it, is going global.  Visit 350.org to check out what's emerging in the global grassroots movement to fight global warming.

For more blogging action regarding grassroots climate action in the US visit 1sky.org and itsgettinghotinhere.org.

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1 Year Later - The Movement Goes Global

Posted by The 350.org Coordinating Team on April 14th, 2008

Act NowIn honor of the 1 year anniversary of our National Day of Climate Action, here is the e-mail that we sent to Step It Up supporters:

Dear Friends,

For hard-boiled political organizers, we’re basically nostalgic sentimentalists at heart, and so this week we’re thinking back with great fondness to last April 14, and the 1,400 demonstrations and rallies and events that you organized in all 50 states for the Step It Up National Day of Climate Action It was an awfully sweet day, with powerful results–not only was an urgent call to action issued from every corner of the country, but now it’s not uncommon to hear Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama echo your call for 80% Carbon Cuts by 2050.

And yet global warming continues, so we wanted to bring you up to date with where we are and let you in on the ground floor of our new effort:

* Step It Up has, as you know, joined with lots of other grassroots organizers across the country to form 1Sky.org, which is picking up real speed as one of the centers of the American fight against climate change. Please help them with their efforts—they report that former Step It Up organizers around the country took the lead in a series of 500 visits to Congressional offices earlier this spring. We think that with their leadership we’re very much on track to see significant climate change legislation as soon as President Bush leaves office

* Meanwhile, the science around climate change has continued to darken. We all watched the Arctic melt last summer, and an ice shelf the size of Connecticut crumple in the southern ocean this winter. James Hansen, our foremost climatologist, has just issued the most important scientific assessment of global warming in many years, which you can read here. Basically, it calls for limiting carbon concentrations in the atmosphere to below 350 parts per million. In fact, Hansen says: “If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm to at most 350 ppm.”

* Therefore, our organizing team is launching a new venture: 350.org. The final website won’t be ready for a few weeks, but since you’re family we’re letting you know now. In fact, we hope very much that you’ll visit the preliminary website that we’ve set up and start figuring out how to help.

Here’s our goal: We want to take this number, 350, and spread it all over the world.
(more…)

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350 Is Making Headlines

Posted by The 350.org Coordinating Team on April 12th, 2008

350 is starting to make the news already. The USA’s top climatologist Jim Hansen was on the front page of the Guardian for his proclamation that 350 is humanity’s target.  Check it out below:

Climate target is not radical enough - Study Says
Nasa scientist warns the world must urgently make huge CO2 reductions

Monday April 7 2008

Hansen

One of the world’s leading climate scientists warns today that the EU and its international partners must urgently rethink targets for cutting carbon dioxide in the atmosphere because of fears they have grossly underestimated the scale of the problem.

In a startling reappraisal of the threat, James Hansen, head of the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, calls for a sharp reduction in C02 limits.

Hansen says the EU target of 550 parts per million of C02 - the most stringent in the world - should be slashed to 350ppm. He argues the cut is needed if “humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilisation developed”. A final version of the paper Hansen co-authored with eight other climate scientists, is posted today on the Archive website. Instead of using theoretical models to estimate the sensitivity of the climate, his team turned to evidence from the Earth’s history, which they say gives a much more accurate picture.

Click here to read the full article. 

Click here to find out more about 350.org is responding to this scientific news. 

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Stimulate the Movement...Donate to 350.org

Posted by The 350.org Coordinating Team on April 12th, 2008

350 LogoFor more on what 350.org is, visit the new beta website: www.350.org.  The gist of it is that we're going global, and we need your help on several fronts.  Funding is one of them...

Pulling off an international campaign won’t be easy, and will require a little bit of capital to give it a jumpstart. With your help, we can build a global team of translators, organizers, and storytellers to drive our message home.

To donate, please click here to make a donation to our fiscal sponsor, the Sustainable Markets Foundation.  And after you do, shoot us an e-mail and tell us why you chose to stimulate the movement.  That way we can thank you properly and (with your permission) share your story with the Project 350 network.

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A Report From The Dream Reborn

Posted by Adi Nochur, 1Sky.org on April 9th, 2008

DreamRebornLogoThis weekend, I watched a new movement developing right in front of my eyes.  As I scanned the faces around me in the plenary room at the Memphis Cook Convention Center, it was impossible to not feel a sense of excitement.  We were emerging as a powerful new force for progressive change, one committed to the principle of "Green for All."

Over 1,000 people, myself included, gathered in Memphis for the Dream Reborn conference this weekend to stand upon the shoulders of giants and create a vision for a just and sustainable future.  We gathered in the city where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot, on the 40th anniversary of his assassination, to pick up the torch of his legacy of economic justice and carry it in a new direction for a new generation.  As we face the social crisis of poverty and the environmental crisis of global warming, are there solutions in sight?  The Dream Reborn sought to explore this question — and the answer was an unequivocal "YES!"

Click here to continue reading on the 1Sky.org blog.

Step It Up Continues On...

Posted by The Step It Up Organizing Team on March 11th, 2008

This is the fourth is a series of posts catching up the blog since our return from Bali…

Many folks have been emailing and asking whether there’s going to be a Step It Up 2008.  Well, that’s really up to you…

No, we’re not doing another nationally web-coordinated Step It Up action (at least right now).  But that’s not stopping folks from keeping this movement going.  Some of the groups that first started organizing for Step It Up a year ago in preparation for April 14, 2007 are still going strong.  Not only did they organize amazing Step It Up 2 actions last November and generate thousands of invitations to politicians, letting them know that we mean business, but now they’re raring ahead with new plans and new actions of their own accord.

Many folks have teamed up with 1Sky to keep the pressure on their state’s senators and representatives with the Spring Into Action effort going on this month.  Others are ahead with their own local action plans, stepping it up even more.  And this is just what we need.  Despite all the amazing action and activity around global warming in the last year, Congress is still just limping along, hardly in sight of taking the action we need.  Presidential candidates are now talking a good game on climate (mostly).  But talk isn’t enough.  We need Congress to step it up and take action.  The only way to make that happen is to keep the pressure on and escalate this movement.

We’re also starting to see ever increasing victories at the local and state levels.  The latest: the Massachusetts senate passed a bill on Thursday, March 6 requiring 80% carbon emissions reductions by 2050 and emphasizing green jobs! The movement is having its effect, thanks to all the activists, citizens, organizations, and leaders stepping up in their area.  But we’re still missing essential national legislation and international action.  So a big thank you to everyone that’s moving ahead with new action plans, whether its under the name of Step It Up or not.

You might be wondering then, what it is that our team is doing, if not organizing another Step It Up?  We haven’t been idle this winter either.  Stay tuned for our next plan.  And in the meantime, feel free to keep in touch and let us know what you’re working on.

Onwards…

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The Dream Reborn

Posted by The Step It Up Organizing Team on March 11th, 2008

This is the third in a series of posts catching up the blog since our return from Bali…

(Taken from the 1Sky blog)

On April 4-6 in Memphis, Tennessee, 1Sky’s allies in Green For All are hosting "The Dream Reborn," a national conference bringing together community, nonprofit, business, and student leaders from across the nation.  Together we will commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King on the 40th anniversary of his assassination and celebrate a new generation of visionary leaders.  By bringing together green-collar practitioners and advocates, we will exchange our best models and ideas, and we will provide a forum for learning about the new green economy in the spirit of Dr. King’s dream for racial and economic justice.

This gathering has the potential to be a landmark moment in this new movement—with only five weeks to go, Green for All needs your help!

Here’s what you can do:

1) Register!

We expect this conference to fill up fast—go to http://greenreg.com/TheDreamReborn to get started. Also get your hotel room TODAY! Memphis will be packed on this historic weekend, and hotel rooms are going fast. On our website are the last hotel blocks available in downtown Memphis, but you must sign up no later than March 13th.

2) Spread the Word!

Everyone is welcome to register! Please note that in order to create an equitable green economy movement, Green for All is committed to prioritizing participation from working class communities of color. With that goal in mind, please contact your lists, show your friends the website, and do everything you can to get great people to The Dream Reborn.

3) Sponsor a Community Leader

1Sky and Green for All understand that working class people of color are the heart and soul of this movement.  Amazing people are coming to the Dream Reborn: trainers, policymakers, practitioners, entertainers, scholars, activists, and mentors of every kind. It’s vital that we can bring community leaders and youth of color to Memphis to make the most of this incredible gathering.  Yet too often, local nonprofits, community activists, and youth don’t have the resources to pay for travel, lodging, and registration.  If you can spare anything to sponsor one of these community leader to come to the Dream Reborn, please lend your support.  Green for

All will link you up directly with the people you’re sponsoring, so you can hear about the difference you’re making.

In Memphis, we have the potential to create something incredible: the launch of an unstoppable movement dedicated to fighting poverty and pollution at the same time.  In whatever way you can, please join 1sky in working with Green for All to envision and create a green energy economy!

Click here to continue reading updates since Bali.

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Winter Action -- No Rest for the Weary

Posted by The Step It Up Organizing Team on March 10th, 2008

This is the second in a series of posts catching up the blog since our return from Bali…

January and February were more big months for the climate movement.  As the presidential campaigns gradually took over all the airwaves amidst the mainstream media, the climate movement has just kept on churning out action.

Focus the Nation on January 31st culminated with over 1,700 events around the country!  Way to focus, everyone, and congrats on rounding up such massive numbers.  With it’s emphasis on students and solutions, we’re sure to start seeing even more new ideas and energy pouring forth from the youth movement, which is already swelling in incredible ways.

Remember Powershift 2007?  Now state-level Powershift conferences are sweeping the country.  Some are still in the works, so don’t fret if you thought you already missed out.  But students haven’t been sticking to conferences either.  There has been direct action, civil disobedience, and more.  Take a look at itsgettinghotinhere.org for all the latest dispatches from the youth movement.  The next wave of action is planned for April 1, Fossil Fools Day, which will be one of the first ever youth climate efforts coordinated globally.

And it’s not just the students that are continuing to step it up.  1Sky had a successful Valentine’s Day action and is now starting to get down and dirty with keeping the pressure on our politicians.  Check out the plan to Spring Into Action and sign up today.

Click here to continue reading updates since Bali...

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Back from Bali

Posted by The Step It Up Organizing Team on March 10th, 2008

The first in a series of posts catching up the blog since our return from Bali…

In December 2007 our crew shipped off to the UN Climate Conference in Bali, Indonesia.  Global warming wasn’t exactly stopped in Bali – the UN international processes have a tendency to live up to their reputation of making snail-paced progress.  Looks fun, eh?  Fortunately, the ground is being laid for some real breakthroughs down the road, assuming the US will sign on and cooperate with, if not lead, this global effort.  

One of our tasks while in Bali was bearing the good news and energy from the US grassroots climate movement.  We were most definitely well-received by those willing and interested to talk to a few 23-year-olds at a UN conference.  And rest assured, the rest of the world is thrilled to know that all of you all are out there organizing for action in this country.  It means a lot to folks that you, we, the grassroots, don’t intend to let this issue slide by without real action.  But we still have a long ways to go till all our communities and all our leaders have stepped up to the climate challenge at the appropriate scale.  We have to keep the movement moving.

2 Million for Climate ActionWhile in Bali, we were also thrilled to meet and learn more about all the great folks building the movement in their own lands.  With just a handful of those efforts combined, one petition alone had over 2 million signatures calling for action.  The grassroots is a sizeable force.

Youth from around the world, organizations of all sizes and missions – they’re all taking on climate change in their own way.  And increasingly large amounts of the worlds attention is turning to the international processes of figuring out how exactly we’re going to collectively address this global challenge.  During the conference itself, we teamed up with several of the grassroots groups there to help pull off the great aerial photo calling for action now – just one symbol of how ready everyone is to work together for real action.  The grassroots is ready.

And so, despite the slow pace of the UN meeting itself, we left Bali seeing real opportunity, sensing real hope for what can come.  More action is brewing.

Now back in the states (aside from finding our new homes, as we headed to Bali homeless), we’re looking into all kinds of ways we might help from our US vantage point to see action through.  There’s much to be done.  Fortunately, the winter has not been an idle one…

Click here to continue reading updates since Bali.

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Bali United Nations Conference Is Coming to a Close -- Add Your Voice...

Posted by Will on December 12th, 2007

ACT NOW Aerial Photo in Bali Most of our crew is still here at the UN climate talks in Bali -- trying to carry the message that the US climate movement -- Step It Up, Power Shift, and countless more -- want to see bold, positive action before countries disperse tomorrow.  To convey that message, there have already been a series of energized events and actions taking place inside and surrounding the conference here in Bali.

Every day of the conference there have been youth actions directly engaging conference negotiators inside the UN compound.  And the youth, along with CAN International and Avaaz.org, have helped orchestrate the fossil awards of the day -- a dynamic presentation of what countries are doing the worst acts each day.

Furthermore, on Saturday, December 8th, local Balinese NGOs helped pull together a few thousand people taking to the streets as part of the international day of action on climate change.  Then on Sunday our crew helped aerial artist John Quigley gather a crowd to form a giant Earth being washed away, and the text ACT NOW (above).

And with just 1 day left of the UN conference the urgent call to ACT NOW is that much more relevant.  The countries assembled still have a long ways to go to establish a strong "Bali Roadmap" (as it's referred to here) for the next phase of international agreements to address climate change (to replace Kyoto).  So we need your help to send the message that Americans support bold action, despite the disruptive role our government is playing...

Click here to sign a petition (and enter your postcode as 1sky in order to signify your connection to Step It Up and the 1sky campaign -- www.1sky.org -- if you so choose). 

Our team will be joining numerous groups from around the world to deliver the names on numerous petitions to the international delegates on their final day here.  Please sign today.

You can also click here to sign Al Gore's petition in support of his participation here in Bali.  (And once we've all signed these petitions, let's get back to action organizing).

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Global warming is here

Posted by Kelly on November 23rd, 2007

We can see it in Southern California, Georgia, the arctic, New Orleans, and now Bangladesh. And the most recent IPCC report tells us its worse than we thought. On the night of November 15th, Cyclone Sidr made landfall in Bangladesh, flooding villages, destroying crops, killing livestock, and reducing tens of thousands of homes into mud and sticks. Due to an early storm warning many were able to get to shelter during the cyclone, but now many are returning to find their lives and livelihoods decimated. The government estimates 4 million people to have been affected by the storm.

Two days after Cyclone Sidr hit Bangladesh, the IPCC released their 4th and final summary report, declaring that global warming "could lead to abrupt and irreversible climate changes and impacts."The report also stresses that global warming and its effects are happening faster than anyone predicted, as sea levels and extreme weather events are on the rise. Bangladesh is truly ­a canary in the coalmine in terms of the climate crisis. The combination of rising seas and extreme weather events like Cyclone Sidr will in all likelihood be devastating for a nation with a lot of poverty and little capacity to handle these challenges.

We haven't asked you to do anything like this before, but its becoming increasingly clear that we need to both mitigate future impacts of global warming, and at the same time, help those around the world who are already experiencing the effects. Here are a few sites who are helping with the relief effort in Bangladesh:

Oxfam International
Relief Web

Let us give thanks for the planet we have, and keep on fighting for its future!

­
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New Bill for No New Coal

Posted by Kelly on November 17th, 2007

Amidst the sobering news of the 4th IPCC report that was released today, there is some reason to feel hopeful.  No doubt moved by the efforts of citizens like you all around the country and at Powershift, Henry Waxman (D-CA) announced yesterday his plans to introduce a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants.  Congratulations on your great work - together, we can make our voices heard and shut down the possibility of any new coal-fired power plants.­  Check out the source, here:

http://oversight.house.gov/story.asp?ID=1613 

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Some Words From Reverend Fred Small

Posted by Rev. Fred Small on November 16th, 2007

Our friend Rev. Fred Small has been on the front lines of the climate change struggle for years. Last week, he gave this sermon about the historic weekend of November 3rd, expressing the hope he feels for the next chapters of this rapidly growing movement. We thought you all might enjoy it...

The New Youth Climate Movement
A sermon by Rev. Fred Small
First Church Unitarian, Littleton, MA
November 11, 2007

"And now abide faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

So wrote Paul the Apostle to close the thirteenth chapter of his famed letter to the Christian community at Corinth. It's still my favorite passage in the Bible, no matter no how many weddings I hear it at. Love is the most important thing, the one essential thing, the most powerful force, I believe, in the universe.

And that's a good thing, because my faith and hope have been taking quite a beating lately. If faith demands confidence in the outcome and hope optimism, then global warming can really do a number on faith and hope.

With accelerating certainty and alarm, the scientists are telling us we're in for some very rocky times, our children even more so.

It's really nice that Al Gore won the Oscar and the Nobel Peace Prize, but in the nearly two years since An Inconvenient Truth premiered, the United States government has done precisely nothing to stop global warming. Instead of inspiring international cooperation to change how we produce and use energy, the melting of the North Pole has incited an international race to see who can exploit its resources the fastest.

As Lily Tomlin likes to say, "Things are going to get worse before they get even worse."

So I'm relieved and a little astonished by the news I bring you this morning. News of love, yes, always, but news as well of faith and hope, even in the same breath as global warming.

Last weekend I joined nearly six thousand young people at Power Shift2007, the first national youth summit to address the climate crisis. One of a handful of middle-aged and elder guests, I sat on a panel on"Faith and Climate" and presented two workshops, "Spiritual Practicein Sustaining Activism" and "Songs and Song-leading for Activists." I felt honored to have been invited, but I felt awed to be in the presence of these dedicated young people as they come into their power, and not a moment too soon.

The new youth climate movement is big, it's diverse, it's savvy, and it's determined.

These young people know they're the first generation ever to inherit a habitat globally damaged by their parents, and frankly they're not thrilled about it. They're not going to settle for political lip service or corporate green washing. These kids are dead serious, they're wicked smart, and they're fired up.

Thousands of teenagers, college students, and twenty-somethingsstreamed to the University of Maryland campus for Power Shift. They came from all fifty states, 300 congressional districts, and more than twenty countries. For three days they listened to speakers like Nancy Pelosi, Ed Markey, Bill McKibben, Winona LaDuke, George Lakoff, and Van Jones, as well as their own youth leaders. They attended panels on environmental justice, human rights, alternative energy, green jobs, communications, lobbying, and voter registration. They jammed classrooms for workshops with titles like "Strategic Tools for Movement Building," "Non-Violent Direct Action 101," "History & Principles of Environmental Justice," "Ecofeminism," "Wind Power on Campus", "Digital Organizing," "How to Be the most Persuasive Person in the Room," and "Preparing for Bali: Effective Youth Engagement in Global Negotiations."

The young people I encountered struck me as idealistic, pragmatic, and eager to learn.

Christians, Jews, and Muslims attending the "Faith and Climate" panel sought scriptural and religious grounding for climate stewardship. Others less religious were curious how faith might support and inform activism. A number were delighted to be introduced to Unitarian Universalism. At the workshop I led on spiritual practice, participants were looking for practical tools to sustain their commitment and avoid burnout. My workshop on songs and songleading, attended by over thirty singers, reviewed the powerful impact of singing in movements past and shared tricks of the trade. Misreading the schedule, I arrived ten minutes late to find the room already filled with song. They were teaching each other!

Power Shift was far and away the most racially diverse environmental gathering I've ever witnessed. Sure, white folks were in the majority, but people of color were everywhere—in the seats, on staff, as presenters, as performing artists, and as keynote speakers. African-American teenagers sported t-shirts emblazoned with the words "Green the Ghetto." Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. President of the Hip Hop Caucus, fulminated against global warming like a Baptist preacher denouncing fornication. One African-American hip hop artist rhapsodized on "the energy between God, Mother Earth, and me"; another linked polar bears, the evacuees of New Orleans, and detainees at Guantanamo.

Faith Gemmill of the Gwich'in people of Alaska told us of the Porcupine River Caribou Herd, upon which the Gwich'in have depended for subsistence since the dawn of time. Each spring, the caribou cross the frozen Porcupine River to reach their calving grounds in the north. But in 2000, the river thawed early, blocking their migration. The pregnant caribou dropped their calves on the southern bank, but instinct demanded they reach the safe haven of their calving grounds or perish. The mothers plunged into the swollen river, calling their calves to follow. 45,000 calves drowned.

Majora Carter, Executive Director of Sustainable South Bronx, told us global warming is an issue transcending race. "Don't all people want beauty in their lives?" she asked. "Don't we want all of our people to be happy, healthy, and productive people? Everybody needs someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to. If people don't feel that their life is contributing to something, they feel isolated, angry, and alone. Don't we all want to be part of a larger movement to improve the society we share?"

The United States, she lamented, represents just 5% of the world's population, but 25% of the world's greenhouse emissions—and 25% of the world's incarcerated. Her voice broke as she spoke of one in three African-American men facing imprisonment in their lifetime. "I am tired of looking at my brothers and sisters and praying they beat the odds. I am tired of thinking, 'Which one is going to be doing time because of opportunities denied?'" She led thousands of us in a chant: "Green jobs, not jails! Green jobs, not jails!" "I need to hear you say it," she entreated, and who could deny her?

With so many voters in one place, it didn't take long for politicians to come calling. Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Ed Markey both appeared unscheduled Saturday night on the main stage.

Congressman Markey spoke first. In full-throated Ted-Kennedy-style rhetoric, he had the crowd cheering his call for youth to lead in against global warming. They cheered again when he called for legislation to increase fuel economy and support renewable energy. But when he boasted the bill would reduce global warming pollution by 40%,the cheers turned into a chant: "We want more! We want more! We want more!" and then "80 by 50! 80 by 50! 80 by 50!" meaning 80% reduction in greenhouse emissions by 2050, which is what the scientists say we'll need to stop global warming. It seemed to me a pretty sophisticated chant for five thousand kids.

Congressman Markey, figuring if he couldn't beat 'em, he'd better join 'em, led a brief chant of "Hey, Hey, What do you say? Global warming stops today!" and swiftly surrendered the stage to Nancy Pelosi.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives immediately endorsed 80%by 2050. She compared the assembled youth to the "magnificent disrupters" who founded the United States of America. The crowd responded positively, although I noticed one young man standing silently throughout her speech holding aloft a human spine (whether real or replica, I couldn't tell) as if in offering.

Later that evening, Bill McKibben, at age 46 the grand old man and reluctant rock star of the climate movement, ascended the stage flanked by the shock troops of the Step It Up campaign a generation younger. "I got to tell you what you guys look like out there," McKibben began, leaning his gangly frame into the microphone. "You look like a movement... This is the next great movement on this planet, and we better get it right or it will be the last great movement on this planet. You can't just change your campus, you've got to change your world. My colleagues behind me in Step It Up have organized 2000 demonstrations in all fifty states of this country. You can see the impact of all this organizing tonight. A year ago 80 by 50 was a radical idea, and tonight the most powerful person in the US Congress was leading a chant with those numbers. In twenty years of working on this, in twenty years of fearing on this, tonight's the most hopeful I've ever been."

On Monday, thousands of young people energized by the conference and trained in lobbying descended on the Capitol, rallied on the steps, and visited hundreds of lawmakers. Many wore green hard hats to dramatize their demand for green jobs, They crammed the hearing of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming(chaired by Congressman Markey).

Among those testifying was Billy Parish, founder of Energy Action, which organized Power Shift. At 26, Billy is now an elder statesman of the youth climate movement. "In four months I will be a father," he told the panel. "I urge you to consider what we say, not as politicians, but as fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters. This is our future. . . . We will solve this [crisis], but we cannot do it without you. And if you do not join us, then find yourself another job. We are in the millions, and we are organizing. We put you in office and we will take you out of office. This is our lives at stake."

When Billy Parish says we solve this crisis, he doesn't know when or at what cost. He doesn't know how much damage already will have been inflicted on our precious earth. He doesn't know how much suffering we will endure before we learn the lesson of ecological and spiritual interdependence.

Neither do I.

In my spiritual practice workshop, I reminded the young people that Mahatma Gandhi had persisted in more than a half-century of devoted activism by heeding the counsel of the Bhagavad Gita: "Action alone is in your control. It never extends to the fruits. Be not attached to the fruits of action nor be attached to inaction."

Who knows what the future holds? Maybe the skeptics are right, and global warming will turn out to be vastly overestimated. Wouldn't that be relief? Or maybe we're already doomed and just don't know it. All we can do is act with courage and integrity on the best knowledge we have.

"As for prophecies, they will come to an end. As for tongues, they will cease. As for knowledge, it will come to an end." Only love never ends.

But like Bill McKibben, in the glow of Power Shift I find myself strangely hopeful. Thousands of young people are taking the information, skills, and contagious energy of Power Shift back to their schools, colleges, and communities, and the movement will multiply. However dire the threats we face, as these young people take up the watch, the earth is in good hands.

The day after Power Shift 2007, a second-year student at New College of Florida named Amy Ortiz posted a blog on itsgettinghotinhere.org, an online forum of the youth climate movement. She captures the spirit of this movement far better than I ever could.

"The whole experience at Power Shift 2007," Amy writes, "was one of such incredible joy and optimism. Unlike most experiences I have had with climate change focused events, it didn't feel like we were facing incredible, insurmountable odds. Instead, I felt empowered, inspired and activated. This weekend, I realized more than ever before, that we CAN do it, and we WILL do it. As youth, we have the vision, passion and inspiration to lead our country towards the just, clean energy future we all dream of."

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December 8 -- International Action

Posted by Will on November 13th, 2007

We've said it before, but it doesn't hurt repeating: this movement needs to keep on moving.  Not only that, while we're busy making sure the United States addresses solutions like the 1Sky plan, we need to make sure we're engaging with the climate movement globally as well. 

That's why it's good to know that momentum is building both here and abroad for the December 8th international day of action on climate change -- taking place during the United Nations climate negotiations in Bali.­

Globally there are already groups in over 75 countries gearing up for action.  And here in the US not only are there dozens of groups planning polar bear plunges there are also many groups joining the effort being coordinated by the climate crisis coalition.  Visit their website to learn more and get involved: ­­www.climatecrisiscoaltion.org.

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Mayors Send a Message to Congress

Posted by Kelly on November 9th, 2007

This weekend, leaders of all stripes confronted Congress and let them know it's time for leadership at the federal level on global warming. Many of these leaders were all of you, who organized and participated in rallies in your hometowns, who invited your Congressmen to join you there, and tell you how they will be a leader on global warming and address the boldest plans out there. While you were rallying at home, 6,000 students rallied in Washington, D.C. and met with their members of Congress to lobby the on the 1 Sky priorities.

The third prong of last weekend's onslaught on Congress was the last event at the Mayor's Climate Protection Summit in Seattle.  Mayor Bloomberg of NYC, Mayor Diaz of Miami, Mayor Nickels of Seattle, and Mayor Palmer of Trenton, NJ all were witnesses in a field hearing for the House global warming committee.  According to Grist blogger David Roberts, "Committee hearings tend to be pretty staid affairs, but some sparks flew at this one".  After easily debunking the common arguments such as "addressing global warming would drive jobs overseas and hurt the economy", or "what about China and India?", the mayors in attendance drove the point home that they have stepped up in their cities and towns, and now need a federal partner on the issue.  You can read more about the hearing on the Grist, here.

Students, citizens, mayors...who else does Congress need to hear from to know this is a priority issue?­

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Pete Seeger Stepping It Up with the Global Climate Campaign

Posted by Will on November 9th, 2007

December 8 is right around the corner.  Check out this video of Peter Seeger gearing up for the international day of action on climate­ change:­­

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Take Action on a Local Wind Power Struggle!

Posted by Step It Up Organizers on November 8th, 2007
Former Delaware Congressman Thomas B. Evans, Jr. (R) surrounded by a group of local children at the wind power rally in Rehoboth Beach.

From time to time we feel compelled to spotlight certain local struggles and initiatives. Sometimes, a challenge comes to our attention that seems like critical leverage points in the fight for a clean energy future.  The wind project in Rehbooth, Delaware is one such case.  Energized by a highly successful action on November 3rd, local organizer Marc Weiss is focusing on mobilizing those in and beyond his community of Rehbooth to support an offshore wind project.  In this guest blog, check out Marc's call to action below--and let's stand in solidarity with Marc for clean power!

 

Delaware can become the first state t­o build offshore wind power.

Opponents of wind energy want to stop the Bluewater Wind project.

Tell our State Government we want them to complete the agreement and make wind power a reality now in Delaware.

Here’s why we need wind power in Delaware:

The Bluewater offshore wind power project will produce 13 percent of Delaware’s electricity.  This energy is clean, safe, independent, non-polluting, non-greenhouse gas emitting, economically stable, cost-efficient, and very dependable over the long-term.  Generating offshore wind energy will help prevent the tragedy of global warming and keep our coastal areas from being flooded and destroyed. We won’t need to go to war or pay $90 per barrel for wind power.  It will save Delaware citizens $750 million on health care costs currently caused by air pollution from burning fossils fuels.

Send a letter, email, or fax to the following state agencies before November 13. Tell them to keep negotiating with Bluewater Wind until they close the deal:

Delaware Public Service Commission
Arnetta McRae, Chair
861 Silver Lake Boulevard
Cannon Building, Suite 100
Dover, DE 19904
Fax: (302) 739-4849
Email:
karen.nickerson@state.de.us

Controller General’s Office
Russell T. Larson, Controller General
P.O. Box 1401
Legislative Hall
Dover, DE 19903
Fax: (302) 739-3794
Email: russell.larson@state.de.us

Office of Management and Budget
Jennifer W. Davis, Director
Haslet Armory, Third Floor
122 William Penn Street
Dover, DE 19901
Fax: (302) 739-5861
Email: jennifer.davis@state.de.us

Department of Natural Resources
John Hughes, Secretary
89 Kings Highway
Dover, DE 19901
Fax: (302) 739-6242
Email: john.hughes@state.de.us

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Step It Up Shifts the Power

Posted by Phil on November 7th, 2007

Check out yet another video from this past weekend. On Saturday night, November 3, the Step It Up crew and Bill McKibben addressed a crowd of more than 6000 students. They came to Washington DC a­s part of the Powershift conference on climate change, and rallied all weekend for the 1Sky solutions. On Monday, they delivered your photos from Step It Up events all across the country to your members of congress. Lets keep this movement united, diverse and movin­g forward!

­


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Action Spotlight: Vermonters Stepping Up

Posted by Will on November 6th, 2007

There are hundreds of great actions from Saturday to be highlighting, but we couldn't help spotlighting this great video put together by our organizing friends back in Burlington, VT:
­­Not only that, but as our crew along with the thousands of students taking part in Powershift  2007 ­delivered Step It Up photos to Congress, we stopped in to talk with Congressman Peter Welch, and he decided to join in the Green Finger Video Project with this new clip:­

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Video from Power Shift 2007

Posted by Jamie on November 4th, 2007

The energy and optimism that you helped create on Nov 3 at Step It Up events throughout the country is only growing. The Step It Up team has spent the last 24 hours in Washington, D.C. taking part in Power Shift 2007 and printing out thousands of photographs of Step It Up actions that will be hand delivered to Congress tomorrow when thousands of students lobby for global warming solutions.

Check out the latest video from the Power Shift 2007 stude­nt conference. And click here to take action and support the students who will be lobbying in Congress tomorrow:

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