Step It Up 2007 – National Day of Climate Action on April 14, 2007
A Letter from Bill McKibben and Dr. Glen Barry
Dear Friends,
climate_protest.jpgThis is an invitation to help start a movement–to take one spring day and use it to reshape the future. Those of us who know that climate change is the greatest threat civilization now faces have science on our side; we have economists and policy specialists, courageous mayors and governors, engineers with cool new technology.
But we don't have a movement — the largest rally yet held in the U.S. about global warming drew a thousand people. If we're going to make the kind of change we need in the short time left us, we need something that looks like the civil rights movement, and we need it now. Changing light bulbs just isn't enough.
So pitch in. A few of us are trying to organize a nationwide day of hundreds and hundreds of rallies on April 14. We hope to have gatherings in every state, and in many of America's most iconic places: on the levees in New Orleans, on top of the melting glaciers on Mt. Rainier, even underwater on the endangered coral reefs off Key West.
We need rallies outside churches, along the tide lines in our coastal cities, in cornfields and forests and on statehouse steps.
Every group will be saying the same thing: Step it up, Congress! Enact immediate cuts in carbon emissions, and pledge an 80% reduction by 2050. No half measures, no easy compromises-the time has come to take the real actions that can stabilize our climate.

As people gather, we'll link pictures of the protests together electronically via the web-before the weekend is out, we'll have the largest protest the country has ever seen, not in numbers but in extent. From every corner of the nation we'll start to shake things up.
By its very nature, this action needs all kinds of people to help out. We can't make it happen-it has to assemble itself.
Sign up to host an action. We'll coordinate the responses, introducing you to others from your area, and give you everything you need to be a leader, from banners to press releases.
You don't have to have ever done anything like this-you're not organizing a March on Washington, just a gathering of scores or hundreds in your town or neighborhood.
We need creativity, good humor, commitment. If you are active in a campus group or a church or a local environmental group or a garden society or a bike club-or if you just saw Al Gore's movie and want to do something-then we need you now.
And by now, we mean now.
The best science tells us we have ten years to fundamentally transform our economy and lead the world in the same direction or else, in the words of NASA's Jim Hansen, we will face a “totally different planet,” one infinitely sadder and less flourishing.
The recent elections have given us an opening, and polling shows most Americans know there's a problem. But the forces of inertia and business-as-usual are still in control, and only our voices, united and loud, joyful and determined, can change that reality.
Please join us.
Bill McKibben and Dr. Glen Barry

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7 Responses

  1. Glenn D says:

    Dr Barry.
    It may be business as usual. But it shure is not climate as usual……. As we are all seeing. It's been one climate disaster after another. Everytime they interview a survivor it's alway's the same. Ive been here 30 year's and never saw it this bad. What part of this doe's big business not get…….What's it going to take a couple of major plant's to get pounded into the ground, along with a few of their favorite golf courses. Maybe then they will wake up……..!

  2. kerry says:

    OK. I`m thinking about this… Deeply… I am in Ireland. It would be good to `Step it up!` here too… Actually, here it would be more like `Start it up! Bertie!`
    I`m thinking about this deeply, because it would be very good to make this day of action that you are calling for be a Global Action! So I am going to see what I can do here through Irish Friends of the Earth…
    First off, I`m going to translate your piece to make it global-speak (remove the American locales & -isms) and send it to FoE & Greenpeace etc.
    Why not make it a global day of action at your end? The feeling is that everyone all over the world who takes this seriously wants to DO something… This is a great opportunity. Yours isn't the only government that is dragging its heels. If you turn this into a global event – well it will be so much bigger won't it!! France called for a five minute switch off on February 1st and that call to action spread well into other countries, and is still running, now on the First of every month.
    So… seriously, Glen & Bill… why not think about this – and reconfigure your blurbs to make this a Global Day of Action to Step it up EVERYWHERE!
    Anyway! This is me signing up for the job – please send me that `everything you need to know` pack & I`ll translate that into global-speak too…
    Personally, as I am at sea-level, I want to make a very bright seven metre pole, with supporting information signage, and stand with it at our current high-tide level… In order to graphically demonstrate the local real estate reality of the new sea-levels should we all do nothing & the Greenland ice-cap melts.
    Loads of love to you lads!

  3. kerry says:

    As promised, here's a globalised version of the Step It Up! call, plus a bit of expansionist wind-up hot off the top of the GAiA mind!
    I am going to start e-mailing this everywhere I can…
    Step It Up 2007 – Global Gathering – Day of Climate Action on April 14, 2007
    A Letter from Bill McKibben, Dr. Glen Barry and Kerry Martin
    Dear Friends

  4. Firstly, I'd like to say you have a great site and seem incredibly dedicated to Climate Change and Global Warming.
    I am no expert on this subject, but I am equally concerned about the changes taking place. Be that as it may, I hope you don't mind if I offer some comments.
    You mentioned that “the largest rally yet held in the U.S. about global warming drew a thousand people”. It is of course sad that so few people are prepared to unite for such an important cause, but the question I ask myself is why?
    The answer I keep getting is that people don't believe their voices are going to make any difference, or maybe they are not yet sufficiently convinced of how serious this is?
    Unfortunately, the government have done a pretty good job of confusing everyone, and as we have heard in the news recently, even paid some scientists to “play down” the potential dangers.
    With so much misinformation around, simply presenting the public with cold hard facts doesn't have quite the same effect as it used to. I believe that a different approach can perhaps help.
    Providing information in the form of a novel or film (dare I use “The Day After Tomorrow” as an example?) seems to stir up people's interest much more quickly. Of course it helps if the information in the film is reasonably accurate, but these have done a lot of good for the cause.
    I'm not sure if “An Inconvenient Truth” is such a good example, but it did get a lot of publicity and keeps the Climate problem in the news.
    With this thought in mind I recently wrote a novel called “Global Warming – The Final Solution”. I really wanted to just write a book exploring all the facts, but I have written quite a few articles on the subject and they just didn't seem to have the right effect.
    Whilst there is no doubt that mankind is doing its best to worsen the problem of Global Warming, I am not convinced this is the main cause. As far as I can see, this problem is appearing on other planets in our system, which seems to suggest we should be looking at other areas as well.
    It is interesting to note that our solar system passes around our galaxy every 250 million years, and if our historic records are correct, our planet experienced much higher temperatures and sea levels at this time. Could it be that this area of the galaxy creates this problem? It does seem a strange coincidence.
    To conclude, what I think we need is more publicity (maybe to frighten the public a little more into taking action), and have sites like yours where they can come to and find out more about the next step.
    I hope you didn't mind my comments, I'm always a little worried about offering “advice” to people who know more about a subject than I do. I wish you every success for the future (our future).

  5. Rob Dentry says:

    The reason the number of participants is not at the level of, “The civil rights movement” is because the environmental “wacko” legions have given us nothing but hyperbole regarding man's effect on the global warming trend.
    Hopefully as a scientist, you Dr Barry wiil be honest about some scientific truths:
    1) All models are based on the same structured scientific assumptions used to produce the 5 days forecast. Seldom do they get that right. Making them Hypothesis, not even theory, and of course as far from fact as possible.
    2)Your models take the processes out somewhere between 50 and 100 years, extending the “5 day forecast guess” to these levels – ridiculous!
    3) 30 years ago the first earth day was predicting a coming ice age, with the same tragic notion that if we did not make a signifigant change in our habits within the next ten years, we would all freeze in our beds. Funny how the ten year “mantra” is again being used only in reverse.
    4) Mans CO2 production levels calculate to approximately 4% of the total production in the natural world. Most of the remaining 96% is being produced naturally by the earth itself through tectonic plate activity.
    Obviously, the best way to stop debate would be toeither accuse me of not liking clean air and a green planet, or perhaps removing this blog, so you don't have to face it at all.
    If you want my support and the support of those that will give you the “marching volumes” of which you speak, you need to be forthcoming about truth, and leave the hyperboly to the flat earth society!
    Please, I beg that you give us ALL of the truth, not just the sound bites from a political agenda, at coercing the lemmings off the cliff.

  6. ewoc says:

    Dear Rob,
    My first suggestion to you is to learn how to write in basic English – that means complete sentences with verbs, parentheses, and even a subject now and then if that suits you. If you cannot meet these basic rules I (and many others) will have a very hard time understanding you.
    As to the alleged similarities between climate models used by the modern generation of climate scientists and the weather forecasting models used by folks generating 5 day forecasts for a TV audience – if you think they are identical you don't understand the basics of climate science and the complexity level that computer models incorporate. That is not to say that current models cannnot improve – they can, and will – but that climate models are entirely different from the models used to forecast short-term weather trends.
    As to the prediction of an ice-age in the 70s, that was based on a single article in Newsweek, published in the US, that has been reproduced over and over in the media to demonstrate, supposedly, that climate scientists are somehow discredited forever because they cannot make up their minds as to whether things are getting colder or warmer. It's a very convenient argument, but one that ignores the advance of knowledge over a 35 year period, as if science stands still and is only advanced when a magazine happens to publish something now and then. Talk about ridiculous! The fact that this article survives today is testament to the ability of climate deniers to manipulate the media in the US (not in the EU or elsewhere in the world, mind you) and the low level of understanding of science in our country at present. Where did you get your information, by the way?

  7. Pat Neuman says:

    I agree that we need to Step It Up 2007. I believe I have stepped it up in reducing greenhouse gas emissions – every year beginning in 2000 to current.
    I was a hydrologist with NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) in hydrologic modeling, river flood prediction, snowmelt and low water outlooks.
    I am now a member of the Climate Crisis Coalition of the Twin Cities and into prairie landscaping for wildlife and my enjoyment.
    I use my extra time to create graphs showing rapid temperature changes using NWS climate records and hydrologic change using USGS and Crops of Engineers hydrologic data available from the Internet. The public can view my graphs at my Newsvine and YahooPhotos web addresses.
    My belief that rapid global warming and climate/hydrologic change in the Upper Midwest have been occurring got me in trouble at work (NWS North Central River Forecast Center office in Chanhassen, MN) beginning in January of 2000. I was removed from my job on July 15, 2005 by NWS for insisting and being outspoken in my concerns and goals to dealing with climate and hydrologic change.

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