MOVING PLANET -- SEPTEMBER 24, 2011 -- A DAY TO MOVE BEYOND FOSSIL FUELS
In 2010, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was just shy of 390 parts per million (ppm) -- up from 280 ppm at the start of the Industrial Revolution and well beyond the 350 ppm that leading climate scientists say is the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere. April that year was the warmest of any April on record, and 2010 was tied with 2005 as the warmest year on record. Moreover, energy-related CO2 emissions hit their highest level ever in 2010.
Despite the evidence that burning fossil fuels is the chief culprit behind these numbers, efforts to curb CO2 emissions are at a standstill. So to change the political dynamic, a global demonstration -- Moving Planet -- is in the works, to mobilize against climate change and get the world back on track, below 350 ppm.
On September 24, 2011, people in thousands of communities across the globe will be on the move, calling attention to the need to get off of fossil fuels and move towards a sustainable, renewably-powered future. With marches, bike rides, and community rallies, they will demonstrate their commitment to protecting the planet and send a message to policymakers everywhere that it's time to get moving on the climate crisis. This worldwide demonstration is being coordinated by 350.org, the lead sponsor of last year's international day of action, the 10/10/10 campaign.
Help make sure your League and your community are part of this global movement. Start by reaching out to other like-minded groups to partner with your League in planning and carrying out a Moving Planet event. The more people involved, the greater the impact wil be -- with the media and with your elected officials -- and the broader the base will be for future climate action in your community.
Leagues can coordinate plans and learn what others are doing on the League's climate change email list. (To join the discussion, visit the For Members section of the LWVUS website.) Or email a description of your project to email@example.com. Take steps to gain visibility and recruit more volunteers by registering your event with Moving Planet. And think of ways to make your action newsworthy and visual and make plans to invite the media to cover it.
Some Ideas for a Moving Planet Event --
- Team up with your local public health community to sponsor a fossil-fuel-free "ramble" emphasizing the link between promoting public health and protecting the planet. Finish with a rally that highlights the EPA's efforts to update critical Clean Air Act protections -- and call on everyone present to make the Clean Air Promise.
- Organize a march, walking party, or bike ride to a strategically chosen destination, e.g., a local park or nature preserve. Conclude with a community picnic, group photo, games, speeches, and presentations about things people can do to live more sustainably.
- Collect signatures on a petition calling on your Member(s) of Congress to pledge to enact strong energy and climate legislation -- no delay and no excuses. Decorate a giant box (a good visual) to hold the petitions and deliver it to your MC's office as part of your walking party.
- Sponsor a children's poster contest illustrating their vision of a future free of fossil fuels. Display the posters and announce the winners on September 24.
- Organize a bike fair featuring such activities as a free bike tune-up, a bike ride around-and-through downtown, and/or a kids bike parade.
- Get people moving with a community dance in a downtown plaza. Arrange for a dance lesson for the crowd. Invite your elected officials and ask them to speak about their plans to address climate change. Distribute lists of 10 things people can do to reduce their carbon footprint.
More ideas and resources are available from Moving Planet.