On Saturday, April 14, thousands of people across the country rallied to curtail global warming as part of a national day of action on global warming called "Step It Up." Every group said the same thing: Step it up, Congress! Groups and individuals called on the lawmakers to enact immediate cuts in carbon emissions, and pledge an 80 percent reduction by 2050.
Several thousand gathered on the Capitol Mall in St. Paul, listening to Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Rep. Keith Ellison, Rep. Betty McCollum and explorer Ann Bancroft. The event, sponsored by the Sierra Club, was designed to not only make a Twin Cities statement on global warming, but to help create a network of concerned voices. More than 50 organizations, including HOURCAR, EarthSave Twin Cities, Lutheran Church of the Reformation, Organic Consumers Association, National Environmental Trust and Blue Green Alliance co-sponsored the event and provided information on site.
Workshops on bicycle commuting and interfaith efforts were presented, and musically the bands Gold Standard, Cosmic Railroad and artist Jenny Dalton expressed their sentiments to a partisan crowd.
Locally, the message was about making a difference, locally and globally, and viewing global warming not as a crisis, but an opportunity. Sen. Klobuchar said the development of alternative energy technology can help the economy. Rep. Ellison told the onlookers that this may be the spark that unites the global community.
Attendees signed banners and wore green stickers proclaiming that "I am the Solution." Elsewhere across the nation, people used their creativity to speak for them. A "human postcard" was created on Capitol Hill, spelling out "80% by 2050" with their bodies on the lawn, referring to their demand that Congress pledge to cut carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050.
In Denver, faith community leaders declared that global warming is a significant moral issue and action is needed now. Participants included the Colorado Council of Churches, Eco-Justice Ministries, Colorado Interfaith Power & Light, Republicans for Environmental Protection, and Environment Colorado. In New York City, about 1,200 people formed a line across the city’s financial district near the tip of Manhattan. Demonstrators wore blue and brought beach balls and scuba gear to show that New York could be inundated if sea levels rise due to melting polar ice sheets. A group of six concerned ski mountaineers and two journalists climbed to the top of Wyoming’s highest point, Gannett Peak standing 13,804 feet tall.
People biked together to iconic places, signed petitions, viewed electric cars, marched, rallied, listened to politicians, listened to musicians – all in an effort to tell Congress they want global warming action now.