Monday, April 16, 2007

Step It Up 2007 -- Atlanta

Our Step It Up 2007 event in Atlanta was a huge success! It was held at Morehouse College--the school that Martin Luther King, Jr., Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, and filmmaker Spike Lee graduated from.

We started out the day with a Teach-In. Electric Vehicle Club showcased their cool cars. The "Sparrow" got a lot of attention.
We showed Kilowatt Ours, a film about solutions to America's energy related problems. We had four workshops: The Impact of Climate Change on Human Communities (David Tan and Sonja Ebron; Reducing Your Energy Consumption (Allison A. Bailes, III and Debbie Moll); An Interfaith Response to Global Warming (Alan Jenkins and Jennifer Downs); and Transportation in Metro Atlanta (Anna Cherry, Emory McClinton, and Ryan Gravel).

We also had tables on the veranda that showcased organizations concerned about climate change.
Gail Tverberg from Atlanta Beyond Oil explains Peak Oil to a participant.

Workshop Participants ask Congress to Step It Up and reduce emissions 80% by 2050!

We rallied in front of the Martin Luther King Chapel-where the National Champions Graves Hall Step Team stepped it up!

Paula Gordon inspired us with her invocation.
MC "T.L." Gray holds the mic.

Longtime Activiest Bob Goodman makes his point.

State Representative Brian Thomas explained to us that politicians will respond to our pressure--they want to be reelected, after all! Step one? Register to vote!

Cynthia Hewitt spoke of the relationship of Global Warming to Social Justice issues.

NaTaki Osborne called on us to be an inclusive movement and take action.

About 150 people showed up to tell Congress to Step It Up. (Unfortunately we were competing with an Obama rally that drew 20,000.)
The Grave's Hall Step Team pumped us up with a final performance:

Afterwards participants went to the Dogwood Festival and spread the message about climate change!

Thank you volunteers, the steering committee, and sponsoring organizations. For more information about the emerging Climate Coalition, stay tuned to

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Climate Change Action Day

Hi everyone,

I'm sorry I've been MIA. I have a good excuse, thought, I got involved in a new project: Bill McKibben's National Day of Climate Action; the "Step It Up" campaign. The basic message is to Congress: to mandate that we reduce our carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. We want media coverage, but mostly we want to build a mass movement, along the lines of the Civil Rights movement, because Congress MUST act.

As of today, there are 713 actions planned across the nation. Here in Atlanta, we are making big plans. We would like to have a rally, and are hoping to get 1000 people there. We haven't determined the location yet, but we want it meaningful and make a splash. I'll update you as we get locations and speakers and activities confirmed.

When Atlanta Beyond Oil decided on our name, we wanted something that would encompass climate change as well as peak oil issues. When this event showed up on our horizon, we were motivated to understand the connections between climate change and peak oil. At our last meeting, we had speakers from the Georgia Interfaith Power and Light, a wonderful organization that works on energy issues with the faith-based community, as well as the Sierra Club's "Cool Cities" campaign.

Both are working with their target communities to support them in taking steps towards decreasing our fossil fuel use.

We also asked our members to read Richard Heinberg's January Museletter on "Bridging Peak Oil and Climate Change," so we could have a discussion. Its a long article, but well worth the read, as it lays out the basic problems that the two communities have to overcome in order to work together. Another article of note is Michael Kare's "Global Warming: It's About Energy."

With our StepItUpAtlanta campaign, we are hoping to build a Climate Coalition. We would like to build bridges between the Peak Oil, Environmental, Social Justice, and EcoJustice, EcoTheological and the new TheoEcological communities. We want to include people from both sides of the aisle, and all demographic groups.

We need to articulate these connections--what does peak oil and climate change have to do with human rights? As well as bring home what we can learn from Katrina--basically, that the status quo is NOT adequate to the challenge.

The future of our planet is at stake!

This morning the Step It Up Atlanta organizing committee had our fourth meeting. We really wanted to get as many groups as possible to the table, so that we could get input on our program. We brainstormed on our vision, values, and message that we wanted to send with our events. We discussed where to have the rally. We also broke out into task groups: Organizational Outreach, Logistics, Program, Publicity, and Finance. It takes a lot to put together an event, especially of the size we are hoping for!

Your's truly is the head of the Logistic team. This means glamorous things like porta-potties. But hey, some body's got to do it!

Anyway I'll keep you posted on the developments. And I encourage you to have your own action in your own community. It doesn't have to be elaborate. The point is to take an irrisitable picture for the media. Here are some ideas.