WASHINGTON -- February 16 -- The Climate Crisis Coalition -- a coalition bringing together environmental, labor, public health, indigenous rights, and religious groups, as well as organizations focusing on environmental justice and human rights -- today announced the launching of a signature-gathering drive around its People's ratification of the Kyoto Global Warming Treaty.
While the Coalition acknowledges that the initial goals of the Kyoto Protocol are too low and its timetable for carbon emissions too long given the escalating rate of warming, the petition includes a pledge " to support subsequent phases of the Kyoto Protocol to reduce worldwide greenhouse emissions by 70 percent."
The petition drive grew out of the Bush Administration's withdrawal of the United States from the climate negotiations -- and its efforts last December in Buenos Aires to prohibit future rounds of climate negotiations from formulating concrete action planes.
Those developments coincide with a declaration by Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the UN-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that the world has about a 10-year window to begin a worldwide transition to non-carbon energy sources "if humanity is to survive."
The Rev. Paul Mayer, a co-founder of the CCC, explained that: "Since our political leadership is abandoning its responsibility to the international community, it seems time for citizens to take this responsibility on themselves." Other founding members of the Coalition include Ted Glick and Connie Hogarth, both New York-based political activists.
The petition drive debuts formally on Feb. 16 -- the day the Protocol comes into force -- with an article in Grist Magazine (www.grist.org) written by honorary CCC member Ross Gelbspan. Gelbspan is the author of two books on the climate crisis, The Heat Is On (1998) and Boiling Point (2004).
The coalition has set up a website for electronic signature gathering (www.kyotoandbeyond.org). It will also gather signatures on petition sheets at grassroots with the help of a number of participating organizations.
The People's Ratification campaign has been endorsed by a number of groups, including Global Exchange, Greenpeace USA, Rainforest Action Network, MADRE, Organic Consumers Association and others. It has attracted a range of endorsements from, among others, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Lester Brown, Barry Commoner, Bill McKibben, Damu Smith, Michael Shellenberger, Pete Seeger, Edward Asner and Aveda, the Art and Science of Pure Plant and Flower Essences (tm) and manufacturer of personal care products based on natural ingredients.