Let her explain:
Join Page and tens of thousands of other concerned citizens of the world this Sunday by attending a Global Work Party, or staging your own. The emphasis is on both 'work' and 'party'. As my colleague and esteemed environmental reporter Mark Hertsgaard wisely noted in a recent piece on 10/10/10, "Taking action is the surest antidote I know to the despair that tempts anyone who gazes unflinchingly at the climate challenge."
So, in Auckland, New Zealand, they’re having a giant bike fix-up day, to get every bicycle in the city back on the road. In Kampala, Uganda, they're going to plant thousands of trees, and in Bolivia they’re installing solar stoves for a massive carbon neutral picnic. There are currently more than 6,449 events (and counting) planned around the world.
This burst of action will set a record. As 350.org founder Bill McKibben explained in a recent email, the 5249th event registered set the record for the greatest number of recorded protests in a single day in world history. It was organized by Biljana from Serbia, who plans to take a group of second and fourth graders on an "eco field trip" to volunteer at an sustainable farm, participate in green workshops, and do a trash clean-up, after which they'll be finish up by forming a big "350" for a group photo that they will send into 350.org.
Jamie Henn of 350.org was kind enough to refer us to some of the other spots around the world where he expects some exciting events to take place.
- Los Angeles, where thousands of people are expected to take part in "Ciclavia," when 7.5 miles of streets will be closed to cars and opened to pedestrian and bicycle traffic.
- Oakland, in one of 20 planned events in the Bay Area, where hundreds of citizens, politicians and musicians will party and plant a community garden at Oakland's Laney College.
- New York City, where community members in Harlem will paint the roof of a local high school white to reflect the sun and save energy by reducing the ned for air conditioning.
- Washington, DC, where residents will install 10kw of solar on a local home, host a special farmers market, and rally for climate solutions at the White House.
- New Bedford, MA, where hundreds of residents will join Mayor Scott Lang to weatherize a home as part of the city's goal of weatherizing 10,000 homes. The event includes a block party, a climate basketball game, and a concert.
- Atlanta, GA, where parishioners of many faiths will join together for a climate justice service at the Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, and will participate in a church weatherization event following the service.
- Houston, TX, where citizens will launch “GreenWeek Houston” by picking up trash and planting trees in the Greater Fifth Ward neighborhood.
- Burlington, VT, where Senator Leahy will join Mayor Kiss and gubernatorial candidate Peter Shumlin for a rally at Battery Park following a day of service across the city.
- Minneapolis, Minnesota, where hundreds of community members will conduct a bike ride and rally across from the last coal burning power plant in Minneapolis.
- Male, Maldives, where President Nasheed will be installing a set of solar panels on his roof on October 7 to kick off the weekend of action.
- Russia and Croatia, where intrepid organizers have signed up nearly 10,000 schools to plant trees on 10/10/10.
- Babylon, where Iraqi students will host a clean energy rally to put solar panels on the University of Babylon.
The goal of all these many actions is not to solve the climate crisis one project at a time, but to send a clear political message to the political class: if average citizens can get to work combating climate change, then you get to work too--on the legislation and the treaties that could literally make the difference in keeping the planet habitable.
As McKibben told The Nation in an email interview, "The one thing that really matters, in the end, isn't screwing in a new lightbulb. It's screwing up your courage to organize, organize, organize for the next two years, until we've built a movement big enough to take on big energy."
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