Natural Patriots throughout the greater Williamsburg area arose yesterday to send a message to Congress: Cut carbon emissions by 80%!
“Step It Up” rallies were held in over 1400 places around the nation. Organizers believe this is the largest environmental demonstration since the first Earth Day in 1970. The mega-event was featured on the front page of the New York Times, as well as by the Associated Press. Here in Hampton Roads, the event was covered by the Daily Press.
The weather was marginal, but in retrospect we got lucky — right now, the next day, it’s crashing down rain! The (relatively weak) rain at the event didn’t deter us, and we had the fine music of Stephen Bennett and Jimmy Masters to keep everyone’s spirits up. We had a concise introduction to the science of climate change by NASA scientist Dr. Bruce Wielicki, and a stirring call-to-arms on the spiritual necessity of tackling global warming from the Reverend Preston Moore of the Williamsburg Unitarian Universalist Church. There were free compact fluorescent light bulbs, information on geothermal energy for your home, speeches by Mayor Jeanne Zeidler and James City County Commissioner Jim McGlennon about how local governments are stepping it up. There were free pizza and cookies. And did I mention the great music? Photos of the event can be viewed or downloaded here.
As Winston Churchill said (I’m paraphrasing this from memory), “This is not the end. It is not the beginning of the end. But it may be the end of the beginning.”
So what’s next? In general terms, there are several ways to move forward the political momentum that got rolling with Step It Up (see ideas here). Locally, the new Williamsburg chapter of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network will carry the torch forward. Stay tuned!
(That’s my niece at left, by the way. Isn’t she precious?)