Your mother is calling… she needs your help. Mother Earth, that is!
This Sunday, on April 25, the largest Earth Day Climate Rally in history will take place on the Mall in Washington D.C. I’m going to be there this year (thanks to the AARP’s Create the Good, Expedia, Starwood Hotels and the Earth Day Network) and I’m asking you to join me too. Don’t worry – if you can’t make it to D.C., there are plenty of things you can still do for Earth Day 2010, just click here for more information.
Organized by Earth Day Network, this year’s climate rally will focus attention on the pressing need for stringent and effective climate legislation. Gathering on the Mall, tens of thousands of people are expected between the Capitol Building and the White House to pressure lawmakers in Congress to adopt regulations to finally move us away from fossil fuel energy sources.
We’ll be demanding real change – the call for action carries with it the weight of expectations of future generations. As Earth Day celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, the need for meaningful, protective laws to help save our planet is greater than ever.
I’ve been an environmental blogger for the past two years, building on my experiences as an environmental and land use lawyer since the early 1990s. I’ve witnessed the development of Earth Day over the years, since its inception in my hometown of Seattle, Washington back in 1970, to its global reach today.
The national coordinator for the original Earth Day, Denis Hayes, is now the international chair of Earth Day 2010. Mr. Hayes recently explained, in his own words, why the Earth Day Climate Rally this year is critically important:
In 1970, I told huge Earth Day crowds in Washington, DC, Chicago, and New York: “We won’t appeal anymore to the conscience of institutions because institutions have no conscience. If we want them to do what is right, we must make them do what is right. We will use proxy fights, lawsuits, demonstration, research, boycotts, and—above all—ballots…. If we let this become just a fad, it will be our last fad.”
Earth Day organizers created a Dirty Dozen campaign that made “the environment” a voting issue in the 1970 elections. One of the seven Congressmen we defeated that fall was George Fallon, chairman of the House Public Works Committee: the “pork” committee. THAT got their attention. If Chairman Fallon was vulnerable, everyone in politics was vulnerable.
Over the next three years, despite fierce opposition from the most powerful vested interests in the land, Congress passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and a half-dozen other far-reaching laws that have utterly transformed the way America does business.
Now we must do it again.
Just as the original climate rallies following the first Earth Day in 1970 led to foundational environmental legislation, this year’s Earth Day needs to be a catalyst for change once again. Hayes and others agree that a switch to clean renewable energy resources including solar, wind and geothermal is an important first step. Adopting stringent cap and trade legislation is another critical piece of the puzzle. Federal laws must dictate these changes, and we cannot afford to wait any longer.
If you live near Washington, D.C., you can help make a difference April 25. Come to the Earth Day Climate Rally – bring your family, friends and neighbors! We need every voice there possible!
The event will be held all afternoon this Sunday. Inspiring speakers from all walks of life will be attending. Hear from government officials, scientists, business executives, policy gurus, athletes and cultural leaders and environmentalists. The list includes people like the Environmental Protection Agency chief (Lisa Jackson), Bobby Kennedy, Phillipe Cousteau, James Hansen, Margaret Atwood, James Cameron, Jesse Jackson, and many, many more!
If you’re like me, you’re probably really excited to hear live entertainment from Sting, and other environmentally-conscious entertainers (including, but not limited to John Legend, Booker T, Mavis Staples, Bob Weir, The Roots). In between inspiring speeches at the Climate Rally, you can enjoy live performances you won’t forget.
But don’t come just for Sting. Come for our precious planet.
To quote Denis Hayes again:
The junk science, climate-disruption-denying interest groups will lose because 19th century answers won’t solve 21st century problems.
Hope to see you in the Mall this Sunday! Drop me a note if you’re going to be there.
If not, stay tuned… I’ll continue blogging about my experiences during the Earth Day events in Washington, D.C. this year!