On September 8, 2018, join people around the world who are taking part in the Rise for Climate day of action to demand jobs, justice, and 100% renewable energy.
Rise for Climate is a worldwide event with hundreds of actions planned for the Saturday before the Global Climate Action Summit that California Governor Jerry Brown is hosting in San Francisco September 12-14, 2018.
If you can make it to San Francisco, you have an opportunity to participate in what is shaping up to be the largest climate march ever to occur on the West Coast. You could be one of the thousands of people taking to the streets carrying signs and loudly informing government officials and corporate CEOs that you want green jobs, environmental justice, and a society powered by renewable energy, now.
This may sound silly, but I can attest to the magic of picking up a sign and carrying it in a march with people of every hue, ethnicity, age, gender, and religion who have come together for a common purpose.
Although I am still a fledgling activist, my transformation began on February 7, 2015, at the March For Real Climate Leadership in Oakland, California.
My spouse and I were part of a contingent from San Luis Obispo who had boarded a bus in the pouring rain at 6:30 that morning. It was our first time participating in a protest march with thousands of other people.
Being a newbie, it did not occur to me that I needed a sign until after I got off the bus in Oakland.
Fortunately, a volunteer walked by and pointed out a collection of signs made by a group of artistic volunteers. The sign I selected must have had magical powers because as soon as I hefted it and waved it about I felt like an activist.
For those of you who cannot go to San Francisco (like me) look for an action closer to home or create your action (suggestions at the end of this post).
“When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.” —Pauline R. Kezer
Global Climate Action Summit
On June 1, 2017, President Trump announced that he was pulling the United States out of the Paris Agreement an international climate agreement adopted at the 2015 United Nations Framework on Climate Change. A month later, Governor Jerry Brown announced that the State of California would convene the world’s climate leaders in San Francisco in September 2018 for the Global Climate Action Summit.
“President Trump is trying to get out of the Paris Agreement, but he doesn’t speak for the rest of America. We in California and in states all across America believe it’s time to act, it’s time to join together and that’s why at this Climate Action Summit we’re going to get it done.” —Governor Jerry Brown (07/06/17 press release)
You can read about the Summit on the Global Climate Action Summit website.
Rise for Climate Global Day of Action
Long before email notices began appearing in my inbox a month or so ago, the Rise for Climate steering committee was already hard at work putting this global day of action together. 350.org is spearheading the event using their formidable Internet only organizing platform, but hundreds of local people and groups on five continents are doing the actual planning and organizing.
Climate change is not some amorphous future problem. It is already contributing to extreme heat, flooding, wildfires, pollution, and drought devastating the lives of people all over the world. Bureaucratic negotiations have been dragging on for decades and are not getting the job done.
People are mobilizing on September 8 to bring attention to the Global Climate Action Summit and to tell our state and local leaders that we need them to step up, now.
“We need every local government and institution to commit to building 100% renewable energy and stopping new dirty energy projects in their community. Anything less than that is out of line with what science and justice demand.”
You can find out about the San Francisco march and other actions around the world on the Rise for Climate website.
If You Cannot Be There, You Can Still Take Action
On September 8, I will be aboard the California Zephyr Amtrak train on my way to a visit Nebraska with two long-time friends so I cannot make it to San Francisco. However, I can still do something for the Rise for Climate global day of action and so can you even if you have to work that day, have already made other plans, or just cannot make it to San Francisco or a local event.
Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
- Spread the word about the Rise for Climate global day of action.
- Talk to your family, friends, and/or coworkers about climate change and renewable energy.
- Write a letter or call one or more of your state or local elected officials asking them to stop new fossil fuel projects and support renewable energy projects.
- Walk, bike, or take public transportation to a place you would normally drive.
- Call a local solar installer to make an appointment to evaluate your roof for solar panels.
- Display a Rise for Climate poster in a visible location.
- Follow the action on September 8 and share it on social media.
- Wear a t-shirt promoting renewable energy.
- Have some friends over to watch a film about oil and natural gas fracking or mountaintop removal coal mining.
- Write a letter to the editor about Rise for Climate and/or the Global Climate Action Summit.
My Rise for Climate Actions
This blog post is a means of spreading the word and I will be promoting it on social media.
If this letter to the editor of the San Luis Obispo Tribune makes it into the paper, I will update this post.
I printed the above posters to display on the windows of my train compartment and I made the flyer with a template. I have extras in case I meet any like-minded people on the train. I am grateful to the Rise for Climate artists that create flyers, posters, signs, banners, and other pieces of art for us to use (you can find them on the Rise for Climate website here).
What are you doing to Rise for Climate?
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” —Barack Obama
Update: The San Luis Obispo Tribune chose not to publish my letter. On the train, many people walking by my compartment at least looked at the posters including the Amtrak staff. I am a fan of train travel so using paper and markers provided by my friend, I made an “I heart trains” poster and taped it to my window.
Featured Image at Top: Rise for Climate signs ready for the San Francisco March on September 8, 2018 – Photo Credit 350.org on Flickr
- 350.org – a Global Grassroots Movement to Solve the Climate Crisis
- Coastal Cleanup Day – Picking up Litter is Empowering
- Hands Across The Sand for a Clean Energy Future
- Hip Hop Caucus – Civil and Human Rights for the 21st Century
- March For Real Climate Leadership – Don’t Frack California
- People’s Climate March – September 21, 2014 in New York City
- San Luis Obispo County Says No to Phillips 66 Oil Trains
- San Luis Obispo Science Fans March for Science
- Sierra Club – Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet
- Tools for Grassroots Activists – Book Review
- California Governor Brown Announces Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco in September 2018 – press release, Office of Edmund G. Brown Jr., 07/06/17
- Global Climate Action Summit 2018
- Look beyond tech in the lead up to SF climate summit – by Antonio Diaz and Bill McKibben, San Francisco Examiner, 08/26/18
- One Month to Major International Climate Mobilisation – 350.org press release, Common Dreams, 08/08/18
- Paris Agreement – Wikipedia
- Remarks Announcing United States Withdrawal From the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Paris Agreement – President Donald J. Trump, 06/01/17, The American Presidency Project
- Rise for Climate