1,100 people Rally at MN State Capitol
Otto Fires up the Crowd with ... Facts and Science?
By Guest Blogger | Sep 25, 2011 | Comments (10)
“They fooled us once, but the evidence is overwhelming today. Climate change is real and it’s time to fight back against the climate deniers” said Shawn Lawrence Otto, international science advocate, filmmaker and author of Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America.
"It's pretty astonishing when a crowd cheers just to hear verifiable scientific facts," said Otto. "It speaks to how far our national policymakers have drifted from reality."
200 bikers rode from Minneapolis' Stone Arch Bridge to the capitol, joining 150 worshipers who marched in an interfaith procession with the message that taking action on climate change is a moral imperative.
Fires in the Boundary Waters, tornadoes in North Minneapolis, and famine in Somalia have affected many Twin Cities families and helped increse awareness of climate change, organizers said. Speaker Zainab Hassan said she recently traveled to Somalia and asked the audience “to remember the impact of famine and drought on our loved ones back home in the horn of Africa.”
“This is not just an issue of rising sea levels," said Jack Hedin, a farmer from Rushford, MN. "We have suffered the devastating loses of crops right here in Minnesota.”
Emcee Karen Monahan hosted telephone conversations with internationally known climate activists Bill McKibben and Van Jones. “President Obama always said he would need pressure to help him move his agenda forward," said McKibben, author and co-founder of 350.org. "We're doing more than signing petitions--people in every corner of the country are showing the path ahead. This movement is only growing--and, sadly, every weird storm and devastating drought will make it bigger still.”
Maureen Hackett, a physician and former congressional candidate, was one of the event organizers. She said she started focusing on the climate when she realized it was impacting vulnerable people. Hackett called on federal policymakers to recognize that the “deafening silence that we are hearing from our elected officials is really consent. We need our elected leaders to lead, and address the climate crisis.”
Fifty five organizations and businesses sponsored the event, many hosting booths. “We were thrilled with the energy,” said Julia Nerbonne, acting director of MN350.org, the coalition of organizations and individuals that hosted the event "to inspire Minnesotans to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis."
Nearly 180 countries participated in the Moving Planet day of action, with more than 2000 actions across the globe and nearly 700 US cities joining in to move beyond fossil fuels.
MN350.org represents the citizen climate movement in Minnesota.
350.org is an international grassroots climate campaign organizing in over 180 countries. The movement is named for 350ppm, the safe upper limit of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We are currently at 392ppm.
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Tags: Climate Change, Politics, Environment, Religion, Energy, Economics, Health, Faith-based, Fool Me Twice, Netroots, Speaking