That’s the collective sigh of a dozen organizers who made the SAVE NOLA – STOP GLOBAL WARMING – STEP IT UP kickoff happen. We had a brass band (hear Soul Rebels on myspace here:) We had speakers from the National Sierra Club President Lisa Renstrom, to NOLA’s city council President Oliver Thomas. We had 200 people in bright red t-shirts (and 300 hundred disgruntled folks who really wanted a bright red t-shirt - again, sorry about running out, but really, it was a good sign) sitting on the levee in the lower 9th ward, the levees that we rely on to protect our city from two of the biggest climate change impacts, sea level rise and increased storm severity. What each element had in common was our call for action. It was said again and again in the speeches we heard, and said again in the words we spelled on the levee.
In the city that tells the story of climate change impacts better than any other, and in the city where some of the best global warming solutions are being put in place as we recover from Katrina, we can’t wait any longer. We were honored and excited to kick off the event, the moment that we believe will spark a movement.
While we were the first event, I think we were also the first event to get our message directly to our target (and I’m not talking about the coverage on Saturday’s Good Morning America, though that was cool). This afternoon I was at a convening of the Gulf Coast Recovery fund and saw Senator Mary Landrieu in the hotel lobby! Senator Landrieu has supported minimal action on climate change in the past (the Carper Bill) but hasn’t cosponsored ANY of the climate change legislation currently flooding the Senate. I grabbed my computer, sat down on at her table and fired up our slide show. She saw the speakers, the crowd, and the money shot of 200 of her constituents spelling out STEP IT UP on our levees. The message was to her, and I was able to get it to her immediately. She committed to support capping carbon emissions, acknowledging that voluntary measures won’t cut it. I urged her on behalf of the 500 attendees at the rally, the 15 organizations that cosponsored it, and the IPCC report that names the
I know she heard me say it, let’s keep pushing to make sure she hears all you too!