Saturday, April 14, 2007

Prez's post


Favorite Photo from "The Step It Up" Event in New Orleans. This is Warren, he came to the Step It Up event. Warren lives with his wife and family in the house behind him in the lower ninth ward, Holy Cross Neighborhood of New Orleans. He moved back post Katrina this January. The lower ninth now has ten solar collector locations and they want to rebuild carbon neutral.

The next best picture, will hopefully be in the New York Times with everyone sitting on the ninth ward levee with their red "Save New Orleans" T-Shirts on spelling out with their bodies STEP IT UP.

Thank you and congratulations Darryl Malek Wiley and Aaron Viles for organizing a hugely successful event.

Below is the outline of the speech I used - entitled - "WHY YOU WILL REMEMBER TODAY."

Lisa Renstrom
Sierra Club

Step It Up
Speech for first "Step It Up" Rally
9th Ward Levee, Holy Cross Neighborhood, New Orleans


Thank you

You are going to remember today!

You are going to remember today because

Being here, in this iconic place, to ask Congress to step up their action to curb global warming is

1) a part of history
2) a part of a movement
3) a turning point

Today is a part of a larger history -

113 years ago, the Sierra Club was founded by men who knew that in wildness is the preservation of the world. This realization was the birth of the environmental movement. The Sierra Club was at its core.

In this first era of the Sierra Club and of the environmental movement, we recognized the value of protecting special places. This recognition went beyond preservation; it spilled over into literature and the arts. It became a permanent part of the American culture.

The next era, the 2nd era of the environmental movement was a reaction to pollution Brown air and burning rivers, Love Canal and Three Mile Island caught our attention. The industrial assault on our air and water quality, and unregulated chemical dumping rekindled America's environmental awareness. The Sierra Club responded. Modern environmental activism was born.

In the 1960's and 70's we took on the responsibility of protecting not only our special places, we took on the responsibility of protecting the health of Americans. The health of the planet.

This challenge, this responsibility, seemed colossal. It was literally and figuratively David versus Goliath. The villains though, were easy to see; the pollution, easy to identify; the cause and effect between toxins and life obvious.

People just like us, in fact many of us, faced the enormous challenge of educating Americans and enlisting them in environmental protection. We were bold and aggressive - adept at championing, passing and enforcing environmental legislation.

Today we are entering the third wave of the movement - the climate phase.

You are going to remember today because you are part of a movement.

Think of a movement as a confluence of rivers all flowing toward a gulf that opens to the sea.

Today we are seeing new rivers forming heading to this sea of social change.

The faith community's waters are rising with the moral imperative to care for Gods creation and fight climate injustice.

The business community waters are rising as they use their influence to demand a price on carbon

The tributaries that link these rivers are expanding and flowing.

The waters are rising and the movement is gaining momentum, velocity and power.

You are going to remember today because we are at a turning point.

Bill Moyers movement action plan (MAP) model of social movements indicates that we are in the "take-off" mode where movement groups proliferate, new tactics evolve, and the movement appears to be everywhere.

In the past 6 months we have seen California Governor Schwarzenegger pass the first legislation to reduce green house gas emission in every sector of the economy, COE of major fortune 500 companies call for immediate action to address Climate Change, a Presidential Candidate declare his campaign climate neutral, and a Supreme Courth ruling enabling the Federal Government to regulate carbon from vehicles. Green has become cool. Green has become the new patriotism, the new red white and blue.

You are going to remember today because we are standing in an iconic place.

We are standing on the levee, 20 months after Katrina, in the lower 9th Holy Cross neighborhood in New Orleans, asking Congress to Step It Up.

To take the steps necessary to reduce carbon 80% by 2050.

But - make no mistake about it - the Holy Cross Neighborhood association is not waiting for Washington - they are taking action NOW. They have committed torebuild the lower nine carbon neutral. They currently are producing more energy from renewable sources than the rest of New Orleans.

This neighborhood was devastated by flooding and resident were not allowed to reenter for almost a year. But today dozens of former and current Holy Cross residents are here, joined by 300 supporters.

So that is way we are going to remember today!

We have the solutions,

we are gathering the will.

We are a part of history,

a part of a movement and today is a turning point.

Thank you

No comments: