Portland warming rally good start, but…

Portland, Oregon

As I approached Terry Schrunk Plaza in downtown Portland, I was unsure of what I would encounter at the Global Warming Rally, which was one of 1300 actions around the country sponsored by a group call Step it Up. I suspected it would be one more lame event of the kind which the mainstream environmentalist organizations tend to put on: ie, lots of talk about lobbying and speeches by politicians.

I was exactly right-on in my expectations. Eric Sten talked about what a wonderful job Portland has done – presumeably under his leadership. Rep. Dingfelder urged support for several half-assed but “crucial” initiatives making their way through the state legislative chambers. I heard a lot of ra ra ra.

It would have been dispiriting if it weren’t for all of the youthful idealism in the crowd.It would have been dispiriting if it weren’t for all of the youthful idealism in the crowd. I say this metaphorically, because, even though a lot of the audience was young, there were also a kind of contagious idealism in the faces of older people as well.

But I don’t think that most of these people are even close to understanding the danger we are in, or the changes which are coming our way in the best of scenarios.

Step it Up’s goal is to get the government to agree to “80 percent reduction in carbon” by 2050. Okay, this is necessary. No argument here.

But the real problem is that we can’t wait. If we don’t do something drastic in the next few years, it could all be too late. There is mounting evidence, accumulated since the recent UN report was drafted, that polar ice is melting at ever-increasing rates which may already be irreversible. We will soon go into feedback loops which release tons of methane into the atmosphere. The science community is saying this, not me.

The machine has to stop, folks. We are looking, in this century, at die-offs, and mass migrations, and wars of survival on a scale never seen in the history of humanity.

Hyperbole? I think not. Please wake up.

Global warming rally, April 14

Website: Face It Oregon

what: rally in downtown Portland
when: 1-3 pm saturday, april 14
where: terry schrunk plaza, sw 3rd and madison, portland
why: because we are the solution

Over the past six months a veritable avalanche of information and publicity has brought the issue of global warming to the forefront of public awareness and discourse in the United States. From the covers of Vanity Fair and Time to the Oscar-awarding winning success of An Inconvenient Truth, global warming seems to be the issue that everyone is talking about. On Saturday, April 14th, a rally will be held in downtown Portland calling on Oregon’s legislators and citizens to take action on one of the most challenging issues currently facing Oregonians, global warming.

The Rally will be held from 1-3 pm at Terry Schrunk Plaza on SW 3rd and Madison in downtown Portland in conjunction with the “The National Day of Climate Action,” which will include over 1,100 demonstrations in each of the 50 states. The Face it. We are the Solution to Global Warming Rally will feature speakers ranging from politicians to community activists to young people and music from local artists. In addition to being able to join hundreds of others in a pledge to measure and reduce their global warming footprint, participants at the rally will have the opportunity to record video messages that will be delivered to Oregon policy makers.
        -from Face It Oregon website.