Convenient Truths: Time to Step It Up!


With just over a month left to enter, it's definitely time to step it up on your efforts to create a video for the Treehugger and Seventh Generation Convenient Truths contest. Videos keep coming in, and they're good; we also want to see what you're doing to lessen your personal impact on the climate. Don't let the opportunity to claim your share of almost $30,000 in prizes slip away -- February 28th is the entry deadline!

We're not the only ones encouraging you to "Step It Up," though: author and activist Bill McKibben, along with six college graduates earning only $100 a week, are organizing the single biggest day of action on global warming, Step It Up 2007. If all goes as planned (and it's already looking really good), thousands of Americans will gather in hundreds of rallies around the country on April 14th to call for a commitment by the government to an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. According to the first of McKibben's twelve dispatches at Grist on the organizing effort, the simultaneous actions will be as diverse as the country itself:

Americans will gather in iconic places across the country. Some will be familiar at a glance: the top of the Grand Teton, underwater off Hawaii's coral reefs, on the levees above the Ninth Ward, along a blue line on Canal Street in Manhattan that marks the city's possible new beachfront. Others will be less famous: the steps of your church, the picnic grove in your city park, the biggest barn in your county. But everywhere people will be saying, loud and clear, that it's finally time for serious action from Washington, D.C., on the mightiest problem the world has ever faced.

All you need to take part is a crowd -- small in small places, bigger in big places -- and a digital camera. By nightfall we'll have a cascade of images for everyone, including local and national media, to look at. We'll have proof that Americans care deeply enough to act. It should be lovely in every sense of the word.

The idea isn't just to take action on one day, though: McKibben claims that while Americans continue to recognize the threat posed by the climate crisis, "...we don't have a movement—the largest rally yet held in the U.S. about global warming drew a thousand people." (our emphasis) Of course, none of this will happen without many American stepping up to the challenge. Currently, volunteers have planned 327 events; another 327 wouldn't hurt.

If you want to join in this movement, visit the Step It Up 2007 website (which is quite new, but big changes are in the works). Join an event, or volunteer to organize one. Politicians don't create movements: they get on board with ones established by others. It's time to get the U.S. Congress to step it up by showing them Americans are serious about climate change.

For a closer look at Step It Up 2007's founder, take a look at this video on McKibben created by Seventh Generation and Black and Blue Productions. Then take another step: send your own video to the Convenient Truths contest.