The Moving Planet March in San Francisco on September 24, 2011. Photo credit: Matt Wyatt.
This past weekend, hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S. (even more globally) took to the streets, local parks, bike trails, public monuments, and more to call for the U.S. and others to move beyond fossil fuels.The global fossil fuel infrastructure is a threat to our future everywhere, and a common target for our movement. It's polluting our oceans, our land, our communities, our air, and our children's lungs. And looming largest, the continued burning of coal and oil is what will tip climate change into climate catastrophe.
The Sierra Club joined 350.org in sponsoring Moving Planet, and we're happy to report that it was amazing. Sierra Club chapters nationwide brought people together to take action against local coal plants, to call for better transportation choices in their cities, and much more.
Here are some highlights.
Montpelier, Vermont: More than 1,500 people attended the rally there (which our organizers said may be the biggest rally the state's ever had!), and Sierra Club folks talked up great local renewable energy projects and the importance of protecting forests.
Alexandria, Virginia: The Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Greenpeace, and 350.org joined Sierra Club Virginia in hosting a day of festivities. They celebrated September's announcement that the ancient, dirty the GenOn Potomac River Coal Plant would be shutting down by October of next year.
More 60 participants gathered near the plant, decorating their bikes and other non-fossil fuel-based modes of transportation before moving to nearby Oronoco Bay Park for a rally supporting offshore wind power and other renewable energy sources.
Villa Park, Illinois: Bikes, bands, and awards led the day in Villa Park, where hundreds of folks gathered for Moving Planet.
Iowa City, Iowa: Dozens of Sierra Club activists and coalition members biked and marched to call for moving beyond fossil fuels and toward clean energy.
The Sierra Club Moving Planet event in Anchorage, Alaska. Photo credit: Emily Fehrenbacher.
Harlingen, Texas: How about a nice bike tour of renewable energy sites? Harlingen activists did just that on Saturday.
Missoula, Montana: More than 150 volunteers turned out to join Sierra Club, Montana Audubon, University of Montana Climate Action Now, Missoula Free Cycles and others. The attendees promoted increasing sustainable transportation, producing local food, and restoring public lands as part of five service projects around the community. Thirty bicycles were assembled from scrap parts for use by the general public.
San Francisco, California: More than 1,000 people gathered for the Moving Planet event there, where they marched and listened to speakers (including Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune) call for action.
The list of events goes on and on. We were proud to be part of such a major movement, and we will continue our work to move beyond fossil fuels and toward clean energy.
Clean energy will build healthy, thriving communities and create new jobs. The clean energy industry is growing rapidly and has already created millions of American jobs.
Moving beyond fossil fuels will help us better tap the vast economic potential behind wind and solar while cleaning up our air and water, making for healthier and more prosperous communities.
We stood together on Sept. 24 to challenge corporate polluters who want to keep us shackled to fossil fuels. Let's keep up the momentum.