TreeHugger Steps It Up

We spent quite a lot of our time spreading the word about Step It Up 2007, so we figured we'd best show up ourselves. In the end, over 1400 events were held across the country to put pressure on congress to cut CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050. While the turn out at many events was perhaps surprisingly small, given the huge nature of the problem, the collective numbers must add up (we are yet to see an estimate), and we were proud to have played a part. The decentralized, community focussed nature of these events also lead to huge amounts of coverage in the national, local and regional press.

Pictured here are TreeHuggers Celine Ruben-Salama, Graham Hill and Olga Sasplugas, and they are blessed with the company of the one and only Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping. These guys met up to attend the Sea of People event in NYC, where over 1500 people turned up. Bill Mcgibben and Congressman Anthony Wiener spoke. Elsewhere in the country there were hikes, talks, sales of compact flourescent lightbulbs, and even an under water protest by scuba divers. A growing list of action reports can be found here. TreeHuggers were to be found at plenty of other events around the country too. Details below the fold. And don't forget to use the comments box to tell us about your experiences!

Our very own Jacob Gordon was given the honor of speaking at the Nashville event. Apparently there was a modest turnout, due to impending rain, but those present pushed on regardless. Jacob's speech included thoughts on the changing public discourse around climate change, and the mainstreaming of environmental concerns, and he cited symptoms of this change, such as Newt Gingrich recently abandoning his scepticism, and MTV's Pimp My Ride featuring alternative fuels. Albert Bates, the influential Director of the Global VIllage Institute for Appropriate Technology, and the EcoVillage Training Center at The Farm, also spoke.

This author managed to bike down from the Carrboro Farmers Market in time to catch a crowd of about 100 from the NC Interfaith Power and Light Group gathering outside the Unity Methodist Church to hear speeches and readings from Jewish, Zen Budhist and Christian traditions. Songs were sang, leaflets and bumper stickers were handed out, and pledges to cut our own emissions were duly filled out. This was followed later in the afternoon by a gathering of students on the UNC campus, and by a larger demonstration in the nearby state capital of Raleigh.

Meanwhile TreeHuggers Kara DiCamillo and Meaghan O'Neill met up to attend the Step It Up event at Easton's Beach in Newport, RI. They are shown here with RI Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and the littlest TreeHugger of the group, Nicholas O'Neill Edenbach.

And finally, fellow TreeHugger contributors Kyeann Sayer and Hank Green [pictured below] were to be found at Step it Up Missoula, where about three hundred rowdy Missoulians enjoyed speeches from the Executive Director of, David Merill, the Head of the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, Richard Opper and others.