Earth Day 2010 Washington, DC: Political Action for the Climate

WASHINGTON, DC, April 22, 2010 (ENS) – The 40th anniversary of Earth Day is here, but the United States has failed to enact a comprehensive climate bill and so today the Earth Day Citizens’ Climate Congress will take place in Washington to demand immediate action from U.S. leaders to deal with global warming.

Environmentally concerned groups and individuals will assemble at 1:00 pm in front of the White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to make the point that the climate crisis is happening today and urgent action is needed now.

“Our number one demand will be for President [Barack] Obama to take immediate steps to ensure that misinformed Americans become informed about climate change and the importance of acting now in order to preserve a livable climate for us and generations to come,” said the organizers, the nonprofit Global Warming Education Network based in Lexington, Massachusetts.

“This is a collaborative, bottom-up and top-down initiative, with participation encouraged by everyone sharing the concern that our leaders are not acting quickly enough to stave off the serious consequences of human-caused climate change,” the organizers said.

“Forty years after the first Earth Day, we are galvanizing people across the globe around this milestone to take action for the environment and find solutions to climate change,” said Kathleen Rogers, president of the Earth Day Network. “Together, we will issue the call to our elected leaders to take action that will equitably and effectively address climate change.”

Earth Day 2010 Climate Rally poster (Poster courtesy Earth Day Network)

Today on the National Mall from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm members of Congress and environmental and industry leaders will speak in honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

“We are at a pivotal moment in history; environmentally concerned citizens and courageous elected leaders have helped us make great strides for the planet over last 40 years,” said Denis Hayes, national coordinator for the first Earth Day in 1970 and international chair of Earth Day 2010.

“Climate change has put our planet in greater peril than ever, but it also provides us with a great opportunity to build a green economy and a healthy world for ourselves and for our children,” said Hayes.

On Sunday, April 25 from 11 am to 7 pm, the Earth Day Network is holding a climate rally on the National Mall to demand that Congress pass strong legislation.

“It is time to stop protecting polluters and enact comprehensive climate legislation that will create American jobs, cap carbon emissions and secure our nation’s future,” the organizers said in a statement.

The Climate Rally will feature speakers Reverend Jesse Jackson, “Avatar” director James Cameron, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, Olympic gold medalist Billy Demong, British producer Trudie Styler, Canadian author Margaret Atwood, NFL player and television personality Dhani Jones, environmental photographer Sebastian Copeland and many more.

The Climate Rally will feature live music from Sting, John Legend, The Roots, Jimmy Cliff, Passion Pit, Bob Weir, Willie Colon, Joss Stone, Robert Randolph, Patrick Stump, Mavis Staples, Booker T, Honor Society and Tao Rodriguez-Seeger.

Forty years ago, the National Mall served as a focal point for the first Earth Day and a 20 million citizens strong, country-wide, unified demand to protect and clean up the environment.

This year, Hayes and others will speak about the urgency of addressing climate change and the need to set a framework for a green economy.

The live event will be streamed online at EarthDay.org.

The Earth Day Network is asking people to sign its climate petition, which says, “We demand that you support fair, ambitious, and comprehensive climate legislation.”

During the climate rally, the names of petitioners will appear in lights, displayed to the crowd on the National Mall and to Congress.

Earth Day Network is sponsoring free buses from New York City, Philadephia, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Columbus, Charleston, Richmond, Charlottesville, and Baltimore.

Buses to DC will park at RFK Stadium and individual vans, buses, and cars also are encouraged to park at the RFK Stadium parking lot.There will be easy access to the Climate Rally by Metro Rail to the Smithsonian stop on the blue/orange line.

There will be a shuttle service to the rally along with vendors and access to water. Organizers are requesting that people sign up to register their bus, van, or car ahead of time to park at RFK. Click here to sign up.

The Climate Rally needs volunteers, please email volunteer@earthday.org to sign up.

Environmental service is a foundation of annual Earth Day activities and the Earth Day Network’s Billion Acts of Green initiative is at the core of this program.

Billion Acts of Green is an effort to collect environmental actions from individuals, organizations and governments to send a message to world leaders that people must upgrade our interaction with the planet.

Rogers said, “Earth Day Network’s Billion Acts of Green is an opportunity for individuals and organizations to make commitments to improve the environment.”

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2010. All rights reserved.