On the Dec. 16 Democracy Now radio show, Bill McKibbon announced plans for a massive non-violent civil disobedience action against dirty coal. They’re targetting the power plant that runs the Capitol. I can’t believe it almost slipped by me! I was listening to Amy Goodman interview a couple climate change activists about the recent international conference on global warming in Poland when she abruptly changed topics and asked McKibbon about the civil disobedience. I had to rewind and listen to it again. Turns out the action is planned for March 2, 2009, at the coal plant that powers the capitol. I’m pysched to see what they do!
Here’s what Bill McKibbon said on Democracy Now:
On March 2nd, a bunch of us will be organizing the first big mass civil disobedience in this country around coal outside the coal-fired power plant that powers the nation’s capital. Wendell Berry and I just sent out a letter—the Kentucky farmer and writer—asking people, please, to come for this first big event. You can find more information at the Rainforest Action Network website, or just Google “civil disobedience March 2nd Washington.
This is an exciting time for the environmental movement. Sure, it’s a great sign that so many people are trying live sustainably, but we can’t let that distract us from confronting the really big polluters like the coal industry. Inefficient lightbulbs and poorly insulated houses are simply not the bulk of the problem. If we’re going to take global warming seriously we need to look at the industries that are pumping out the most greenhouse gases.
It’s daunting to think that over half of all of U.S. power comes from coal powered plants, but organizations such as Rainforest Action Network, Greenpeace, Rising Tide and Powershift have been an inspiration in the past couple years. There’s been a huge upshot in organizing around global warming, with a bunch of awesome, successful campaigns. Activists have been able to pressure banks to pull investments in coal operations in Appalachia, there were two exciting sit-ins at a Boston branches of Bank of America, as well as marches and rallies in hundreds of American cities. And don’t forget about those crazy people who went swimming in the frigid Lake Washington this winter.
Now we have a plan for one of the largest mass civil disobediences to happen in the United States as part of an environmental campaign. This movement is on the up and up.
Image from Flickr, via CreativeCommons.org