It's a challenge much like WWF's annual April Earth Hour, only this time, it involves transportation rather than electricity. Organizers are billing it as a global movement, which, I suppose it is when you realize that a lot of people on our planet already get around without using fossil fuels. Unfortunately, many of us in North America have a lot to learn in that regard. Carbon emissions on our planet are already too high, and we're seeing the results of them in climate instabilities all over the globe. Today, the people of Somalia in particular are on my mind, but they certainly aren't the only ones in dire climate straits.
So here's the challenge, according to the Moving Planet website:
The goal [of the day] is to get moving beyond fossil fuels—both symbolically by pouring into the streets in the thousands on foot, bicycle and other means of sustainable movement, and politically by bringing powerful demands to our leaders that day to move beyond fossil fuels to a 350ppm world. Mobilizing for individual and community solutions will continue to be important—but one of the main goals for Moving Planet is to demand government action, especially in places where governments are stalling on climate action despite the overwhelming urgency of the science. (www.movingplanet.org)
In many centres, including my own, people will be gathering to form a procession that will travel on foot, bike, or other human powered travel, to a rally where government leaders will hopefully hear them! This is what my city's page says:
Let’s move Edmonton. Let’s show the world we’re willing to move beyond fossil fuels.Of course, it's one thing to say that we're willing to move beyond fossil fuels, but another thing altogether to actually do it. Personally, I wouldn't want to have to get through an Alberta winter without my furnace! At least, not until I get my house solarized or something (my husband's dream). Even so, if we're going to make a real change, it takes time, and someone has to give the bandwagon a push and get our legislators thinking in the right directions.
On September 24 let’s bike, walk, dance, skip or hop our way to the Alberta Legislature and shout out loud, three-five-zero! That’s the number in parts per million that many scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.
Where are we today? Three-nine-four, nearly 50 ppm over the limit!
So on September 24 let’s gather at the Alberta Legislature and tell our government that we’re willing to do what it takes to help the world bring the number down to three-five-zero. That we're willing to move beyond fossil fuels.
11:00 AM: Meet at the northwest corner 105thStreet and Whyte Avenue—once the site of an Esso gas station, now a fenced-in, toxic brownfield that Imperial Oil has been remediating for more than 13 years.
11:15: Move—by bike or by foot—to the Alberta Legislature.
12 noon – 1:00: Rally at the Legislature: music, speeches and the presentation of our message.
If you're interested in joining the movement, you can see about events in your area by going here. And if there's no event where you are, start your own... or participate by travelling without fossil fuels that day. Even if rallies aren't your thing, spread the word! The more, the merrier!
My bike and I are heading to a rally on the 24th of September. Maybe I'll see you there!