Georgia Climate Change Coalition
Through education, advocacy and action, the Georgia Climate Change Coalition aims to increase awareness about climate change and its projected impacts; work in partnership with all Georgians and stakeholders to promote solutions and adaptations to the climate crisis; actively support local, state, national and international energy/climate change initiatives and legislation; serve as a clearing house for climate information.
PRESS RELEASE: for immediate release
Contact: Rich Rusk, Secretary Barton King
706-354-0321 or 706-202-7802 cell 706-340-3140
November 25, 2012
Dear Red and Black,
Please publish our calendar announcement and press release for our December 1 “Rally for Climate Change Action.” This is our main event for fall 2012. We will present a local rendition of Bill McKibben’s “Do the Math” tour of North America, which is now underway..
For more information, please visit www.georgiaclimatecoalition.org, www.350.org/math, call Rich or Bart OR:
Dory Franklin. GC3 chairperson 706-340-4870; firstname.lastname@example.org
At 1 – 4 pm, Dec. 1, the Georgia Climate Change Coalition and Sierra
Student Coalition UGA Beyond Coal will co-host a “Rally for Climate Change Action.” Marching from the university’s coal-fired steam plant to north campus to Athens City Hall, activists will convene at New Earth Music Hall for a report on Bill McKibben’s “Do the Math” national tour. www.georgiaclimatecoalition.org.
Dec. 1 March/Rally for Climate Change Action
Athens activists “Do the Math,” call for Beyond Coal Now
On December 1, in response to Hurricane Sandy, record-setting wildfires, floods, heat waves, droughts and other extreme weather around the globe while political impasse continues in Washington, University of Georgia and Athens environmentalists are co-hosting a “Rally for Climate Change Action.”
Set for 1 p.m., Saturday, Sierra Student Coalition UGA Beyond Coal will lead a march from the university’s coal-fired power plant to north campus to Athens City Hall. This action will demonstrate student and community support for retiring the university’s coal-fired steam boiler and replacing it with renewable energy alternatives. The Athens community must demand that the university takes into account the all too real math of climate change when making decisions on energy infrastructure.
At 2 p.m, marchers will convene at the New Earth Music Hall (227 W. Dougherty St.) for a rally and program, co-hosted by the Georgia Climate Change Coalition (GC3.) There, speakers will present and discuss Bill McKibben’s “Do the Math” program. The famed climate activist and his global climate movement 350.org are currently touring North America. Visiting twenty cities in twenty six days, they came to Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse on November 20.
“Although McKibben was hugely persuasive on stage, we will ask everyone present to help us crunch the numbers and evaluate Do the Math for themselves,” said GC3 secretary Rich Rusk. “We need to strategize where we go from here.” Highlights for this activists’ meet-and-greet include heavy refreshments and a big screen projection of the SEC championship game featuring Alabama and Georgia at 4 p.m.
“We’re inviting Bulldog Nation to share their football passion with climate change,” added Rusk, an avid fan.
“McKibben’s Rolling Stone article – ‘Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math’ – has gone viral on the internet, gathering more reads than any article in the magazine’s history,” said GC3’s Doug Job. “We urge Athens folks to join us on Dec. 1. Without exaggeration, McKibben’s call for action may be the important thing they ever hear.”
In Atlanta and elsewhere, claiming that “we are losing the (climate) fight, badly and quickly,” McKibben stated that the pace and severity of climate change is exceeding even the worst case scenarios of the world’s climatologists. “It has become a huge challenge….to avoid complete and utter climate catastrophe,” he claims. He wants to target carbon and CO2 emissions and the fossil fuel industry, launch a divestment campaign against Big Oil and King Coal, and change the terrifying math of the climate crisis.
“It’s simple math,” warns McKibben. “We can burn 565 more gigatons of carbon and stay below 2°C of warming — anything more than that risks catastrophe for life on earth. The only problem? Fossil fuel corporations now have 2,795 gigatons in their reserves, five times the safe amount. And they’re planning to burn it all — unless we rise up to stop them.”
Speaking before sold-out venues in Seattle, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and elsewhere, McKibben is not simply trying to explain climate science to the general public. “Do the Math” is about lighting a fire under the climate movement and rallying activists for a major new offensive to save the ecology of the planet.
“After fourteen years of sounding the climate-change alarm, writer Bill McKibben (author of 14 books) realized that gentle persuasion wasn’t cutting it,” wrote Rowan Jacobsen for Outside magazine. “So he got mad. Then he got busy: tweeting, organizing, protesting, getting arrested, and becoming Big Oil’s biggest threat.”
In a rare success against the fossil fuel industry, McKibben and 350.Org encircled the White House on Nov. 6, 2011 with 12,000 marchers protesting construction of the Keystone Pipeline. It was considered a “done deal” by insiders. Four days later, President Obama delayed the pipeline for further study. He then denied Keystone’s permit on Jan. 17. But climate change trends are mostly grim.
“We’re hot as hell,” McKibben said after the collapse of national energy legislation in 2009, the Copenhagen summit, President Obama’s mystifying silence (except Keystone) and other setbacks. “And we’re not going to take it any more.” Sharpening his language, he now calls the fossil fuel industry a “rogue industry” for blocking energy legislation with highly paid lobbyists and millions of dollars to politicians.
“The fossil fuel industry has behaved so recklessly that they should lose their social license – their veneer of respectability,” McKibben tells audiences in building his case for moral outrage.
“You want to take away our planet and our future?” he continues. “We’re going to take away your money and your good name.” His call for a divestment campaign – similar that enacted by 80 U.S. cities, 25 states and 19 countries who protested South African apartheid in the 1980’s – is resonating with climate activists. Although 350.Org’s “Do the Math” tour is still underway, several dozen U.S. colleges have already responded and moved towards divestment. Massachusetts’ Hampshire College was the first.
For information, visit www.georgiaclimatecoalition.org or www.350.org/math.
By Rich Rusk, secretary, Georgia Climate Change Coalition
Athens, GA 833 words
Georgia Climate Change Coalition