February 15, 2013

Emmie Theberge and Todd Martin from Maine at the climate change rally in D.C. Courtesy photo

Hundreds of Maine citizens are finding their way to the Nation’s Capitol to participate in what’s expected to be the largest Washington D.C. climate change rally in history this Sunday.

“I am riding the train to Washington this week because every one of us has a responsibility to speak out against tar sands pipelines and for sensible climate policy and protection of the planet,” said Brownie Carson of Harpswell, former executive director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine. “Climate change is the most important environmental problem facing the nation and the world and we need our elected officials to invest now in clean and efficient energy solutions.”

In his Inaugural speech and again in his State of the Union the President addressed the issue of Climate Change directly. He mentioned carbon caps for polluters. Maine already is part of a consortium of regional governments that are part of the cap and trade system called The Regional Green House Gas Initiative, (RGGI). RGGI has brought in the state $34 million and is responsible for $92 million in economic activity in Maine. RGGI could be a model for other states if Congress takes action.

“For the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change… Now, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods,all are now more frequent and more intense,” said President Barack Obama in his State of the Union. “We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science and act before it’s too late.”

More than 50,000 people are expected to descend on the nation’s capital on Sunday, February 17 for the historic Forward on Climate Rally (#ForwardOnClimate).

“I am going to Washington DC this weekend to participate in my first political protest ever. It is that important,” said Laura Sebastianelli, an ecological educator from Boothbay Harbor. “The science of climate change is in. The consequences could be disastrous. Those who analyze the situation know what needs to be done. Now, we need to give politicians the will to do what they need to do.”

The rally takes place Sunday, February 17 from noon to 4:00 p.m. on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

“Climate change is already having a devastating effect in Maine, the nation, and the planet,” said Emmie Theberge, Clean Energy Outreach Coordinator at the Natural Resources Council of Maine. “This demonstration is an opportunity to give our President and Congress the support they need to take bold action on climate change.”

President Obama said we can not wait for Congress, so if they don’t act he promised Executive Action under the Environmental Protection Agency.

“When I heard about this climate rally I knew it was very important for me and my son to attend and NRCM’s bus is making the trip easier, more fun, and less hard on the planet,” said Jeanne Gulnick of Peaks Island. “As an island resident, I am particularly concerned about the effect climate change is having on sea-level rise along Maine’s coast.”

“I’m heading to DC on the bus because I’m particularly concerned about the impact of tar sands on our climate, and the Sebago Lake area,” said Helyne May of Windham. “I will be down there speaking up for the future of the planet my children will live in—and their children’s children. I want to make sure that Maine’s US. Senators and Representatives recognize the support for action on both tar sands and climate.”