The last two weeks have been spectacular.
In Washington DC, phase one of the tar sands campaign has just come to an end, and 1,252 North Americans have been arrested in a massive civil disobedience campaign. This historic groundswell was focused on stopping the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline — but it also sent a larger message that people everywhere are willing to take bold action to move our planet beyond fossil fuels.
The courage on display in DC has been inspiring, but I’ve been just as cheered by the help that has poured in from around the world. On Sunday, activists in front of the White House held a banner with a huge number on it: 618,428. That’s how many people around the world who signed the “Stop the Tar Sands” mega-petition to President Obama, with signatures from many 350.org supporters, as well as members of Avaaz, Greenpeace, and dozens of other groups.
But this movement does more than sign petitions: many of you stood strong in front of the White House risking arrest, and protesters on every continent have picketed outside embassies and consulates. That makes sense, for global warming is the one problem that affects everyone everywhere.
And the next moment to demonstrate the power of the global movement is September 24 for Moving Planet — the massive day of climate action that will unite people all over the world. We’ve heard news of amazing actions from every corner of the earth — from a massive bike rally in the Philippines to an incredible eco-festival in Philadelphia. I truly can’t wait to see the pictures pour in.
But here’s why it’s important: we’re not just a movement that opposes things, we’re also a movement that dreams of what’s coming. And we don’t just dream, we also transform those dreams into reality. On September 24, on bike and on foot and on boards, we’re going to point the way towards that future. By days’ end, we’ll have shown why the bicycle is more glamorous than the car, and why the people have the potential to be more powerful than the polluters.
On some days fighting global warming means swallowing hard, mustering your courage, and making a sacrifice — other days it means getting all your friends up in the saddles of their bikes to have some fun and help move the planet forward.
September 24 is the second kind of day; it’s going to be powerful, it’s going to be beautiful, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out. Click here to join in.
Bill McKibben for the whole 350.org team
P.S. If you’re curious about what’s coming up for phase two of the tar sands campaign, check out the announcement.
P.P.S. To see the kind of passion and commitment on display in DC, check out the photo below (or this beautiful photo album), and get inspired for all the movement to come.