EPIC Joins Global Day of Climate Change

EPIC Joins Global Day of Climate Change

October 22, 2009

For more information, please contact: Natalynne Delapp, EPIC, 707-822-7711

On October 24th at 2 p.m., people from around Southern Humboldt will gather in Richardson Grove as part of the largest day of climate change activism ever. Participants will join more than 3,000 communities in over 158 countries as part of a global day of action coordinated by 350.org to urge leaders to take immediate steps to address climate change and reduce carbon emissions.

Around the world–from capitol cities to the melting slopes of Mount Everest, even underwater on dying coral reefs–people will hold rallies aimed at focusing attention on the number 350 because scientists have insisted in recent years that 350 parts per million is the most carbon dioxide we can safely have in the atmosphere. The current CO2 concentration is 390 parts per million.

“That’s why glaciers and sea ice are melting, drought is spreading, and flooding is on the increase,” said Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org. “And it’s why we need a huge worldwide movement to give us the momentum to make real political change. Our leaders have heard from major corporations and big polluters for a long time–today, finally, they heard from citizens and scientists.”

The local action will take place at Richardson Grove State Park, once a protected stand of ancient Redwood trees, is now threatened by a highway widening project. Proponents of the project claim that increased truck access through the Redwood region justifies the degradation of this old growth grove.

Southern Humboldt 350.org organizers chose this location that contain trees over 1500 years old, to symbolize the threat our planet faces from reckless planning, and a disregard for the ecosystems we depend on.

The local organizing effort in Southern Humboldt includes the enthusiastic leadership of Aliana Knapp-Prasek, a Student Conservation Association activist and Redway resident. According to the climate activist, bold decisions and actions made today can have a positive impact on climate change tomorrow.

“The planned widening of Highway 101 through Richardson Grove, to me, embodies a giant step in the wrong direction, as far as climate change, as well as for the people in our community who hold precious our way of life. If we are to have any hope of slowing down the effects that will devastate life on Planet Earth, we need to make some huge changes quick. The tipping point is now. We need our precious trees to sequester carbon. We need to localize and lesson the big trucks delivering mass amounts of consumer goods up and down the highways. We need to live a little simpler now to ensure our children and grandchildren have a healthy planet to live on.” said Talia Rose, owner of Organic Grace.

While a lot of attention has focused on the campaign to Save Richardson Grove State Park, large-scale clear-cutting continues behind the Redwood Curtain. One organization, the Environmental Protection Information Center, has spent 32 years addressing this issue locally.

“We depend on these forests to survive,” said Natalynne Delapp, Policy Advocate for the EPIC, “outdated logging practices like clear-cutting continue to dominate the landscape of the Redwood region. We need the forests of our unique bioregion to function at their highest potential for all of the people on the planet, not just the few companies profiting off their destruction.”

The 350.org action connecting communities across the globe can shine a light on these destructive practices, while offering practical solutions for the restoration of the planet.

“The earth can heal the wounds of industrialized society, including climate change, if we give them a chance,” said Knapp-Prasek. “Decentralized organizing efforts like these can help the community come together to address the global issues, locally.”

“While we may face inconvenience in the short term, we must make sacrifices for future generations to simply live,” said Knapp-Prasek.

These global actions come six weeks before the world’s nations convene in Copenhagen for the United Nations Climate Change Conference to draw up a new climate treaty. Eighty-nine countries have already endorsed the 350 target, as well as the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s foremost climate economist, Sir Nicholas Stern, and Nobel prize-winner Al Gore.

Images of the actions from around the world, including the gathering in Southern Humboldt, will be featured on giant video screens in Times Square in New York as part of a 350 countdown, and are accessible at 350.org as part of a online photostream. Visual documentation From the Day of Action will be delivered to the United Nations on Monday, October 26th.

Carpooling is greatly encouraged. The owners of Organic Grace in Garberville offer their parking lot as a meeting place for carpools.