James Hansen and Coalition to Protest Congressional Power Plant

Washington—In a public service announcement released today, Dr. James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, calls on Americans to join him on March 2nd at the Capitol Power Plant in the largest display of civil disobedience in U.S. history to demand national action on global warming (see: http://vimeo.com/3268481).

Human rights organization Global Exchange and youth climate activists will board a train in San Francisco to join a national coalition of more than 70 environmental, public health, labor, social justice, faith-based and other advocacy groups to engage in civil disobedience at the Capitol Power Plant in Washington D.C. on the afternoon of March 2, 2009. The Capitol Climate Action (CCA), the largest mass mobilization on global warming in the country’s history, reflects the growing public demand for bold action to address the climate and energy crises.

“It’s time to take a stand on global warming,” Dr. Hansen says in the video. “We want to send a message to Congress and the President that we want them to take the actions that are needed to preserve climate for young people and future generations and all life on earth.”

The train trip will originate from California and we invite reporters to board the train at any of its stops along the route to learn more from activists and experts onboard or even take part in CCA. Stops include, but are not limited to: Emeryville, CA; Sacramento, CA; Salt Lake City, NV; Denver, CO; Kansas City, KS; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; and Pittsburgh, PA. Contact us soon to get discounts and so that we can link you up with the group during the train trip.

“Expanding coal use is the biggest single threat to our climate and that is why we are focusing on the coal plant that heats the U.S. Capitol,” says Ted Lewis, who directs Global Exchange’s human rights programs. “But we also recognize that stopping climate change requires us to change many things including the ways we travel. Expanded public transit and trains are essential to mobility in a green future. That is why we are taking the train to D.C.”

Some 2,000 people from across the country are expected to join Dr. Hansen at Congress’s own coal-fired power plant in Southeast Washington, D.C. The diversity of groups involved in the action (see: www.capitolclimateaction.org), reflects the number of people affected by global warming. Of all the fossil fuels, coal is the single biggest contributor to global warming. Burning coal cuts short at least 24,000 lives in the U.S. annually, inflicts catastrophic damage to the landscape and water supplies, and jeopardizes the lives of miners. Furthermore, the coal ash spill in Tennessee makes it clear that there is no adequate means of safely storing coal combustion waste.

[“Young people voted and volunteered in record numbers in the 2008 election to elect candidates they believed would put their future first,” says Melissa Tamargo, [town] California High School student. “As young person, I want an end to our nation's reliance on dirty energy sources, and strides towards a clean energy economy.”]

A recent University of Massachusetts study found investing in clean energy projects like wind power and mass transit creates three-to-four times more jobs than the same expenditure on the coal industry. The wind power sector has grown to employ more Americans than coal mining as demand for clean energy has jumped over the past decade.

For information about the train visit: http://www.globalexchange.org/war_peace_democracy/climatechange/ccatrain...

For a list of sponsors and more information about the Capitol Climate Action, visit www.capitolclimateaction.org

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CONTACTS: Angela Walker, Communications Director, Global Exchange, 650-766-2748

References:

“Reliance on Coal Sullies ‘Green the Capitol” Effort. Washington Post. April 21, 2007
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/20/AR200704...

“Dirty Air Dirty: Mortality and Health Damage Due to Pollution from Power Plants.” A Clean Air Task Force Report
http://www.catf.us/publications/reports/Dirty_Air_Dirty_Power.pdf

“Wind Jobs Outstrip the Coal Industry.” CNNMoney.com.
http://greenwombat.blogs.fortune.cnn.com/2009/01/28/wind-jobs-outstrip-t...

Extra info: 
CONTACTS: <br>Angela Walker, Global Exchange, 650-766-2748