How should climate activists, and the American public at large, respond to the growing crisis of climate change? This question is a matter of urgent public concern that deserves open and honest appraisal.
On June 14, the Climate Mobilization will host a public forum at Congress Square Park in Portland to address this question. How can we fulfill our moral responsibility to summon a political and social response commensurate with the scale of the climate crisis?
RSVP here or on the Facebook event page, and share widely!
Michelle Fournier, an organizer with 350 Maine and the Maine Students for Climate Justice, will moderate a discussion among number of advocates who are working to respond to the climate crisis.
Panelists will include Shannon Louise McCartney, an organizer with the Bernie Sanders campaign, Bob Klotz, of 350 Maine, Iris SanGiovanni, of Maine Students for Climate Justice, Ezra Silk, co-founder of the Climate Mobilization, and an organizer with the Maine Green Independent Party who will be announced shortly.
The panel discussion will be followed by a Q&A session.
Despite mounting evidence that we face a global climate emergency, polling indicates that Americans are less worried about climate change than they were in the fall of 2008, when 18% of polled adults described themselves as “alarmed” and 33% “concerned” about global warming. A Yale poll taken last October found that the percentage of "alarmed" Americans had since declined by 5%, and the number of "concerned" had declined by 2%.
But grassroots climate activism appears to be on the uptick, with over 400,000 people attending the People’s Climate March last September. Pope Francis’ forthcoming encyclical on the environment is expected to mobilize a significant number of the Catholic Church’s more than 1.2 billion members when it is released on Jun 18, and the United Nations Climate Change Conference in late November and early December will surely attract renewed media attention to the climate crisis.
As dire climate impacts continue to accumulate, government officials continue to characterize climate change as an “immediate risk to national security,” and the U.S. Presidential primary season begins in earnest, the climate protection movement is facing a critical juncture.
The panelists will engage in an honest discussion of the social crisis of climate apathy that is hindering attempts to meaningfully respond to the climate crisis. A breakthrough is surely needed soon - but what will it be?
During the panel discussion, Silk, who is the deputy director of The Climate Mobilization, a national campaign launched at the People’s Climate March, will present one proposal for uniting the climate movement around scientifically and ethically appropriate goals: A tool called the Pledge to Mobilize. The Pledge calls on elected officials to immediately commence a World War II-scale, full employment mobilization to reduce national net greenhouse gas emissions 100% by 2025, and deploy comprehensive measures to draw down greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The Pledge also calls on the federal government to prioritize the elimination of global net greenhouse gas emissions at wartime speed.
Silk will argue that the necessity of a WWII-style climate mobilization is something of a hidden consensus among the climate protection movement, and that the call for “Climate Mobilization NOW!” can act as an umbrella demand large enough to unify the numerous demands of the climate movement and also mobilize the broader public to action.
Any American can sign the Pledge to Mobilize, a one-page document that has been signed by over 1,200 people, including Ralph Nader and former California Democratic Congressman Jim Bates. When Americans sign the Pledge, they promise to spread the Pledge to their friends, family and neighbors, vote for candidates and elected officials who have signed the Pledge over those who have not, and donate time or money to candidates who have signed the Pledge. Angus King (I-ME) has been given information about the Pledge to Mobilize, and will soon be asked to sign it. An international version of the Pledge to Mobilize has just been released.
- June 14, 2015 at 12pm – 2pm
Congress Square Park
10 Congress St
Portland, ME 04101
Google map and directions
- 6 people are going