Quad-Citians should mobilize against climate change, according to a group of activists who rallied Tuesday in LeClaire Park, Davenport.
Steve Drucker of Sherrard, a member of the Climate Mobilization organization, and Sister Cathleen Real of the Congregation of the Humility of Mary, an authority on climate change, were among the speakers. A group of 18 people, many of whom signed a pledge to mobilize, stood near the Levee Inn, the small brick building at the foot of Main Street just west of the Rhythm City Casino.
On the building’s wall is a plaque that shows the high-water mark of the Flood of 1993, when the Mississippi River rose to 22.63 feet above flood stage.
The issue of climate change is being addressed through Dec. 11, which is the last day of international talks in Paris, Drucker said. At that summit, representatives from 196 countries are expected to sign a climate change agreement.
“We’re asking volunteers to focus on getting people to sign this pledge,” she said. The rally was a local tie-in to the pledge.
Disasters such as wildfires are going on all over the country, she said. “How bad does it have to get before we have a Pearl Harbor moment?” she asked. Because the disasters are not local, “the rest of us are acting like it’s not our problem. We don’t realize there’s a tsunami of disasters coming.
“It’s time to mobilize now for WW CO2,” she said.
Several signs, including “Can we save our planet? Yes, we can,” were visible at the rally.
Sister Kathleen Henneberry, of the Congregation of the Humility of Mary, said climate change has concerned her for years.
“Our water is becoming polluted all over the place because of fracking, coal mining, deforestation and runoff of farm chemicals,” she said.
Real appealed to Quad-Citians to sign the Pledge to Mobilize, an action plan to change government policies, support presidential candidates who sign the pledge and change lifestyles “as we did in order to win World War II,” she said.
“We need to be getting our act together and cutting emissions more than we have,” Real said.
Among other speakers was the Rev. Bud Grant of St. Ambrose University.
Between now and Dec. 11, other local events will be held to create awareness about climate change, Drucker said.