The rally will be held on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 5 p.m., at Monument Square. It's a bring-your-own-candle vigil, and open to the public. Not coincidentally, it will take place while some 16,000 delegates and activists are attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Among those attending the Copenhagen meeting will be President Obama, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle and Racine resident Jamie Racine, one of two Wisconsin student representatives.
This latest rally, organized by Joseph McNutt, a student at Walden III High, and other students, is in response to President Obama's statement that he would not sign anything at Copenhagen, despite the years of preparation for the event. "We want to show Obama and the leaders of other nations that we don't want talk, we want action." The rally is an follow-up to the one held in Monument Square on Oct. 24, in conjunction with more than 5,200 similar events around the world, under the auspices of 350.org.
"We will gather at Monument Square and promote action at Copenhagen instead of just speeches," McNutt said. "President Obama will go there and deliver a rousing speech and then go on to Norway to collect his Nobel Prize. We just want to show we want action."
Racine's rally on the 12th is one of many again organized by 350.org. Their collective messsage, contained in a letter McNutt received, is this: The World Wants a Real Deal -- people all over the planet are demanding a binding global climate agreement guided by the latest science and built upon principles of justice and equity.
The Saturday rallies in many cities will be followed by the ringing of church bells, the beating of drums and the blowing of horns -- all for 350 times -- on Sunday, Dec. 13.
Here's more from 350.org:
As Maldives President Mohammed Nasheed said last week at a summit of the most vulnerable nations: "We will not sign a global suicide pact, in Copenhagen or anywhere."
Instead, he and the other nations called for a "survival pact," for commitments by the developed world to cut emissions enough to get the atmospheric concentration of CO2 back to 350.
Some of the planned candlelight vigils will take place at iconic places in communities all over the world. Others will be outside American consulates and embassies, and at senators' offices throughout the United States. Partly this is because the U.S. is, historically, the country most responsible for the carbon in the world's atmosphere. But it's also because America, if it chose, could lead the way to a sane global climate policy.
...We need to send a signal to say that speeches and prizes are good, but action is what's really required -- enough action to head us back towards 350 parts per million.
Obama will bring an emissions target to the table in Copenhagen, a bittersweet development in this political drama. Sweet because having any sort of commitment from the U.S. increases the chances of global collaboration on a climate deal, bitter because U.S. emissions target represents a paltry 3% reductions below 1990 levels -- far from the ambitious cuts scientists say are necessary to get back to 350.
The United States now holds a big key to unlock this process, and we need Obama and the U.S. Congress to turn that key -- which is why many of the candlelight vigils will take place at U.S. senate offices, and at U.S. embassies and consulates around the world.
...Here's the deal: the huge day of action on Oct. 24 was a tremendous start, and it's hard to believe that it was only a month ago that you created what's being called "the most widespread day of political action in history." It took the most important number on earth and made it one of the most well-known.
Copenhagen continues that process--with the whole world paying attention, we need to remind our leaders that we don't need rhetoric, we need change. Fast.