Climate Activists Unite: The need to press the Senate continues

A gloomy forecast turned out to be completely wrong, and thousands of supporters of clean energy, wild places, and saving our planet turned out to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. April 25 to celebrate 40 years of Earth Day.

Even though Earth Day itself fell on a Thursday, supporters from across the country turned out to learn more about renewable energy, protecting our imperiled ecosystems, and listen to passionate speakers and excellent music.

Wilderness Society Supporters speak up for Wildlands. See them on Facebook!

Congressman Edward Markey (Mass.), cosponsor of the House’s Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act, and James Cameron, director of the hit movie Avatar both took the stage to call for energy independence and a strong climate change bill from the Senate to pick up where the House left off. Then the audience took in performances from Mavis Staples, Bob Weir, The Roots, and Sting.

The Wilderness Society also took part in the festivities, hosting a booth in the event’s Eco-Village, and finding supporters for America’s wild places. Visitors to our booth learned about how they can help protect places like our National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, and National Forests from threats like oil and gas development, unrestricted logging, and the worst effects of climate change.

Wilderness Society activists wore their support on their sleeves — or chests, or backpacks, or wherever they put the “Like it Wild? Keep it Cool!” pins that were on hand. They also told the world of their support by agreeing to show their faces on our Facebook page.

More than that, rally activists were determined to push climate legislation forward, even after the discouraging halt to the climate Senate debate the day before.

The potential comprehensive climate and energy bill in the Senate has been one of the most promising discussions on climate change in the political world. But negotiations between Senators John Kerry (Mass.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (Conn.) came to a sudden halt over the weekend when it became clear the Senate may put immigration reform ahead of the climate debate.

Helps us get the Senate to pick the momentum up again. Tell the Senate to pass a climate bill to protect our wild places.

Read more about American Jobs on American Lands:

The Wilderness Society has been working with Congress to make sure that our wild places are protected from the worst effects of climate change — but legislation needs to happen now.

Already, Americans are putting jobs on the ground to help wild lands adapt to a changing climate. These projects put Americans back to work, protecting our wild places — doing things like removing dams, restoring forests and wetlands, and protecting our shorelines from erosion.

Americans need to make their voices heard for the planet — every day, not just Earth Day. The thousands of people that turned out to support the planet on the National Mall are indicative of the millions across the country that want our public lands protected from climate change. Our parks, like Glacier National Park, which has lost a third of its iconic glaciers, cannot wait until next year, next Congress, or the next Presidential administration for a solution to climate change.

Make your voice heard for our parks, our refuges, our forests, and all of our wild places — tell the Senate that we need a climate bill now that cuts the greenhouse gas pollution that threatens our wild lands, and we need jobs and clean air and water that adaptation jobs provide.

Take action now!