Dear Mr. President, Let’s Move Forward on Climate

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Solve the Climate Crisis! Take a Stand, Mr. Obama!

The Forward on Climate Los Angeles solidarity rally on February 17, 2013 urged Mr. Obama to take strong action to solve the climate crisis, and to stop the Keystone XL pipeline. Led by a coalition of 101 diverse organizations from all over Southern California, more than 1,000 people marched in the streets of downtown Los Angeles, shouting: “Solve the Climate Crisis! Take a Stand, Mr. President!” The demonstration took place in solidarity with the 50,000 people who showed up at rallies in Washington DC and across the US, united in the fight against global climate change. 

Climate Change rally, February 17

Hundreds of Southern California activists and supporters from across a coalition of about 100 groups, led by Tar Sands Action Southern California and Sierra Club, marched from Olvera Street and converged for a rally at City Hall where they unveiled a mega letter addressed to President Obama.

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Letter to President Obama: Dear President Obama – Forward on Climate LA
Feb 17th LA Video Stream: http://j.mp/LARally

Dear Mr. President,

Thank you for your recent forceful declarations of the urgent need to fight climate change, your historic actions on fuel standards, and investments in renewable energy.

However, ensuring climate stability, protecting earth resources, and launching an alternative clean energy economy will require these words to become actions. We caution that your emphasis on exploration, production, transportation, and consumption of climate-damaging fuels that pollute the land, water, and air, works against progress on solving the climate crisis.

We need an energy policy focused on efficiency and conservation, integrated with a clean, renewable energy plan – one that breaks our addiction to dirty and dangerous fuels such as Coal, Fracked Natural Gas, Nuclear and Tar Sands Oil.

The transition to solar, wind, geothermal and other renewables will clean up our air, improving the health of millions, and create thousands of jobs.

Climate Rally Los Angeles

This was the first time such a wide array of environmental, humanitarian, religious, political, labor, civil rights, student, and community organizations came together in Los Angeles to demand action on climate change. Photo By Jonathan H. Lee.

Forward on Climate Los Angeles

Elected officials and community leaders called on President Obama to take strong action on the climate crisis and reject damaging projects such as the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. Photo By Helen Kuan.

Forward on Climate Los Angeles

Chief Phil Lane Jr., a member of the Yankton Sioux and Chickasaw Nations, led the march toward City Hall, demanding action to protect indigenous land rights from damaging projects like the Keystone XL pipeline. Photo By Helen Kuan.

Forward on Climate Los Angeles

Congressman Henry Waxman spoke to the crowd: “We’ve seen climate change coming for a long time, but now it’s here, and it’s getting worse faster and causing greater harm than we ever expected. There is simply no more important fight for the future of our children and grandchildren.”

We, as a diverse community of Americans of all ages and ethnicities, stand with you to make the hard choices to say no to extreme fossil fuel energy proposals and their extreme cost and associated impacts.

We have the following demands:

  • Reject completion of the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline, which would threaten major rivers and the Ogallala Aquifer in the Midwest, transporting toxic corrosive tar sands bitumen that burns over three times more carbon than conventional oil, and would destroy a Florida-sized section of Alberta’s Boreal Forest.
  • Ban fracking and extreme drilling on federal lands and in offshore waters.
  • Using the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency should set ambitious, fair, and flexible standards to limit carbon pollution from power plants by 25 percent by 2020.
  • Become a global leader in reducing dangerous carbon pollution and implement a clean, renewable energy economy.
Keystone XL tar sands Los Angeles

“We are sending a message to President Obama today that the planet can’t wait. Here in Los Angeles, we are working with our local utility – the LADWP – to stop using coal in our city’s energy supply,” said Aura Vasquez, Organizing Representative for Sierra Club’s LA Beyond Coal campaign.

Los Angeles Beyond Coal, Forward on Climate LA

One of the most encouraging aspects of the rally was the auspicious participation of young people, middle and elementary school. Children have a thorough understanding of what’s happening with the climate and what it promises for them. One hopes our decision-makers take note. Photo By Kent Minault.

Forward on Climate Los Angeles

“Burning tar sands bitumen produces three to five times the greenhouse gas pollution on a wells-to-wheels basis than conventional oil. By 2015, the oil sands industrial project could emit more greenhouse gases than the nation of Denmark” said Jack Eidt, Organizer for Tar Sands Action Southern California.

Forward on Climate Los Angeles

Activists voiced support for strong measures to preserve California’s water supply, coasts, and forests for future generations. Crippling drought, devastating wildfires, and super-storm Sandy have brought climate change home. The Forward on Climate rallies represented a growing groundswell calling for immediate action to ramp up renewable energy production and break our addiction to dirty and dangerous fuels like coal, natural gas, nuclear and tar sands oil. Photo By John Gaylord.

Forward on Climate Los Angeles

Morningstar Foundation Indigenous Grandmother’s Council with the Hummingbird Drum. Photo By Natasha Petrosova.

We urge strong action to follow the determined declarations in your Inaugural and State of the Union addresses. If not now, Mr. President, then when? We want the world to remember you as the president who led the fight to heal our planet. The fate of our children and their children and all future generations depends upon you.

Sincerely,

Forward on Climate LA Rally Participants

Forward on Climate Los Angeles

Jack Eidt: “TransCanada’s proposed 1,700-mile Keystone XL Pipeline would transport toxic and corrosive diluted bitumen from Alberta across the middle of North America to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. It would threaten contamination of rivers and freshwater supplies for six U.S. states, and still not produce the jobs promised.” Photo by Michael Chickey.

Forward on Climate LA – February 17, 2013

~ We Stand In Solidarity ~  

5 Gyres

99Rise

Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society

Allesandro’s Chapter of Coalition for Educational Justice

Alliance for Climate Education

Amazon Watch*

ARC Sustainability

Arroyo S.E.C.O Network of   Time Banks

Arts Earth Partnership

Biodiesel Coop of Los   Angeles

Burbank Green Alliance*

California Student   Sustainability Coalition

CALPIRG

Center for Biological   Diversity

Citizens Climate Lobby *

Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE-LA)

Coalition Against Nukes LA*

Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles

CodePink

Communities for a Better Environment

CRSP Institute for Urban Ecovillages

Dance 4 Oceans

dubroWORKS PR*

Earth Resource Foundation

EarthWe
EcoWatch

Environment California

Environmental Action Group at Mt. San Antonio College

Food and Water Watch*

Friends of Harbors, Beaches, and Parks

Godless Liberal Social   Society

Green Business Networking

Green Economy Think Tank

Green Party of Los Angeles County

Hippo Works

Hunger Action LA

Idle No More – Los Angeles

IKAR

IKAR Green Action

Jimmy Dore, comedian

LA Bioneers

LA Green Festival *

LA Green Drinks

LA Greens

LA Progressive

LAANE

League of Women Voters LA

League of Women Voters   Pasadena Area

Leslie Iwerks Productions

Living Economy Salon

Long Beach Coalition for a Safe Environment

Long Beach Greens

Los Angeles Eco-Village

Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters

Martin Luther King Coalition of Los Angeles

Miss R*EVOLutionaries

Moana Nui Action Alliance

Move To Amend

MoveOn WLA

My Generation LA/IE

NELA Transition

NextAid

NRDC

Occupy LA

Occupy Long Beach

Occupy the Hood Los Angeles Action Assembly

Occupy Venice

Occupy Whittier

Orange County Interfaith Coalition for the Environment

Pacoima Beautiful

Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles

Planet Rehab*

Progressive Christians   Uniting

Progressive Democrats of   the Santa Monica Mountains

Re-Power L.A. Coalition

Residents Organized for a   Safe Environment

Sierra Club Angeles Chapter

Sierra Club Beyond Coal   Campaign*

Sierra Club Beyond Oil   Campaign

Sierra Club Orange County Global Warming Committee

Southern California Ecumenical Council

Stakeholders Capital

Stop Fooling CA

Strategic Actions for a Just Economy

Surfrider West La Malibu Chapter

Sustainable Works

Synergy TV

Tar Sands Action Southern California*

The Morningstar Foundation

Transition San Fernando Valley

Union Ave. Elementary Beyond Carbon Science Club.

USGBC-LA

Valley Democrats United

West LA Democratic Club

Westchester Democratic Club

Wild Heritage Planners

WilderUtopia*

 

*Denotes Planning Committee

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Jack Eidt

About Jack Eidt

Writer, urban theorist, and environmental advocate, Jack Eidt careens down human-nature's all consuming one-way highway to its inevitable conclusion - Wilder Utopia. He co-founded Wild Heritage Planners, based out of Los Angeles, California. He can be reached at jack (dot) eidt (at) wilderutopia (dot) com.