Local rally marks National Global Warming Day

On Saturday, April 14, approximately 1,400 rallies were held across the nation in observance of National Global Warming Day.

As part of the Step It Up Campaign, a viral grassroots movement asking America's leaders to actively fight global warming, it was the largest day of citizen action focusing on global warming in the nation's history.

There was a small rally at the Geneseo Village Park, organized by local resident Andrew Timm. Timm said that there were only five supporters at the rally in Geneseo, but participation nationally was encouraging. "I think the important thing was the linkage with the greater national effort, the bigger message is with the coordination of the whole event," he commented.

The goal of those attending rallies nationwide was to encourage Congress to reduce America's carbon emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050. Rallies ranged from small gatherings like the one in Geneseo to larger ones in cities such as New York, New Orleans and Chicago.

Step It Up's Web site described what impact the group hopes the event will have. "From every corner of the nation we'll start to shake things up." Several reports have called this the largest rally ever against global warming.

Step It Up was started by a group of young adults in their early 20s who are concerned about global warming and the potential problems it will cause for the planet in upcoming years. Headquarters for the group is located in Burlington, Vt.

Timm acknowledged that there was not as much participation as he would have liked to have seen in Geneseo. "I still don't think people have taken the whole topic as seriously as they could," he noted. However, he does feel that it is a very important issue that needs to be addressed by Congress. "I think it is worthwhile to get people to speak up more." He also was pleased to hear about efforts on the Geneseo campus such as the Residence Hall Energy Saving Contest that have also attempted to address the global warming problem.

Thus far, Step It Up has received coverage from media outlets around the country. This past Sunday, it was featured on the front page of The New York Times. Its organizers hope that the coverage the event has received will encourage Congress to act on the issue. Another statement on the group's Web site proclaimed, "This is a wake-up call to legislators. We want to show them that their constituents view global warming as the greatest threat facing our civilization today and are pleading for them to step up and take action."