Action on climate change needed now, rallygoers say; benefits are for future generations
By Heidi Marttila-Losure, Staff Writer
Ames Tribune - April 15, 2007
While prominent speakers talked about the importance of taking action
fight global climate change at the Step It Up rally Saturday in
the people in the crowd most likely to benefit from such action were
and laughing as they went down slides and twirled bright orange
"The true benefit of climate change policy won't benefit any of the
generation here," said Devin Harman, an Iowa State University senior
president of ActivUs, a student organization that works on climate
it won't even benefit our generation. The real generation - you see
playing over here, it's their grandkids that will have the most to
what we decide to do in the next 10 years."
The rally was part of more than 1,300 events held across the country
first National Day of Action on global climate change. All of the
the same message: Convince Congress to "step up" its efforts on climate
change, to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050.
The Ames event started with a march of 141 participants, according to
organizers' official count, from the ISU Power Plant to the Ames Power
the crowd about doubled in size for the rally with speakers and music
The crowd posed for a photo around a sign with its message to
will be posted on a Web site with photos from other rallies around the
country, virtually amplifying the message.
Good weather made for a good turnout at the event, which was made
with dogs and children playing on the greening grass.
Some of those children were running around Elizabeth Osborn, who was
attending the event with a cousin and her family.
Osborn said she attended to watch Thoughts of Crossing, one of the
played at the event, but she also was happy to see such a big turnout
cause of global warming. Osborn, who moved to Ames from San Diego
said she doesn't have a car and walks or takes CyRide where she needs
She won't buy a car until she can afford a hybrid, she said.
Osborn said it's a matter of looking out for the next generation.
"What's going to be left for these four kids?" she said of her cousin's
Peter Maris was one of several people who attended the rally on a
also is a new resident of Ames, having moved here from Pittsburgh to
job at ISU. His car stayed behind with his wife, but he said he
"Ames is small enough that there is absolutely no reason to have a car
Global warming is a big problem, Maris said, and is going to require
"Even with the alternative sources of energy that are available, every
has to get used to using less energy in order to do something about
warming," he said.
Environmentalist Carolyn Raffensperger, executive director of the
Environmental Health Network, rallied the crowd with her call to use a
"scratch and sniff test" for every candidate for political office.
"If they smell like a clothes drier, they're not our candidate,"
Raffensperger said. "If they smell like their clothes have been hung
out to dry in the
sun, they're our candidate, regardless of party."
A purchased bottle of water is also a sign that that candidate hasn't
enough thinking about global climate change, she said, as much fossil
been used to make that bottle available.
Raffensperger suggested out-of-the-box solutions such as making Ames a
"Hummer-free zone," where people would park on the edge of town and
bike where they
needed to go.
"We have got to employ every element of our imagination and political
this," Raffensperger said.
Heidi Marttila-Losure can be reached at 232-2161, Ext. 352, or
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