Saturday, April 14, 2007

Step it Up 2007, Concord, New Hampshire

I made it down to Concord, New Hampshire Step it Up 2007 rally on the Capital steps.

Billed as the first nationwide rally in support climate change legislation, Step it Up 2007, was a not-to-be-missed moment in US Environmental history. Kids played in the branches of ash trees, while adults mingled in the quad or checked out the activist information booths. There was live music and speakers from the usual eco-friendly cast of characters: The Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, The Audubon Society, etc. Of the speakers and organizations in attendance, I found myself particularly drawn to two: 1) The Carbon Coalition, which is a New Hampshire-based non profit that is focusing its energy on meeting with prospective presidential candidates as they travel through the Granite State this summer; and 2) PrioritiesNH, another statewide organization, founded by Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's, dedicated to informing people how their tax dollars are used by congress, particularly how much is allocated to military spending.

I'll be curious to see how Step it Up 2007 plays out in the media. There were over 1,300 rallies all over the US, but, because there wasn't one picture-inspiring central rally, none of them drew particularly large numbers (the Concord event may have had a few hundred). Therefore, I worry that Step it Up 2007 will be seen, not for the historical moment that it was, but as simply a prelude to the official Earth Day celebrations next week.

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