Janisse Ray is a writer and naturalist born in Baxley, Georgia, who has graciously agreed to write for our blog. Her book, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood, recounts growing up in a junkyard, the daughter of a poor, white, fundamentalist family, and her latest book, Pinhook, Finding Wholeness in a Fragmented Land, tells the story of the land that connects the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia and Osceola National Forest in Florida.
Open Letter to U.S. Senators and Representatives
by Janisse Ray
Carbon emissions have already increased global temperatures by over 1 degree Fahrenheit. We are seeing dramatic results.
Our planet, due to rising levels of atmospheric CO2, methane, and other greenhouse gases, is experiencing:
With no action to cut greenhouse gases,
Climate disruption seems like a vast, unmanageable problem to which there are no easy answers. But there are solutions. And you, in your unique position in government, can surge to the forefront on this urgent issue.
Here are some necessary actions:
As I write this, in January 2007 there has been NO SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL in southern Vermont. Unthinkable. This holiday season, Duluth, Minnesota registered its first completely brown Christmas â€“ not a trace of snow — since 1875. â€œWithout radical measures to reduce carbon emissions within the next 10 to 15 years,â€ Tony Blair said recently, â€œthere is compelling evidence to suggest we might lose the chance to control temperature rises.â€
The future of civilization depends on our quick response to climate disruption. Weâ€™re looking to you to lead us out of it.
(For more information, read Field Notes from a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert and The Guardian, October 31, 2006.)
Note to Student Conservationists:
StepItUp07 is a movement to bring attention to the perils of global climate change. On April 14, 2007 rallies will be held all over the country. All of them will have a single message: Step It Up, Congress! Enact immediate cuts in carbon emissions, and pledge an 80% reduction by 2050.
Would you organize one in your community or on your campus? Please email StepItUp07@gmail.com, and say â€˜hereâ€™s where I liveâ€”I want to help organize.â€™
Events may be demonstrations, public dialogues, showings of An Inconvenient Truth, teach-ins, walks, or whatever other creative, fun idea you have.
StepItUp will assist you with banners, press releases, and talking points, and will connect you with others in your area who are eager to help. We can make April 14, 2007 a day that will be remembered as the one in which we the people demanded immediate action to end global climate disruption and were heard.
Please join us.
Janisse Ray & Bill McKibben