ADVISORY: Dr. James Hansen Calls on Americans to Join Him at the Largest Protest on Global Warming in U.S. History

Leading climate scientist says crisis demands civil disobedience

Media release - February 18, 2009
Washington—In a public service announcement released today, Dr. James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, calls on Americans to join him on March 2nd at the Capitol Power Plant in the largest display of civil disobedience to demand national action on global warming in U.S. history.

"It's time to take a stand on global warming," Dr. Hansen says in the video. "We want to send a message to Congress and the President that we want them to take the actions that are needed to preserve climate for young people and future generations and all life on earth."  (see: http://vimeo.com/3268481)

Some 2,000 people from across the country are expected to join Dr. Hansen at Congress's own coal-fired power plant in Southeast Washington, D.C. Wendell Berry, Bill McKibben, Gus Speth and other prominent leaders in the environmental movement will also participate. Grammy Award-winning country singer Kathy Mattea will join the protest and perform.

"Dr. Hansen is a world renowned-scientist more accustomed to the lab and the library than the picket line. When he sees a problem so urgent that he is willing to take to the streets in protest, we can be sure it means that the government must act," said Matt Leonard of Greenpeace, a lead sponsor of the event.

The Capitol Climate Action is sponsored by a national coalition of over 70 conservation, faith-based, social justice and labor groups (see: www.capitolclimateaction.org), which reflects the diversity of people increasingly concerned with the negative environmental and public health impacts of coal and global warming.

Coal-fired power plants are largest source of global warming pollution in the country, and the Capitol plant is widely regarded as a symbol of the country's dangerous reliance on the fossil fuel. Burning coal also cuts short at least 24,000 lives in the U.S. annually, inflicts catastrophic damage to the landscape and water supplies and jeopardizes the lives of coal miners. Furthermore, coal leads to approximately $167 billion in healthcare costs annually and diverts scarce resources away from energy efficiency and clean energy, which create more than twice as many jobs per dollar as money for coal.

CONTACTS: Mike Crocker, Greenpeace USA Media Officer, 202-319-2471; Nell Greenberg, Communications Manager, Rainforest Action Network, 510-847-9777; Anne Havemann, Communications Director, CCAN, 240-396-2022