Yesterday, a student activist and I went to the White House to deliver the names of the more than 50,000 Americans who have signed a Greenpeace petition calling on President Obama to secure a fair, ambitious, and binding climate treaty at the UN Summit in Copenhagen.

Sorting some of the 50,000 petitions calling for climate leadership from President Obama

We already made sure that President Obama saw your call for leadership when his helicopter flew over our banner made of the names of those 50,000 people as he arrived home from receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo last week.

But with the President about to depart for the final day of the Climate Summit in Copenhagen on Friday, we stopped by to meet with his staff and show them that so many hope for his leadership.  One of those people is our own Kumi Naidoo, the executive director of Greenpeace International.  He has written an open letter to President Obama on the eve of his visit, which we also delivered.  I recommend reading the full letter; here’s a selection;


I end by reminding you of something you said often during your campaign. You frequently invoked the powerful words of Martin Luther King: "The fierce urgency of now".

Sadly, according to the science the urgency of now has become even more fierce. I humbly appeal to you to reject the voices of short-term interest, of political expediency and of compromise.

Listen instead to the call of history. Listen to the voices of those most at threat. Listen to the voices of future generations, of our children and grandchildren. Of your children. Of your grandchildren, as yet unborn. Then, please, take the action that you know is needed.


Delivering a letter from Greenpeace Executive Director Kumi Naidoo to President Obama

So many people are ramping up the pressure today, from climate justice advocates outside the Bella Center in Copenhagen to activists here in Washington DC, and amazing actions all over the planet.

It’s our climate, President Obama; it’s your decision.