by Bob Geary
Answer: Climate Convergence on Raleigh is coming next weekend, April 20-21. It's a major coming-together of the growing network of people and groups working on climate change and related issues (e.g., fracking) in North Carolina.
If you've been looking for a chance to link up with this movement and with 350.org, the great grassroots organization that is spreading not just across the U.S. but the world, here it is. All the events are free, and you can take in as much or as little as you want.
There's a schedule on the website, but it needs to be fleshed out with the names of all the speakers — and the poets, musicians and other creative folks who are coming for the purpose of making this a memorable and compelling event. It's quite a list. More next week as it's finalized.
CCR 2013 — it's planned as a first annual event — is indeed timed to coincide with Earth Day.
Most of the CCR events/discussions will be at the Church of the Good Shepherd, 125 Hillsborough St. in downtown Raleigh ... but with time out on Saturday to take advantage of the Celebrate Earth activities at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences.
Events on Sunday will feature a "bicycling in" and an outdoor rally on Halifax Mall, behind the Legislative Building in Raleigh, including a planned encircling of the Legislative Building itself.
(Maybe, if enough people come out, we can lift it off the ground and send it — well, you know.)
The mission is to "inspire, educate and issue a big call to action" on the issue of climate change:
The Climate Convergence on Raleigh (CCR) will be a critical mass event of concerned citizens and organizations from across North Carolina that are fed up with inaction. We will rally, march, and meet with our legislators that have the responsibility of charting the course of our future. We must take it upon ourselves to enact the political changes necessary to avert further climate devastation.
I spoke with one of the organizers, Karen Bearden, the other day, and I'll be writing about this next week for the Indy from her perspective as well as my own. My challenge will be to capture her passion for this cause and channel it — because whatever happens in Raleigh this year and next year and in the next decade on all the issues we care about, if our country doesn't get out in front on the climate change issue, we could be facing an existential catastrophe.
And, as progressives well know, our country won't get out in front until the public gets in front and drags our policymakers, corporate chieftains and investment bankers off their rears. Where their wallets are, I mean.