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Online effort sparks regional and national Climate Action Day is the hub of organizing for National Climate Action Day, Saturday, April 14. 

Sixteen of 1,303 actions planned across the nation as of April7 will be in the Inland Northwest.

There will be rallies outside churches, along coasts, in cornfields, in forests and on statehouse steps.  Each group will send the same message:  “Step it up, Congress!  Cut carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050.”

Photos of gatherings will be shared electronically in what may be one of the largest demonstrations ever.

The following area one- to two-hour events are set on April 14:

• In Spokane, there will be an event at noon by the upper falls of the Spokane River in Riverfront Park. Participants will form a human banner that reads: "Step It UP, Congress! Cut carbon 80 percent by 2050."

• Cheney Climate Action Day is at 2:30 p.m. in the park by Cheney City Hall.  Organizers ask people to come by bike or to walk, bringing signs, songs and instruments.

• The Stevens County Action Network will hold a gathering at noon at Colville's Yet Kanum Park.

• The Sandpoint rally is at noon, at the City Beach, celebrating the lake, forests and mountains, raising awareness and planning action.  It includes music and activities for children. 

• The Step It Up Moscow! begins at 9 a.m. at East City Park, with a bicycle procession through downtown to the 1912 Building outdoor plaza for photos.  The Palouse Earth Day Association is planning this event and an Earth Day Concert on April 22 at the University of Idaho.

• Earth Fest ’07 is set at noon, at the University of Idaho also in Moscow.

• At noon, Newport will hold a rally with signs, songs and a march through town beginning at the town park.

• “Turn the Heat Down” is the theme for the noon gathering at the Republic Elementary School Auditorium to discuss steps for individuals and the community to take to reduce carbon emissions.  There will be speakers and opportunities to take action.

• "Stop Global Warming Now" will be at noon at the town park in Northport.

• “Step It Up! Walla Walla” at noon in the group shelter at Rooks Park is a chance to learn about local environmental groups, hear music and a speaker, and write letters.

• "Step It Up Walk: One Community's Call for Action" will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Commercial Street between 14th and Division and proceed through downtown Leavenworth to Lion's Club Park.

• “Step It Up Ellensburg” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. downtown will gather people to promote nearby windmills, a solar farm, biofuel production, solar power, electric and hybrid vehicles, and consciousness of urgency.  Another event at noon in Ellensburg is "Ellensburg Steps upfor Climate Change." It will be at the Woldale School, 3200 Dry Creek Road.

• In Wenatchee, there will be a noon “Pledge to Change” gathering at Memorial Park with music, speakers and a march down Wenatchee Ave.

• “Get outta your car and combine errands” is the theme of the Tri-Cities event at 1 p.m. at Columbia Center Blvd. and Quinalt. 

National Step It Up 2007 organizers say that to cut emissions 80 percent by 2050 would mean a two percent cut a year.  They hope the event will be a wake-up call for Congress to make the changes needed to prevent catastrophic effects from global warming.

Bill McKibben, 46, an environmental writer and activist, five Middlebury College graduates and a student initiated the plans.  In 1989, Bill raised the alarm about global warming in his book, The End of Nature.  He is also author of the recently published Deep Economy.

Information is at

Mary Stamp - The Fig Tree - © April 2007