This afternoon the Avaaz DC Action Factory, along with Campus Progress and EAC, made another large push for the senate to create a stronger climate bill by physically spelling out the word “STRONG” inside of the Hart Senate Office Building. We took advantage of the eight-story atrium to creatively pose for an “aerial” photo that literally embodies our message. We saw staffers and interns stop copying papers and answering phones to decipher the word from balconies and windows on the floors above. The photograph will soon be delivered to these staffers to remind them that the global youth are actively participating in the climate debate.
The “STONG” message is essential because the House American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) passed on Friday June 26th is not aggressive enough. Congress is currently debating the Senate bill in committee and we are hoping to see a vote on it before the December UNFCCC negotiations this December in Copenhagen. It is critical that we demand more from the senate bill than we saw in the ACES bill. We need harder oversight on coal plants, better renewable portfolio standard and investments in international adaptation, faster emissions reduction targets and, more generally, stronger leadership and a stronger bill.
The action also brought back the strongmen that we used on Tuesday of this week during the first Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on climate legislation. The positive response that we received on Tusesday led us to continue the “stronger” message and utilize the strongman gimmick as we flooded the offices of senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Carl Levin (D-MI), Olympia Snowe (R-ME). We presented these swing-vote Senators with a Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger t-shirt and performed the exercise routine to better illustrate what we need in a strong climate bill. The image of 30 young people flexing and stretching in Senate offices is a sight these staffers are unlikely to forget as they mark-up the bill in the coming weeks!