by Chris Diming, VA Campus Organizer, Chesapeake Climate Action Network
Cross-posted at ChesapeakeClimate.org
As excited motorists, bicyclists, and people on foot passed by, local citizens and I held up a banner telling the president than his "all of the above energy will not stop climate change." Even the air tingled with excitement, as the crowd's cheers echoed from the pavillion and the ever-present security forces barely hid their anticipation. After getting politely removed to a nearby location on Market, I knew that the moment I was waiting for, when the president was see the message for more clean energy, was near.
At around 3 PM, there was a hushed, anticipated silence and in a couple seconds police motorcycles appeared right in front of us. Holding the banner with a volunteer, I knew that in just a minute the president would drive right by. With cries of "he's here!" the crowd cheered as the president's motorcade roared by. As the president's vehicle came and went, I smiled in approval, knowing that the president had just seen my banner calling for wind and solar. The day's mission was accomplished. Indeed, after the speech, Obama for America's Virginia team sent out the tweet: "POTUS: Ignoring inequalities don't make them go away. Denying climate change won't make it stop."
Yesterday's action at the Charlottesville rally was for a simple, logical reason. As increasingly severe weather batters our country, the president has yet to take concrete steps to protect our climate. Construction on the Keystone XL pipeline's southern leg has begun, the Marcellus Shale continues to be fracked, and carbon is still being emitted from far too many coal-fired plants. Simply put, we need the president to take real action on the climate. Climate change will not wait for the eventual result of endless political deliberations. Without action, corporations like Dominion Power will continue to spew carbon into the atmosphere from their dirty fossil fuels.
Mr. President, we need action now. Say "no" to the Keystone XL Pipeline and bring clean energy to our communities before it's too late. That's the change we need.