Any tourist strolling through downtown San Francisco this past Saturday was likely to be stopped in her tracks. San Francisco might have a reputation as an eccentric city, but surely your average tourist doesn’t imagine the streets lined with hundreds of banner-holding bicyclists, skateboarders, and pedestrians, some more easily recognizable as polar bears, tropical fish, or rare birds. This was Moving Planet: an international day of action to move beyond fossil fuels, organized by 350.org in collaboration with local organizations like the Ecology Center. Had that same tourist been in her home city of Hanoi, Vietnam, Sulaimani, Iraq, or Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, she likely would have witnessed a similarly inspiring convergence of citizens calling for action on climate change. In fact, community members in 175 countries organized 2000 different events on Saturday, from bike rides to parades to government sit-ins.
Here in Berkeley, residents kicked off the day with a bike ride from the Berkeley Bike Station to Lorin Station, followed by a meet-up at the Ashby BART Station. With public transit a major theme of the day, the BART ride to SF was an event in itself. Once in SF, a parade from Justin Herman Plaza to Civic Center, included faith leaders, business owners, policy makers, environmental advocates, and concerned citizens and carried a specific message: local leaders should invest the almost $220 billion available for transportation planning over the next 25 years in affordable and accessible public transit and in land use decisions that support biking, walking, public health and equity. Speakers including Bill McKibben, author and Co-Founder of 350.org, Michael Brune, President of the Sierra Club, and Carl Anthony, Environmental Justice Advocate and Founder of Urban Habitat, underscored the urgency of action and the need to ensure that those hit hardest by climate change — the poor, indigenous people, and people of color, locally and abroad — benefit from solutions.
The Ecology Center was proud to serve as a member of the Bay Area Moving Planet Steering Committee and play a role in planning and carrying out the day. We invite you to continue staying engaged in the issues through our Climate Action Workshops, Regenerating Solutions Salons, Movement Builders and Shakers Forums, and other Ecology Center programs.
KQED featured an article on the Moving Planet Rally. See the full article here.