|Photo Credit: Paul Anderson|
On a drizzly Tuesday evening over 800 people showed up to RE Sources’ event at the Fairhaven Village Green to hear New York Times bestselling author, co-founder of 350.org, and Time Magazine’s “world’s best green journalist,” Bill McKibben, speak about coal export, climate change, and the power of community action.
|Millie and The Mentshn|
The event kicked off with a concert by local favorites, Millie and the Mentshn, and an information fair featuring local and regional organizations. The organizations involved in the information fair, some of which form a No Coal Coalition, focus on preventing climate change and coal exports from Cherry Point. Community members who attended the information fair were able to get their questions answered, collect information about the impacts of Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point, and take action by signing a petition against coal exports from the Northwest. At RE Sources’ booth alone, we received over 720 signatures before 6:30pm!
Bill took the stage at 7pm and spoke to one of the largest crowds the Village Green has seen about the importance of preventing the construction of the Gateway Pacific Terminal. His message: prevent the exportation of coal not only to protect the health, happiness, economy, and environment of Whatcom County, but also to set an example and stop global climate change. He told stories of his travels around the world visiting communities who already feel the tragic affects of climate change, such as increased incidents of flooding, crippling food prices, and disease. He inspired the crowd by declaring that sometimes flukes of geography such as Whatcom County’s location and deepwater port, happen for a reason. Bellingham will win this fight, he said, and set a global example in the broader struggle to stop global climate change.
"Of Bellingham in particular, the New Englander says, 'There’s virtually no place on the continent that’s done a better job of showing us how to live locally. Now, by quirk of geography, Bellingham is going to have to make some decisions about what kind of role it wants to play globally.” Quote from the Cascadia Weekly’s article on May 25, 2011.
RE Sources would like to thank everyone for attending the event, signing the petition, and continuing to take action.("Coal-for-China debate burns its way into Bellingham's mayor race," Crosscut.com, 6/2/11.) And a special thanks to all the organizations that tabled at the event, especially Climate Solutions for their support before and after the event.
In addition, we would like to thank our generous event sponsors and supporters:
Whatcom Sound, Shew Design for marketing and promotional support, Duane Jager for his excellent emcee skills, Millie and The Mentshn for their great performance (even while it was raining), Charlie Maliszewski & Hilary Culverwell for their fun performance of “Paradise” – Whatcom County style (see below for video), Village Books, Climate Solutions, 350.org, Adventures NW Magazine, Jill McInytre Witt, Paul Anderson & Bray Hayden (for their excellent photography (view a slideshow here), The RE Store, and the Cascadia Weekly.
Links for More Information
"Can China Go Green?" National Geographic Article by Bill McKibben
"Stopping Coal at the Coast" LA Times Article by Bill McKibben
Click here to view a slide show of the event. (Photo credit: The RE Store's very own Bray Hayden.)