Saturday, September 22, 2007

Is Step It Up Losing Momentum?

To keep the momentum of their global warming movement going following the success of the first day of Step It Up events on April 14th author Bill McKibben and company have called for another day of Step It Up events on November 3rd. Unfortunately it appears there is less enthusiasm for this second go-around. Forty-five days before April 14th there were only two states, North Dakota and South Dakota, in which events were not planned. Well here we are only 42 days before November 3rd and the list of states without events planned is rather long. The list includes Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama. Not only does there appear to be a lack of enthusiasm among event planners, but politicians do not seem to be accepting invitations to attend the events. Among 221 members of Congress who have been invited only two have to this date accepted. Among 14 presidential candidates who have been invited none have so far said they would go. Since I think it fair to say that momentum for fighting global warming is not on the wane in the US and if anything it has picked up, it is likely that the reduced enthusiasm for Step It Up events has more to do with Step It Up than the issue per se. Perhaps the problem is that the novelty of showing up at global warming protest events has worn off. We’ve done that, now what? Perhaps people have concluded that the first round of Step It Up events had no effect on politicians so why go through all the bother of doing it again. In any case, if this truly is a political movement it appears to be somewhat in trouble.

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