Council President Ben Stuckart leads the way as Spokane rallies to demand action on greenhouse gas pollution.
Sunday was a national call to action day to address the worldwide problem of climate change. As some 35,000 protestors gathered in the nation’s capital to appeal to President Obama and Congress, Spokane was one of a myriad communities around the nation that held their own “Forward on Climate” events.
In Spokane KXLY meteorologist Kris Crocker was master of ceremony to more than a half dozen speakers, including Council President Ben Stuckart, Sierra Club organizer Alyssa Kraft, the Spokane Tribe’s Twa-le Abrahamson, and city council member Amber Waldref.
Stuckart’s five minute talk was by far the most fiery.
Stuckart cited several scientific sources for the evidence that climate change is man-made, that it is real and that it will have devastating consequences on future generations. And he mocked those who deny the evidence.
“Are people insane?” he asked, in reference to those who deny climate change or say it’s not a local issue.
“If you thought having to get a supermajority to raise taxes was hard,” he said,” when do you get ninety-seven percent of scientists to agree on anything?”
“Okay, so I vented,” Stuckart said at the mid-point of his remarks. “And I hope we’re all on the same page that climate change is real; we are ignoring it; and it’s the biggest threat to life on this planet. And we’re angry and frustrated. So when I get angry and frustrated I find sometimes a little call and response is helpful.”
With that he bellowed chant: “Hey-hey, h0-ho, CO2 has got to go!”
Speaking from her perspective as a member and air quality official with the Spokane Tribe, Twa-le Abrahamson took stock of all the things the Spokane and other tribes were doing to protect the environment, at all levels. Including working to stop the shipment of coal to China, where it will be burned putting carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the earth’s atmosphere.
“So we are really here,” she said, “and we really appreciate the support and we want our communities to work together to support what the tribes are doing because we are looking out for our future generations.”
John Waite, the owner of Merlin’s on Main, spoke from a business person’s perspective to encourage people in Spokane to take a page from the earth-friendly themes of Expo 74.
Spokane, if you were a child in the 1970s, was a very different place,” Waite said. “And all of you people who are old enough to remember Expo 74, I’m a child of Expo 74 and Woodsy the owl and give a hoot and don’t pollute. I kind of wonder what happened to that whole ethos.”
Below is a short video of Spokane Riverkeeper Bart Mihailovich offering his take on Sunday’s rally.