TICONDEROGA The fight against global warming is coming to the North Country. Step It Up rallies will be held in Ticonderoga, Bolton, Keene Valley, North River and Essex Saturday, April 14, as part of a national effort to bring attention to climate issues. The purpose is to raise awareness locally and to get the attention of our government, explained Dr. Dean Cook of Ticonderoga. Were making progress, but theres so much that needs to be done. Global warming is an increase in the earths temperatures caused by greenhouse gas concentrations resulting in a greenhouse effect. While virtually all scientists warn of global warming and its effects, some feel increased temperatures on the planet are the result of a natural cycle and not pollution. More than 1,100 Step It Up rallies are planned nationally, making April 14 the largest nationwide day of grassroots environmental political action since Earth Day 1970. Step It Up is being organized by Middlebury College professor Bill McKibben. He wants the federal government to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. This is an invitation to help start a movementto take one spring day and use it to reshape the future, McKibben said. Those of us who know that climate change is the greatest threat civilization now faces have science on our side; we have economists and policy specialists, courageous mayors and governors, engineers with cool new technology. But we dont have a movementthe largest rally yet held in the U.S. about global warming drew a thousand people, he continued. If were going to make the kind of change we need in the short time left us, we need something that looks like the civil rights movement, and we need it now. Changing light bulbs just isnt enough. The Ticonderoga Step It Up rally will be held noon to 4 p.m. at Cooks home at 552 Baldwin Road. His home was selected because its a passive solar house. It gets all its electricity, hot water and heat from the sun. There will be tours of the house and company reps will be on site to help visitors understand the technology and to answer questions. Building techniques to minimize energy use, house siting and retrofitting, and costs will be addressed along with sources for additional information. Buildings use 50 percent of all energy used in the U.S., Cook said. Cars use 25 percent. If we can get our homes and cars under control we have a great start on managing our environment. Cook built his house using solar technology in 1978 following a Middle East oil embargo. The first oil embargo should have been a heads up for all of us, Cook said. Now its 30 years later and we still havent learned. The Bolton rally will be a day-long affair at the Roger's Memorial Park Town Pier gazebo. In the event of rain itll be at the Bolton fire house. The Keene Valley rally will be 10-11:30 a.m. at the Adirondack Nature Conservancy at 8 Nature Way. The Essex rally will be 9-10:30 a.m. at St Johns Episcopal Church at 4 Church St. The best science tells us we have 10 years to fundamentally transform our economy and lead the world in the same direction or else, in the words of NASAs Jim Hansen, we will face a totally different planet, one infinitely sadder and less flourishing, McKibben said. The recent elections have given us an opening, and polling shows most Americans know theres a problem, he said. But the forces of inertia and business-as-usual are still in control, and only our voices, united and loud, joyful and determined, can change that reality.