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Local gatherings urge Congress to 'Step Up' action on global

KEENE VALLEY Two local gatherings to pressure Congress to take action against global climate change took place last weekend as part of a nationwide effort that included over 1,400 meetings. Katherine Brown, coordinator of one of the gatherings, said she was pleased and surprised by the over 150 people who showed up at the Adirondack Nature Conservancy/Adirondack Land Trust Office in Keene Valley. Called Step It Up Congress, the gathering was designed to urge the federal government to cut carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Its important to raise peoples awareness of climate change and to start a movement, said Brown. Carbon emissions are believed to be the leading cause of global warming. The Keene Valley event included a presentation by Tom Both of Adirondack Harvest, an original song by Stan Oliva What the Chances Are, a compact florescent light bulb giveaway, a carbon emissions quiz, and T-shirt painting for children. Were interesting in conservation and consuming local good, said Doug Potter, a local farmer who operates Maistar Farm in Keene Valley. Its good to show your solidarity with other folks in town and share our interest. St. Johns Episcopal Church in Essex hosted Step it Up for Creations Sake, organized by its Ecology Ministry. The event attracted about 30 people. Global climate change affects the poor and marginalized disproportionally. This is what the church needs to be about, said Katherine Preston, who chairs the ministry. Preston said that while global climate change affected everyone, it sometimes seemed very far away. Hosting a local event brings the significance of global warming home. Preston said the group was planning to organize a special church version of The Great Warming, with discussion and may organize a group work together to go on a low carbon diet. People interested in participating should contact Check your carbon footprint A carbon footprint is a measure of the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted through the combustion of fossil fuels. Carbon emissions are the leading cause of global warming. To find out what your carbon footprint is, log onto www.carbonfootprint.com. The "Step It Up, Congress!" gathering Saturday in Essex, hosted by St. John's Episcopal Church was for Creations sake. About thirty local people attended the event.

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