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A day to speak your mind on global warming

WARRENSBURG Think globally, act locally. Thats what will be happening across the country in April. This April 14, tens of thousands of Americans will gather all across the country to call for action on climate change. Scholar in residence at Middlebury College, author, environmentalist and part-time Johnsburg resident Bill McKibbens online call for locally inspired, locally run demonstrations on April 14 has generated plans for a wave of small protests under the Step It Up banner 948 and counting, to walk, jog, march, ski, swim, talk, sing, pray and party around the idea of cutting national emissions of heat-trapping gases 80 percent by 2050. Skiers in Wyoming plan to descend a shrinking glacier. New Yorkers plan to form an unbroken human line in blue shirts along what might be the new southern shoreline of Manhattan. People are ready to do something more than change their light bulbs, said McKibben on his step it up website. They understand the need for quick and dramatic political action. McKibben is spearheading what will be the largest public demonstration against global warming the country has ever seen. Instead of doing a march on Washington, which would burn a fair amount of carbon, the rally is nationwide, occurring more or less simultaneously, in all the places that people love around the country. Locally, Garnet Hill Lodge is holding an event, asking participants to carpool or even hike or bike to the event. In Warrensburg, Doug and Aimee Azaert, owners of Wildwaters Outdoor Adventure Center at the Glen, are offering 50 percent off their Hudson River Gorge trip, hoping to attract those concerned with global warming. Azaert already manufactures biodiesel fuel for his buses that can be used in the warmer months. Were hoping for a good group to talk about global warming, Azaert said. Well talk on the raft, and well have a little party afterwards with music, flyers about Step It Up and the pictures we take will be used for a banner that were sending to Congress. Azaert said the water will likely be high on April 14, so hell only be taking older children and adults on the rafting trip. Remember the (19)70s when we had the gas shortage, and we were driving 55 and turning our lights off to save energy? Azaert said. You dont hear that anymore, but its amazing how much fuel wed save if wed slow down to even 65. Azaert said he has requested windpower from National Grid for his lodge. Not every state allows you to pick where your power comes from, but I tell National Grid that the power we use must come from a wind farm. Its a little bit more expensive, but only a little, and if more people said they wanted green power, not coal, it would make a tremendous difference. For information about Step It Up 2007, visit stepitupadk.org or stepitup2007.org.

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