Take an early afternoon off from work (beat the traffic!) and join a bunch of concerned citizens (including Rob Zipplies â€“ back from his epic climate-change-awareness-raising cycle from Cape Town, via Joburg and Pretoria to Durban for a symbolic candlelight vigil outside the US Consulate in Westlake, Cape Town. Bring a candle, a jar to protect the flame (or a candle cut-out if the south-easter is blowing!), a placard, or just yourself and join us in a peaceful demonstration to demand a meaningful commitment by the US government to CO2 reductions.
At the same time we’ll be trying to send out a clarifying set of messages to the passing public. Parking and toilets are available at Steenberg Village Shopping Centre. The US Consulate is about 500m further on down Reddam Ave. Why: Our world leaders will be meeting in Copenhagen soon to decide our future, and the USA is unfortunately proving to be the most obstructionist of all the wealthy nations. Obama will be going for one day â€“ the 9th of December â€“ when he`ll no doubt deliver a rousing and eloquent speech.
He`ll then go on to Norway the next day to collect his Nobel Peace Prize. We need to send a signal to say that speeches and prizes are good, but action is what is really required â€“ enough action to head us back towards 350 parts per million CO2 Currently the US emissions target is a paltry 3% reductions below 1990 levels â€“ very far away from the 40% science is saying is necessary. The USA now holds a big key to unlock the climate treaty process, and we need Obama and the US Congress to turn that key.
So in South Africa we are planning to hold candlelight vigils outside the US Consulates in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban on Friday afternoon, 11th December, where we`ll be gathering to tell the US to support the 350 goal and to agree to bold cuts in reducing their emissions. The timing here is crucial â€“ the vigils are part of a huge mobilisation on the weekend of December 11th – 13th midway through the negotiations.
The climate talks will build to a head a few days later, so the more the negotiators feel the pressure from citizens around the world demanding a real deal, the more hopeful the final outcome will be. We plan to start the vigils before the US consular staff leave work so that`s why we want to start at 3pm. (Yes, the sun will still be shining brightly at this time of day, so the candles will be symbolic of lighting the path to 350 and our survival!) Visit here to read a Washington Post article by Bill McKibben titled ‘Obama needs to feel the heatâ€ and also check out the following insightful article by Prof Harald Winkler of the Energy Research Centre at the University of Cape Town, summarizing the gloomy prospects for Copenhagen. Join in the Action! Cape Town vigil organiser â€“ Sam Jack (firstname.lastname@example.org / 073 444 1514) and Patrick Dowling (email@example.com / 021 7011397)
Sign up via http://www.350.org/node/13288 If you would like to help by being a Marshall! (look important and wear an armband) Please contact Sam Jack (firstname.lastname@example.org / 073 444 1514) Help build the movement by spreading this message through your networks via email, Twitter & Facebook. If you can’t make this vigil, please go to www.350.org/weekend and www.350.org/vigil for ideas of actions you can take in your area. Many thanks, Samantha and the whole 350.org team email@example.com To find out more about why 350 is the most important number in the world, please visit http://www.350.org/about/science