McKibben on Moving Planet 9/24/11: “If We’re Going to Win This Global Fight, We Need a Global Movement.”

Moving Planet will be a day to put our demands for climate action into motion—marching, biking, skating—calling for the world to go beyond fossil fuels.

WHY: For too long, our leaders have denied and delayed, compromised and caved. That era must come to an end: it’s time to get moving on the climate crisis.

WHERE: All over the world [see map below for the event nearest you]

WHEN: September 24, 2011

WHO: You, your friends, your family, your neighbors

For more info, check the frequently asked questions page.

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Bill McKibben of 350.0rg and TarSandsAction has more:

Hey friends —

We usually don’t send out emails on the weekend, but we’re just a week out from Moving Planet on September 24, and the excitement is really starting to build.

A few very cool actions are already underway — our friends in Indonesia have already started on the 350-hour bike ride that will carry them across much of the nation, and in India the Naya Swara Yatra (New Independence Journey) bike team has left Nagpur bound for Mumbai with their message, “it’s time to move past fossil fuels”.

Most places, though, people are still making last-minute plans: for the “human flood” of blue shirts across Cairo, for the parade of fuel-free floats across Cape Town, for the procession of the “Eco-lympic torch” across Rio de Janeiro via skateboard, foot, and pedal.

You will not want to miss out — here’s the map to help you find the event nearest you [see above].

If you find an event you want to join, take a moment to contact the organizer and see if you can help out in the final week.

If there’s no event near you to join, there’s still plenty of time to organize something quick and easy — and our team at headquarters has put together a guide to help you do just that:

And here’s the point of it all: if we’re going to win this global fight, we need a global movement. When you’re taking part in your hometown, millions of others will be doing the same thing: on different continents, in different languages, but with the same idea in their minds and hearts. We’re building local power and global power at the same time.

We know that the climate crisis is serious business — we know that even right now there are people suffering from drought and floods caused by climate change around the world. Our hearts are with them — and our bodies are going to be in motion, helping show our neighbors what the future can look like.

So: don’t just sign yourself up. Make sure everyone you know knows about it too.

You can spread the word on Facebook and Twitter, or just forward this message through your email account.

Share the day however you can — and don’t forget to join us on Saturday. This will be too good to miss!


Bill McKibben for the Team

P.S. It’s heartening to think about people all over the world getting ready for the big day — making banners, putting up posters, fixing their bikes, and calling their friends, neighbors, media and politicians to get them out to local events. Check out the image below that just came in today from Copenhagen, Denmark, of people making stencils and signs. This network is strongest when we inspire each other — if you have an image you want to share with the network, send it to

Moving Planet art materials here:

Bill McKibben of 350.0rg and TarSandsAction

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16 Responses to McKibben on Moving Planet 9/24/11: “If We’re Going to Win This Global Fight, We Need a Global Movement.”

  1. Jeff Huggins says:

    Several Things

    “For too long, our leaders have denied and delayed, compromised and caved. That era must come to an end.” I AGREE!

    I’ll be at the Moving Planet event in San Francisco. (Take BART or Caltrans, or at least carpool, if you can’t walk or bike there.)

    I am hoping that as many people as possible will take a stronger stand towards President Obama as he approaches his upcoming choice regarding Keystone XL. It’s time to get serious. To that end, I’ve submitted a proposed guest post to Joe, for everyone’s consideration.

    Also, last I read in the newspaper, President Obama was planning to be in the San Francisco Bay Area, briefly, on September 25 — the day after Moving Planet. I’m wondering if the Tar Sands Action folks, or folks, or anyone else has anything planned? I would be glad to attend a demonstration of some sort to help gain President Obama’s attention, again, regarding Keystone XL, if anyone is planning one in the vicinity of where he’ll be.

    Be Well,


  2. Mike Roddy says:

    Bill, I hope you start thinking in terms of product boycotts, by brand name, product category, or nation of origin. Examples, in order, would be Georgia Pacific construction products (owned by the Kochs, and relying on clearcutting and chemicals), SUV’s, and Canada.

    Boycotts organized by the once aggressive Rainforest Action Network were extremely successful. Citibank changed their lending policies, and Home Depot pledged to stop stocking old growth wood.

    Nowadays, so called green NGO’s have lost heart for these kinds of actions, and many have been penetrated by corporate donors. Boycotts may be the only tactic that can succeed in the current political environment. Fresher, more grassroots organizations such as yours will have to lead here.

    Ultimately, China and the US will face global boycotts, as the rest of the world becomes enraged at the consequences of massive belching of greenhouse gases. It would be more productive to start this process now, on a more macro level, before we reach that point.

    I welcome your opinion here, Bill, along with other CP commenters.

  3. Joan Savage says:

    I’m headed in a similar direction.

    A boycott counts for a lot when the consumer changes a frequent market decision, and the boycott is even more potent if the decision is potentially reversible if conditions are met. A great example is not buying grapes unless they are union-picked grapes.

    With those criteria in mind, here are some suggestions that are within reach.

    The most relevant, not buying oil from the tar sands, needs confirmed research on which refineries either already take from the tar sands or intend to take from the tar sands, and which petroleum retailers in turn buy from those refineries.

    Back up ideas:
    Invista’s Lycra and Spandex synthetic fibers are common in sports clothing, indeed many items of clothing, like the stretch fibers in the cuffs of a turtleneck or a swim suit. Boycotting those fibers might send a message to Koch Industries, the parent company of Invista. It is ironic that sales of snug bicycle shorts and stretch knit shirts probably helped pay for denier lobbying.

    You mentioned Georgia-Pacific construction materials, which are common in home-repair stores, but what are even more frequent consumer decisions are domestic paper products: toilet paper, paper towels, and the like, and Georgia-Pacific sells those products under a variety of brand names.

  4. Mike Roddy says:

    I’m glad you’ve reached a similar conclusion, Joan, and agree about paper towels, which are a huge waste of trees in any case. Most people elsewhere use rags.

    I’ve pestered people I know at the leading green organizations about this for a few years. The ones who agree with me are out of power. Please contact the green NGO’s yourself, and don’t settle for answers about what they did back in 1999. McKibben has been silent here, too- I don’t know why.

    I look forward to whatever you dig up, and always like your comments here, too.

  5. happy to participate–but between our work at and we’re completely over capacity. you guys should start something and i bet a lot of folks will join in. that’s what we did with 350, and it’s worked great!

  6. Lou Grinzo says:

    One reminder on boycotts: If they are to be effective then the companies involved must understand, in no uncertain terms, that they are being boycotted and exactly why. Businesses can be remarkably adept at telling themselves that a dip in sales is due to a competitor’s new ad campaign or the ongoing weak economy or whatever; you have to remove all doubt that when their sales underperform it was caused by you and not the vagaries of the market.

  7. Joan Savage says:

    Mike and Lou, Lou’s points are illustrated in the grape boycott; it had an objective which was possible (allow unions) and well understood. Communications around it were very clear. A dip in grape sales, and only grape sales, showed it was no accident. It also showed that support had spread across the country.

    If our objective might be No Tar Sands Oil in This Tank, then we’d need a list of oil retailers that buy from the Tar Sands. Many of the folk are beyond car ownership, so a tar sands boycott would depend on people who still use cars or home heating fuel oil, and are ready to shift brands.
    I look forward to more input.

  8. Joan Savage says:

    That could get skewed by exporters who desire the Keystone XL pipeline to take tar sands oil to external markets.

  9. Hank says:

    How come these events like Moving Planet, Climate Reality etc, never happen in Russia and that part of the world??

  10. Mike Roddy says:

    Bill, I would love to run with this, but have a small family to support, and am too blunt to ever attract the funding needed. Thanks for your thoughts and support, and for all of the work you’ve done.

    Nice to hear that others are thinking along the same lines. Boycotts not only inflict actual damage on carbon polluters, the process is a good educational tool. It will make people like Koch and the Alberta tar sands gang a little crazy- and more mistake prone. They consider liberal lampooning harmless, and well managed by Fox etc. Taking away their markets and stock values will hammer them where it hurts, and show them that we have a little fight in us.

    Joan, tracking tar sands oil usage will be tough, and much of it could just as easily be exported, as you pointed out. Certainly the most offending retailers should be pointed out, but maybe we should just boycott Canadian products, including the vast quantities of old growth lumber that they ship down here every year. It would be tough love for our friends- and we’ll even grant an exemption for Canadian music.

  11. happily, we’ve done tons of work in eastern europe and russia over the years (thanks oleg!) and there will be big events there this weekend as usual. obviously, russia a hard place to get the anti-oil message effectively out given its total domination of the economy, but trying hard there (and in saudi arabia too!)

  12. Joan Savage says:

    I understand your need to take care of family and other concerns. I’m stretched in some ways as well.
    Lou Grinzo’s comments about communication also come to mind. I’d say the boycott idea has not matured.

    The people of Canada are divided on the tar sands and on how NAFTA affects their loss of control of their natural resources. I’d want to hear from Canadians. Ontario carrots and Quebec maple syrup are not appropriate for a boycott that is supposed to combat something about global warming.

    CP is a remarkably public location to discuss matters, and that includes nascent ideas. It does not mean that a plan is going to pop forth fully-developed like Athena from the forehead of Zeus.

    I’m delighted to see Bill McKibben’s encouragement and confidence.

  13. Mike Roddy says:

    Joan, I think the people of Canada could stop the tar sands if they wanted to. They had terrible resource extraction practices even before NAFTA, and they really have no excuse. I know Canadians, and many are uncomfortable with pillage in the north and Priuses in the south. Others just accept distant land rape, and if maple syrup producers get hurt, hey, too bad, these are big stakes here. They need more pressure from outside.

    I also agree that the idea needs a lot of tinkering. Let’s see if a group with a little money and membership steps up. I copied Greenpeace, RAN, and Sierra Club on this thread. If they remain silent, we’ll know what the next step will have to be- start from scratch.

  14. Joan Savage says:

    I got a message this morning reminding that tar sands development is moving along within the US borders, in Utah.

    (I would appreciate Steven Lacey or Joe Romm’s comments about Utah tar sands. A search of Think Progress with “Utah” keyword didn’t pick up on anything in the recent past.)

    Regarding a boycott, I’m hoping folk can step up to help identify the money and dilbit trails between consumers and deciders.

  15. Joan Savage says:

    To clarify, there’s plenty on Think Progress about Utah, but not a headline that picks up on Utah tar sands.

  16. Janine Boneparth says:

    Tar Sands Keystone XL arrestee reunion in SF?