On Monday, 28 senators are planning on staying up all night talking about climate change, an effort that aims to “wake up Congress” about the seriousness of the issue.
The “talkathon” will start after Senate’s last votes Monday and is expected to last until Tuesday at 9 a.m. It was organized by the Climate Action Task Force, a group launched in January whose goal is to take an aggressive stance on climate change in Congress. Twenty-six Democrats and two independents have committed to attend the talkathon and are planning to tweet throughout the night using the hashtag #Up4Climate.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), one of the members of the task force who will be participating in the talkathon, said the goal of the all-nighter was “to break the pattern of the Senate and show the interest of at least 20 senators who will be participating through the night.”
The talkathon isn’t pushing for any specific legislation, but instead is seeking to gain attention on climate change. Whitehouse spokesman Seth Larson said the talkathon was “just one of a number of steps that the Senate Climate Action Task Force will be taking this year, and we hope it will help get more Americans engaged in the important debate about how we can act on climate change.” The Task Force has also set up a petition calling on Congress to “wake up and take action on climate change.”
The Senators participating in the talkathon are hoping the event will get the attention of some of the opinions of their colleagues.
“There is a stubborn group of climate change deniers and we are hoping to shrink that number,” Sen. Brian Schatz, (D-HI) told the Hill. “It’s hard to predict what their response will be but we welcome a debate on this issue and there is room for conversation for what suite of policy solutions we aught to undertake.”
Thirty senators ended up participating in the event, including Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Chris Coons (D-DE), who joined the lineup after it was announced on Friday.