From drums to discussion, Carbondale climate rally aims to inspire action |

From drums to discussion, Carbondale climate rally aims to inspire action

Students protest at the Garfield County Administration Building Friday in Glenwood Springs. The march and protest was organized by senior Hannah Juul, who was inspired to join students around the world in protesting climate change.
Kyle Mills/Post Independent

Carbondale’s climate strike rally will start with a drum circle.

Fred Malo, part of climate activism organization 350 Colorado, has helped organize the climate strike, slated for noon to 4 p.m. Friday at Carbondale’s Sopris Park, and hopes it will inspire people to advocate for strong measures against climate change.

“It’s time to take action, and this rally on Friday is just to get people motivated,” Malo said.

After the drum circle, Malo has organized a host of speakers to discuss the issue of climate change.

The rally is part of dozens of similar events across the state, the country, and the globe.

Part of the impetus for climate action week is the visit of Greta Thunberg, a teen climate activist from Sweden, who is in the U.S. for the United Nations’ Youth Climate Summit held Saturday in New York City.

The Roaring Fork High School energy club will be coming to the Carbondale event, along with a contingent from the independent Waldorf School, and possibly Colorado Mountain School, Malo said. He hopes even more young people will join the event.

“This is their issue,” Malo said of students. “We Baby Boomers are all going to be dead by the time the full effects of climate change hit. We’re really looking for student participation,” he said.

After the drum circle, led by Laurie Loeb who famously runs the circle kicking off Mountain Fair each year, a number of experts and activists will speak.

Carbondale Mayor Dan Richardson will talk about the town’s commitment to renewables. Physician Greg Feinsinger will speak about the environmental benefits of a plant-based diet. Other scheduled speakers include Alicia Zeringue of Wilderness Workshop, Erin Riccio of Conservation Colorado, and Maisa Metcalf of Clean Energy Economy for the Region (CLEER).

Aspen and Grand Junction both have climate events scheduled, but Carbondale is a leader in the region, Malo said.

“Carbondale is a very progressive town. What we need to do is take the message to others,” Malo said.

The actions Malo believes people can take immediately range from the personal, like taking public transportation or riding bicycles, to the more drastic.

Asking local energy providers to use more renewable energy on the grid helps, Malo said, but the time has also come to for strong action – like a moratorium on fracking for natural gas, and getting fossil fuel-burning trucks off the road.

“Science says the climate calamity is coming, and we need to take drastic steps,” Malo said.

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