Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Seattle kickoff of 350.org's Do The Math tour, which will highlight the imperative for action to keep 80 percent of the fossil fuel industries' tar sands, coal, oil and gas reserves in the ground, or the climate is toast.
Bill McKibben and a cast of guests, including Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and City Councilman Mike O'Brien, along with video appearances by Van Jones, Naomi Klein, Josh Fox and more, called on the roughly 2,000 attendees packed into Benaroya Hall to join together to encourage institutions large and small to divest all fossil fuel companies from their stock portfolios, pension funds, and other holdings.
The tour seeks to inspire citizen-led boycotts, blockades, marches on oil companies' shareholder meetings, and a new Fossil Free Campus divestment movement modeled after the anti-Apartheid movement of the 1980s.
The message is simple: Go Fossil Free. McKibben was the first to say, it is a tall order, perhaps impossible, but we have no choice but to try given global warming's terrifying new math.
Mayor McGinn kicked the night off with a pledge to investigate the potential for Seattle to work towards divestment of its fossil fuel holdings, which received massive applause from the audience.
Before McKibben took the stage, The UpTake's Leif Utne had the chance to interview him about the 21-day, 21-city tour that will demonstrate the magnitude of the threat fossil fuels pose to a livable planet, the opportunity Tuesday's election results pose, and a bold new strategy to hit the fossil fuel industries where it hurts.
Don't miss the Do The Math tour if it passes through your hometown. McKibben will be joined at stops along the way by celebrities and activists including author Naomi Klein and Gasland director Josh Fox (who join via video when not able to be present). Next stops on the tour: Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and then on to the east coast.
Here's a larger photo of the scene inside Benaroya Hall last night.
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