Climate Action Central to Earth Day Celebrations

WASHINGTON, DC, April 16, 2008 (ENS) – American Idol Jordin Sparks is headlining the free Earth Day on the Mall concert on Sunday with a jam-packed roster of stars – The Roots,, Doug E Fresh, O.A.R., Warren Haynes, Thievery Corporation, Umphreys McGee, Toots & The Maytals, DC Boys Choir, Talib Kweli, Chrisette Michele, Mambo Sauce, and others.

Singer Jordin Sparks
(Photo by Jimmy Smith)

Speakers include: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid; President of the Earth Day Network Kathleen Rogers; climate scientist Dr. James Hansen of NASA, actors Ed Begley, Chevy Chase and Edward Norton; Congressman Ed Markey of Massachusetts; Congresswoman Jane Harmon of California, Mayor Rock Anderson of Salt Lake City, author and journalist Thomas Friedman, environmental leaders.

From noon until 7:00 pm on Sunday, April 20 at least 100,000 people are expected to fill the 10 block long National Mall for the celebration and rally, which will seek the support of Congress to tackle global warming.

Earth Day on the Mall is the flagship event for eight simultaneous music and festival environmental events in New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas and Denver presented by Earth Day Network and Green Apple Festival. Organizers are hoping for a record-breaking total of 500,000 people to attend the shows.

But Earth Day is not just about music and fun. One Earth Day 2008 network message is to get out the vote, particularly the Green Vote.

A feature of the Green Apple Festival – Earth Day Network events will be Call for Climate, a demand for “immediate, effective and equitable action against global warming.”

On Earth Day, April 22, the Call for Climate group hopes to generate one million calls to Congress.

The only way to build a broader and more effective democracy is to help citizens, especially those in traditionally overlooked demographics, develop “democracy skills that are viral and long lasting,” the Earth Day Network and its Campaign for Communities partners agree.

Those partners are the NAACP National Voter Fund, Southwest Voter Registration Education Project and Project Vote/ACORN.

Campaign for Communities has expanded the meaning of “environment” to include issues not typically associated with it, including clean schools, access to public transportation, asthma prevention, and healthy and affordable homes.

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, is visiting the United States from April 16 through April 20, the week before Earth Day.

The Earth Day Network notes that the Pope has made several appeals for the protection of the environment, many of which mirror its own message, and the Vatican has recently added pollution to its list of modern sins.

The Earth Day Network says it is encouraging parishes around the United States to preach on the issue of climate change on Earth Day Sunday, April 20.

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