Publication:Johnson City Press; Date:Apr 15, 2007; Section:Local; Page Number:5A

Climate Action Rally participants act locally on global concern

By REX BARBER Press Staff Writer

    Environmental awareness kicked off across the region at East Tennessee State University on Saturday.

    Several local groups concerned with promoting better energy consumption met at ETSU’s carillion at 2 p.m. Saturday for a Climate Action Rally. Participants then marched to the John Sevier Center downtown to give donated compact fluorescent light bulbs to the residents, replacing their wasteful incandescent light bulbs.

    Linda Modica, with the Sierra Club, said the bulbs are a good step toward curbing the effects of greenhouse gases.

    “Each of those compact fluorescents, during their lifetime, is going to eliminate 100 pounds of global warming gases,” She said. “And that’s pretty cool.” There were about 30 to 35 activists who participated Saturday. Rebecca Moody with Kingsport Citizens for a Cleaner Environment said she was participating in the event to help provide a better life for future generations.

    “I have a 5-year-old daughter and I want her to have a safe and healthy environment,” Moody said.

    Modica said the planet is in trouble because human actions have caused it to warm. Human actions, she said, must be what reverses the harm.

    The Climate Action group thought offering energy efficient light bulbs to John Sevier residents was a good action toward reversing global warming.

    “We all came together and said, ‘How can we have an effect, how can we make a difference?’ ” Modica said. “And we came up with this idea of swapping out incandescents.”

    The group walked down West State of Franklin Road, turning onto Buffalo Street and finally into the parking lot at the Sevier Center, where they delivered about 300 compact fluorescents to a central location in the apartment complex.

    Alex Sircy, a senior at ETSU majoring in anthropology and minoring in environmental studies, dyed his hair green for the rally.

    “It’s everybody’s individual responsibility,” Sircy said of caring for the environment. “Its the way you learn about change. And that’s what I’m doing here today, fulfilling that responsibility.”

    Sircy said he could speak all day about the need for environmental awareness, as he walked through the entrance to the Sevier Center.

    “I think we’re living in some amazing times right now in human history, where it’s time for profound change to happen politically, and it needs to begin with the environment,” he said.

Concerned citizens participate in Saturday’s Climate Action Rally.