With increasing media reports of enormous protests and even coverage of a few riots in Copenhagen, it seems now is perhaps the time to get more intimately involved.

In the weeks leading up to Copenhagen we saw underwater cabinet meetings in the Maldives (thatís where locals will end up living if sea levels rise as predicted), a Nepalese cabinet meeting at Mt. Everestís base camp (global warming poses a serious threat to the Himalayan glaciers melting), enormous global protests, and no end of environmental groups and prominent scientists speaking out about the need for a fair and binding agreement in Copenhagen.

And here we are, more than half way into the meetings with only five days to go and things donít look very promising. We know that America, Canada and China, along with a few other nations, are refusing or ďavoidingĒ committing to significant greenhouse gas reduction targets. We know that without these nations, some of the largest polluters on the planet, it is unlikely the world can achieve a fair and binding agreement.

Global protests are again taking place Ė and now some are turning to riots. On Saturday, December 12th, more than 80,000 protesters took to the Copenhagen streets and marched 4 miles (6.4kms) to Bella Center, demanding climate change action. Danish riot police arrested an estimated 700 people. The protests in Copenhagen were part of a global action that stretched from Africa to Australia, and covering just about every country in-between.

Even before the conference started in Copenhagen, there has been scandal, controversy, heartfelt pleas from Pacific island nations, speeches, lectures, performance art pieces, melting statues, CO2 cube exhibits, sit-ins, lie-ins, die ins, and no end of people around the globe becoming increasingly desperate in their attempts to catch the ears and eyes of world leaders.

On Sunday, December 13th, in the largest inter-denominational faith protest of the century, churches, mosques, temples and synagogues from around the world rang their bells and chimes, beat drums and raised their voices in a global call for climate change action.

I tell myself that this is only a small taste, a mere sampling of what our future will hold if world leaders donít create a binding plan to curb global greenhouse gas emissions now.

As citizens from around the globe watch these marches, protests and riots, and as we cheer on the protesters from the sidelines, it seems the time has now come to get off the couch (or fence) and add our voices to the growing symphony of protest. Now, more than at any other time in our history, it is time to speak up and stand in solidarity, shoulder to shoulder, with all the people around the globe who support climate change action.

I donít know what the next five days of meetings will bring, but I know it is crucial to take the time to write/call/e-mail our politicians and tell them we support a fair and binding climate change agreement in Copenhagen. American and Canadian citizens have a particular responsibility to speak up; as without these nations participating fully, it is unlikely a significant agreement can be achieved.

It will only take a moment and it literally means the world.

President Barack Obama

Tel.: 202-456-1111
Online contact: http://www. whitehouse. gov/contact

Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Tel.: 613 992-4211
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
*Canadians can leave a message 24-hours a day.

Valerie Williams is a writer living on Salt Spring Island, Canada. She is the editor of GreenMuze. com

Via:www.greenmuze. ??m

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