This post was written by Lisa Altieri, an organizer with 350 Silicon Valley

On June 6th over 400 people, local residents and activists from all over the San Francisco Bay Area protested in Palo Alto to tell President Obama – STOP the Keystone XL Pipeline as he was attending a fundraising event for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at a private home in Palo Alto.  Many protesters were supporters of the President including some who worked on his campaign.  We were there to make sure he knows we are counting on him to keep his promises on climate and clean energy and protect our planet for future generations.

One of the biggest challenges we face on climate is the timeline on impacts – people can and do make change on a large scale in the face of a crisis.  We have seen this in history where societies mobilize and take action in the face of adversity.  But with climate, the crisis will come long after we have emitted the CO2 – the reality is there is a time lag between when we emit CO2 and when the impacts occur.  The intense storms, fires and droughts we are experiencing here in the US and globally are the results of emissions 40-50 years ago due primarily to the time it takes the oceans to warm.

Since the full effects of our emission will not be immediately visible to spur action, we need to be vocal – we need to speak for the planet loudly and often until it is clear we MUST act and we MUST act NOW.  And above all we need to make sure that we provide people a vision of where we are going – not only can we do this, but where we are headed, the solutions, will create a far better world than we have now.  Done right, the solution will not destroy our economy, but create jobs, provide cleaner air and a much safer planet.  On June 6th, we were one voice as part of the many voices around the world, we spoke for the planet and we spoke LOUD!

The best part of the event for me was the great coalition on climate we are building here.  350, 350 Silicon Valley and all our 350 local groups in the Bay Area are working to build coalitions with other local and national groups to work together to make our voices heard.  The event in Palo Alto was organized by a coalition including the Sierra Club, CREDO Action, the Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Earth.  It is through these coalitions, coming together and working together that we will be stronger – we will be louder and we will really make and impact.  It was wonderful working with everyone on the event and I look forward to building and growing our coalition and our local climate movement.

We’re following up this great event with a meetup to talk about next steps (over margaritas!) Here is the info and where to go to sign up:

What: 350 Silicon Valley Meeting & Margaritas
When: Tuesday, June 25th 7 pm, Palo Alto

Join us for Margaritas and learn about our new 350 Silicon Valley Group!  If you already know about us, join us anyway and meet some other members!  We will talk about our local campaigns and how you can get involved and take action on climate change.  And of course enjoy some Margaritas…  Hope you can make it!