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Harrisonburg Climate Activists Sign "Postcard to Paris"

Today marks the beginning of a meeting in Paris of world governments to try to strike a global agreement on climate. While heightened security in Paris has led to the cancellation of the Global Climate March planned there, global climate movement organization 350.org says that throughout the world other Global Climate Marches are taking place, including in Harrisonburg.  WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

As the dreary Sunday afternoon turned darker and colder, a crowd of about 150 gathered outside of the Pale Fire Brewing Company in downtown Harrisonburg to sign a giant “Postcard to Paris” and a petition to the Harrisonburg City Council.  Anne Nielsen was among the crowd:

ANNE NIELSEN: We’re sending a postcard to Paris hoping that all the delegates will take this seriously and finally begin to move strongly towards renewable energy and reducing emissions throughout the globe.

Before a 32-foot­ tall PVC replica of the Eiffel Tower, activists from various groups watched as city resident Earl Martin approached the tower but appeared to stagger under the weight of his lit oil lantern­­until his eight-year­-old granddaughter Sophie Martin came to his aid, with a solar light. Together they left behind the oil lantern, and the solar light was raised up the tower.

Sophie has a clear hope:

SOPHIE MARTIN: That people will change to solar powered things instead of fossil fuel.

The Postcard to Paris, organizers said, would be photographed and sent “to our negotiators and to people in Paris and around the world.” The Harrisonburg petition calls for the adoption of “environmental performance standards for public and private development” and will be delivered in January.

For WMRA News, I’m Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Christopher Clymer Kurtz was a freelance journalist for WMRA from 2015 - 2019.