With a reeling economy, soaring gas prices and rising fears of a global climate crisis, more than 100,000 people rallied at events across the country to urge leaders to jump start the clean energy economy. The events, "Green Jobs Now: A Day to Build the New Economy," urged policy makers to think beyond the short-sighted distraction of drilling and, instead, create real energy solutions that build a new green economy strong enough to create millions of green jobs and lift people out of poverty.
"We can't drill and burn our way out of this economic crisis. We can -- and must -- invest and invent our way out," said Van Jones, founder and president of Green For All. "600,000 jobs have been lost this year alone. We need to free ourselves from our dependence on foreign oil, and instead invest in jobs in sustainable industries -- wind and solar, among others. Only then will we be able to fight poverty and pollution at the same time."
With over 650 events and well over 100,000 participants in all 50 states, the events represented one of the largest and most diverse days of citizen action focused on economic issues and global warming in American history.
"With over 650 communities, spanning every state in this country, rising up to say they are ready for bold solutions to the economic, energy and climate crises, it's time for our leaders to step up to the plate and tackle these challenges head on," said Gillian Caldwell campaign director of 1Sky.
"America is ready for the green jobs that a commitment to 100% clean electricity within 10 years will bring -- jobs that can't be outsourced, jobs that reassert America's commitment to opportunity, innovation, and environmental protection for all," said Alliance for Climate Protection CEO Cathy Zoi. "This is what it means to Repower America."
Rally participants from across the country were urged to sign the Green Jobs Now petition to send the message to political leaders. The petition states:
I'm ready for green jobs now. I urge our elected officials to invest in creating millions of green jobs and a Clean Energy Corps. We can't drill and burn our way out of the current crisis. We can invest and invent our way out. We can create new pathways out of poverty and curb global warming at the same time. We will do this by retooling our factories, rebuilding our communities, and repowering America with 100% clean and renewable electricity. It's time to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty.