Climate Rally Calls for Congress to Pass Climate Bill
Sierra Club Deputy Conservation Director Bruce Nilles, above, got the crowd revved up with a speech exhorting Congress to pass a climate bill in 2010. Nilles formerly directed the Club's Beyond Coal campaign.
"The event reminded me of the rallies of the 70s," says longtime Sierra Club volunteer Jim Dougherty. "The crowd was incredibly diverse, energized simply by being there among Washington's great green vistas, and all feeling like this might—just might—prove to be a pivot point in this noble campaign of ours."
Sting, John Legend, and Bob Weir were just three of the high-profile musical acts that joined environmental, political, civil-rights, and religious leaders in marking the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
A forecast of thunderstorms threatened to put a damper on the rally. But as if by design, the clouds parted as Weir—whose former band, the Grateful Dead, penned the song Here Comes Sunshine—took the stage, and the Mall was soon jam-packed and throbbing with energy.
Speakers included Avatar director James Cameron, Robert Kennedy, Jr., and the Reverend Jesse Jackson, who led the crowd in chanting, "Go Green! Let me hear you scream!"
Photos by Jim Dougherty unless otherwise noted.