A group of local residents will power through Davenport on Sept. 24 without the aid of fossil fuels.
The event is part of Moving Planet, a collection of events in 151 countries as a"worldwide rally to demand solutions to the climate crisis," according to the Moving Planet website, www.moving-planet.org. "Come on bike, on skates, on a board or just on foot."
Veronica Smith, an Augustana College senior and president of the college's Global Affect environmental organization, said the purpose of the event "is to really get people to start thinking about alternative transportation."
The local event is sponsored by the Eagle View Group, Sierra Club. Event partners are Global Effect and Earth Keepers, a Quad-Cities coalition of faith communities dedicated to helping congregations become more green and helping the community.
Some participants will meet at Schwiebert Riverfront Park, in Rock Island, at 10 a.m. to walk, bike, roller blade or skate across the Centennial Bridge. Augie participants will meet on campus, then make their way to the park.
At 10:30 a.m., participants will meet up at the gazebo in Davenport's Centennial Park, then head to an 11 a.m. rally outside the CitiBus Ground Transfer Station on 2nd and Ripley Streets.
Kristen Bergren, chairman of the Eagle View Group, said anyone is welcome to walk with them and attend the rally, where speakers will discuss alternative transportation.
She said she hopes the event makes people aware that everyone can make a difference in slowing climate change, and that those changes "make our lives healthier, more enjoyable and save money."
Karen Neder, coordinator for Earth Keepers, said the event is about showing "our solidarity" in decreasing the use of fossil fuels.
The idea for Moving Planet originated with 350.org, an international climate change campaign founded by Bill McKibben, credited with writing the first book on global warming for a common audience.
The number "350" is what many scientists have determined is the maximum amount of parts per million of carbon dioxide (CO2) the atmosphere safely can accommodate, although the current concentration is at about 390 parts per million.
According to the 350.org, to preserve out planetscientists say people must reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere from its current level to below 350 parts per million.
There was a 350.org event at Augustana in 2009 and those involved submitted a photo to the 350.org website. Another 350 photo will be taken this year, and participants are encouraged to make signs that say "350."
Ms. Bergren said they hope to have enough people at the event to create the number "350" with people for the photo.