Step by step

With less than one month to go, a national group is asking cities to Step It Up for climate change in November. Roughly 1,400 rallies took place in April for the first Step It Up, led by Bill McKibben, environmental writer and resident scholar at Middlebury College in Vermont. Step It Up 2 is now being planned for Nov. 3, one year before elections, to encourage political leaders to make the bold moves necessary to combat climate change. The group’s website,, offers a list of participating areas—Reno’s not one of them, yet—and ways to sign up to start one. Its nine-step, one-page planning guide suggests, in more detail, how to choose an action and register, invite elected officials and candidates to the event, gather supporters, spread the word, take action and report back. A tool on the website shows how many members of Congress have been invited so far (337), how many say they’re attending (2), and how many presidential candidates have been invited (17) and the number committed to attending (0).

“Our goal is to have more politicians talking to more people about a single issue on a single day than ever before,” McKibben wrote on the site. “And having those people talk back, having them demand not empty rhetoric but real progress.”

The group’s broader goals are three-fold: 1) Generate 5 million green jobs to conserve 20 percent of our energy by 2015; 2) To cut carbon dioxide levels by 30 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050; and 3) A moratorium on new coal-fired power plants.