What's a polar bear doing in Marin County?

It's a feeling shared by many (just Google "Hummer salute". Better yet, do an Image search if you're not at work): it's fun to pick on the Hummer. Activists in the Bay Area recently decided to join the party with a campaign called "Your Hummer Ran Over My Polar Bear!"

The point of the protest, which takes place tomorrow is to get General Motors to " Plug in the Hybrid, pull the plug on the Hummer!" As part of the nationwide Step It Up campaign, the Bay Area action will feature a Lighten Up Your Ride clean car rally, where the activists will showcase green car tech (the usual suspects: PHEVs, pure EVs, biodiesel, and solar buses will be there) and then drive a clean car caravan to a GM dealership in Marin. Organizational details are after the jump, if you're thinking about going. If you work in that dealership, you might want to think of a response (perhaps an emergency airdrop of the Chevy Volt would be in order?).

While this is a local event, national groups Working Assets and Mainstreet Moms are organizing the rally.

[Source: Working Assets] "Your Hummer Ran Over My Polar Bear!'

Bay Area Groups showcase cutting edge green car technology and urge General Motors to 'Plug in the Hybrid, pull the plug on the Hummer!'

SAN FRANCISCO, April 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Bay Area residents concerned about the climate crisis are joining with thousands across America in the largest ever National Day of Climate Action on Saturday, April 14. The Step It Up "Lighten Up Your Ride" clean car rally -- part expo, part action fair -- will be showcasing the cutting edge of clean car technology and calling on Congress to step it up: cut CO2 emissions 80% by 2050.

Saturday, April 14, 2007, 11 am - 3 pm
Location: 610 Mason Street, The Presidio, San Francisco

There are two Mason Streets in San Francisco, and this event is located in The Presidio, adjacent to Sports Basement facing Crissy Field, not in the Financial District.

The Bay Area has been gaining in prominence as the world's premier locale for green technology. The clean car rally will feature the latest in green vehicle technology with demonstrations of plug-in hybrid cars, 100% electric cars, bio-diesel conversions and solar buses. The day will end with a Clean Car Caravan of vehicles and bikes to the GM dealership in Marin, calling on the company to "Step It Up GM: Plug In Hybrids not Hummers, Now!"

Visitors can reach the event via a vegetable oil-fueled shuttle van from downtown San Francisco. A bike valet will greet cyclists and entertainment for children include polar bear mask-making, throwing pies at a gas-guzzling Hummer, getting portraits taken with Solar the Polar Bear, and painting art on clean cars.

The Clean Car Caravan leaves Crissy Field at 2.00pm and will parade to GM's San Rafael Chevrolet/Hummer dealership, at 2 Shoreline Parkway, San Rafael for a clean cars rally and polar bear picket. At the dealership, kids and polar bears will hand over signed postcards to GM urging the company to plug in the hybrid and pull the plug on the Hummer.

The rally, organized by Working Assets and Mainstreet Moms, follows in the wake of last weeks devastating report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the authoritative UN network of 2,000 scientists and more than 100 governments, which warned that many animal species on earth are now facing extinction because of global warming.

"It's time for Congress and corporate America to get real, get clean and get to it," said Michael Kieschnick, President of Working Assets. "Today, thousands of Americans are calling for an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 -- and here in San Francisco we are looking at the technology that can make it happen."

If half the drivers in the Bay Area pledged to make their next car a plug- in hybrid electric vehicle, it would be the equivalent in greenhouse gas emissions of pulling one coal-fired power plant offline. The technology already exists for zero emissions vehicles such as the plug-in hybrid. Citizens and local governments have placed thousands of "soft orders" with automakers to establish ample and urgent demand for these clean cars and many are calling on state and federal legislators to establish necessary regulatory and incentive structures to help fast-track development of battery electric vehicles.

"We can wait no longer. It's time for every one of us to brain up on how to secure a more viable future for our children -- and get to work to turn that into the reality of today," said Megan Matson, mother and Mainstreet Moms founder. "The Lighten Up Your Ride event is the perfect place to get that learning in a fun, family environment."

-- A cut in CO2 emissions of 80 percent by 2050 represents less than a two
percent reduction per year.
-- While many are choosing new conservation technologies, only bold
leadership from Washington can drive the large scale changes needed to
stave off the catastrophic effects of global warming.
-- Plug-in hybrids save an average of 42 percent in CO2 emissions compared
to an average US car.

About Working Assets

Working Assets was established in 1985 to help busy people make a difference in the world through everyday activities like talking on the phone. Every time a customer uses one of Working Assets' donation-linked services (wireless, long distance or credit card), the company donates a portion of the charges to nonprofit groups working to build a world that is more just, humane and environmentally sustainable. To date, Working Assets' members have generated more than $50 million for progressive causes. For more info: WorkingAssets.com.

About Mainstreet Moms

Mainstreet Moms is a citizens project committed to securing a more viable future for our children through the relentless engagement, bite-size action, and leadership of moms and honorary moms everywhere. Each campaign undertaken has as its base goal the accelerated participation of citizens in government, and for 2007-8, it's all about tackling the energy/climate challenge. For more info: theMMOB.org.

Step It Up in San Francisco is supported by:

California Cars Initiative San Francisco Bike Coalition
Carbonfund.org Sports Basement
Mainstreet Moms, theMMOB.org SF Biofuels Coop
Mother Jones Union of Concerned Scientists
NRDC Vote Solar
Plug In America Working Assets
Rainforest Action Network

About Step It Up

Step It Up is a nationwide campaign comprised of over 1,000 events in 50 states rallying around the need for bold and immediate action on the issue of global warming. Events are being held in every corner of the country, from Maine to Hawaii, and Seattle to Key West. The events have been organized by organizations and individuals from all walks of life who agree on one thing: the need for substantial and rapid action in order to stave off the disastrous effects of global warming. For more info: stepitup2007.org.

Source: Working Assets

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