SANTA MONICA – Hundreds of Southern Californians concerned about climate change gathered at this city’s Third Street Promenade on Saturday to hear warnings about the effects of global warming and to be given pitches for products aimed at reducing its effect. The gathering along the large, open-air shopping district just blocks from the Pacific Ocean was one of about 50 events scheduled throughout Southern California under the banner Step It Up 2007. Nationwide, more than 1,400 rallies, hikes and other activities were scheduled, all part of an effort to push Congress to require an 80 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. “We have such a wonderful planet and it is really tragic for us to ruin it with global warming,” said Jim Stewart, organizing director of Earth Day L.A., which worked with Step It Up to put on the Santa Monica event. “The bottom line is everybody needs to be carbon-neutral. How do we get people to make good decisions to reduce their carbon output?” said Stewart, standing under overcast skies on the popular weekend gathering spot for shoppers and tourists. Other events included a hike up a steep canyon to a point just below the famous Hollywood sign. “It takes real passion to make a big difference – strength in numbers,” said Kara Thurman of Santa Monica. In Santa Monica, where approximately 500 people gathered early in the day, environmental activists manned an eclectic mix of 80 booths. The nationwide events were spearheaded by a group of recent graduates from Vermont’s Middlebury College, who organized a campaign of blogs, e-mail messages and word-of-mouth communications. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
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