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2013 March for Our Grandchildren Comes to Washington

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The seven-day "2013 March for Our Grandchildren," starting at Camp David on July 19 and culminating at Lafayette Park in front of the White House on July 26 is coming to the Washington, D.C.-area.
 

The march is organized by the Maryland Chapter of 350.org and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and aims to remind President Obama "his legacy depends on what he does to confront the climate crisis and protect a livable future for all of our grandchildren."
 

It is part of a series of national actions, kicking off in mid-July and widely known as the Summer Heat campaign. It takes place during the hottest time of the summer to bring attention to the warming climate and targets fossil fuel extraction points and initiatives across the United States, including the Chevron Refinery in the San Francisco Bay Area, Brayton Point in Mass., the various location of the Keystone XL under development in Nebraska and Texas, the fracking industry in Ohio and tar sands in Utah, among others.
 

Coordinated with Summer Heat are two additional summer campaigns, kicking off June 24, Fearless Summer and Sovereignity Summer. Fearless Summer organizes protests and mining and drilling sites across the country, while Sovereignity Summer aims at bringing attention to fossil fuel extraction on indigenous lands in Canada, already under the watchful eye of activist groups like Idle No More.
 

According to 350.org, there are three numbers everyone needs to keep in mind when it comes to climate change: 275, 400 and 350. The first is the amount of carbon dioxide in parts per million that the atmosphere contained 200 years ago, the second is where we are now, and the third is what leading climate scientists have set as the target amount for this century. This summer's network of grassroots protests aims to mobilize the general population to speak out together against a warming planet and the uncertain implications it could have for today and the future. Experts warn of rising sea levels, extreme weather patterns, ecosystem instability, an increase in global poverty levels - recently documented in a World Bank report - and the reduction and contamination of limited natural resources.

 

Lisa Song of InsideClimate News warns of the health risks associated with exposure to oil spills - which have not been uncommon in the last three years - resulting from pipeline breaks and exposure to dangerous chemicals in crude oil and of the regulatory guidelines in place, which consult scientific studies to determine whether evacuations are necessary:


"Federal guidelines limit the amount of benzene that manufacturing plants can emit, or set standards for transporting benzene on the nation's highways. Standards have also been created for people who handle benzene on a daily basis in a workplace setting. But those guidelines are for healthy adults wearing respirators — not for children, pregnant women and other vulnerable members of the general public."