A crowd of about 45 gathered on a cool night at San Rafael Plaza carrying signs and calling for action at a vigil marking the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.
The event was part of a national day of action on climate change organized by a coalition of local environmentalist groups to raise awareness of global warming.
“We in Marin are partners in making this case – Sustainable San Rafael and others,” Organizing for Action Marin leader Belle Cole said.
Their voices apparently were heard from as far as the nation’s capital.
Rep. Jared Huffman sent a letter addressed to the group from Washington D.C. that was read during the vigil.
"I am thinking of you on this memorable occasion,’ the letter read.
“It is heartening to see all of you coming together here in Marin County to reflect on those damaged by extreme weather elsewhere and to witness your call to action on climate change. . . . We must get beyond extreme politics and start addressing the extreme damage of climate change."
The vigil included a discussion of efforts to address climate change, including President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.
"Marin has been a leader on climate issues, but we need clear and committed leadership at all levels to solve the climate crisis, and in a democracy, that leadership is ultimately crowd-sourced,” Sustainable San Rafael President Bill Carney said in closing remarks at Tuesday’s vigil.
“The focused ingenuity and tenacity of the American people can solve this crisis, but we must insist that our leaders implement these currently available solutions in time to reverse the increasing impacts of climate disruption and restore the health of our planet."
The impetus for the event, Cole said, “is to commemorate the landfall of Sandy by getting the message out about the disastrous consequences of Sandy and other extreme weather events and the fact that climate disruption is real, it is happening and its urgent that we act.”
Presentations by representatives of 10 or so Bay Area groups at Tuesday night’s vigil were each followed by a moment of silence for the victims of extreme weather events including Hurricane Katrina, a a spate of tornadoes in the United States and flooding in Pakistan, among other events that environmentalists and many scientists have linked to climate change.
“We made the case dramatically with the signs showing statistics, short statements about each,” Cole said, noting that the materials created for Tuesday’s vigil offered succinct messaging that could be used locally at schools and community centers.
“Now have the material to make this case not only to Congress but elsewhere,” she said.
“We came up with an action plan of our own endorsed by the our newly formed coalition of North Coast climate leaders.”