G8 Climate FastA group of activists is parked outside the White House, in the midst of a three-day fast meant to urge President Bush to join the rest of the G8 countries in committing to efforts to battle global warming. You can read more about the fast, and find out how to get involved, here.

We asked Billy Parish, coordinator of Energy Action, and Monica Brown, organizer for the Road to Detroit, to send us word of how it’s going. Their dispatch is below.


While President Bush is in Scotland stalling yet another international agreement on global warming, dozens of us from all over the country have gathered directly across from the White House to partake in a three-day fast to stop the madness. Our crowd of youth, environmental, and religious leaders is stranded on a small solar-powered platform along with any and all baggage, chairs, and banners, lest we provoke the fury of metro police, the SWAT team, or national park enthusiasts.

While doing backbends to comply with D.C. demonstration regulations — keeping tents away from the “drip-line” of nearby saplings and chopping off the “.orgs” from all our signs — we also happen to be giving up food in an effort to prevent the starvation and death of millions: the inevitable result of droughts and floods caused by global warming.

Slightly dizzy from the heat and lack of nourishment, we are working on computers and cell phones powered by solar panels to connect with hundreds of fellow fasters all over the country, inform the rest of the world, and demand that President Bush stand up and do something — like, say, ratify Kyoto.

We’ve been drinking buckets of water to stay hydrated, resulting in a mad dash to the public bathroom every couple hours. We’re also finding it more and more difficult to think (and write); therefore, any possible mistakes or lack of pizazz in this dispatch we attribute completely to those circumstances and certainly not our own lack of literary competence.

The convergence of this diverse group represents the importance of universal solidarity on global warming. At 1:45pm, we sounded the climate alarm in a raucous banging of various kitchen implements and church bells, sang hymns, and blew the shofar (look it up). That time — 13:45 military time — represents the fact that the G8 nations have 13% of the world’s population and consume 45% of its resources. Kind of unfair.

The G8 communique — the one President Bush has been “working hard” in recent weeks to water down — is slated to come out tomorrow. We’ll break fast together after sundown tomorrow, and we can only hope that President Bush and those unconvinced in the American public will wake from their anti-climatic slumber.

-Billy Parish and Monica Brown