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The Children of Today and Tomorrow are in for a Rude Awakening

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The global warming genie has escaped his bottle! He has begun to show his wrath, which is only likely to worsen in the coming years, decades and centuries, and there is presently no end in sight!

He’s leaving plenty of evidence. The only way we can all help weaken him is by stopping our nonessential burning of fossil fuels, stopping deforestation especially of the tropics, and doing things which naturally result in more greenhouse gases being added into the earth’s atmosphere and oceans (such as overeating, wasting food, not recycling, not reusing things whenever possible, running our air conditioning and furnaces needlessly, using energy derived from tar sands industry, doing other things that frivolously burn fossil fuels such as going for joy rides, cruising, etc.. Because our atmosphere is where Global Warming lives and breathes (now that he’s escaped the bottle) and because he gets his tremendous strength to wreak havoc on the world by his breathing in greenhouse gases that have been accumulating to record high concentrations in the earth’s atmosphere (as a by-product of our burning carbon-based fuels in our cars, trucks, airplanes, power plants, ships, boats, trains, machinery, recreational products and the like) we need to all put him on a crash diet, NOW!

According to David Owen, author of Green Metropolis and The Conundrum: How Scientific Innovation, Increased Efficiency, and Good Intentions Can Make Our Energy and Climate Problems Worse, the proportional share of the fuel burned during a round trip from New York City to Melbourne, Australia, is greater than the total amount of energy that the average resident of the earth uses, for all purposes, in a year. Forestalling global calamity is a preemptively worthy, ethically justifiable and economically achievable goal for everyone on the planet, especially in this era of television, radio, computers, Skype, the iPhone and virtual reality. Climatologists, environmentalists, CEOs, religious leaders, students and tourists seeking entertainment or to broaden their horizons, and government officials ought use the least greenhouse gas emitting technologies available to them to accomplish their objectives; they should not  have to cross the oceans and great land masses of world (requiring vast burning fossil fuels) just to be present in person. Likewise, our government leaders and business people ought minimize the amount of products traded with distant countries, so as to minimize the amount of fuel burning required in the shipment of goods by air, sea and over miles and miles of terrain. Transportation of billions of tons of goods along with extensive long distance vacationing and business trips by millions of people every year is simply no longer sustainable. Such activities are becoming ethically wrong because they are unquestionably harming the planet and all the living things it is home to, both now and in the future.

We cannot and must not wait for technology to bail us out. Scientists the world over say it is now paramount that all humans begin acting in significant ways to reduce their annual greenhouse gas emissions.   Otherwise, we will never get Global Warming to go back into his bottle – where he belongs! Greenhouse gases accumulate atmospherically over time – they build up in the atmosphere and oceans from year to year. Their volume is accelerating in earth’s atmosphere and as well as in its oceans, and the total volume will likely keep accelerating for some time due to compounding factors (positive feedbacks) of the earth’s natural systems. That’s why it’s of the utmost importance – paramount – that everyone act in ways to reduce their annual carbon footprint, immediately, before Global Warming becomes all to powerful, uncontrollable and for generations, a tragedy for civilization. 

Preserve Our Climate Petition to Protect U.S. Citizenry from Runaway Greenhouse Effect

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Petition requesting the U.S. Congress members and President Barack Obama to adopt the proposal called “Conserve, NOW” which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the United States and create jobs in the areas of adding to and reconstructing infrastructure in cities and counties of the U.S. to accommodate and encourage less fossil fuel burning in transportation and fossil fuel derived energy presently used in homes.

President Obama’s Executive Order Committing Federal Government to Cutting Its Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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President Barack Obama signed an executive order on Thursday committing the federal government to cutting its own emissions 40 percent by 2025 and pledging to increase the amount of renewable energy used by federal agencies to 30 percent.

    [This is a good addition but still not nearly enough. States and everyday Americans all have to greatly reduce the things they do that contribute to their daily and annual greenhouse gas emissions, as does the rest of the world. The U.S. still has the highest per capita GHG emissions. Forty percent of world travel by air (a large emitter of GHGs) is by American recreation and business travel pursuits. This has to change! Click on: “About this Blog” to read about how our government really could help make this happen – Power to the People]

The executive order builds on a previous administration directive to cut emissions from federal agencies 28 percent by 2020, compared with 2008 levels. “We are well on our way to meet that goal,” Brian Deese, senior adviser to the president, said in a call with reporters Thursday. “That’s what’s motivating us today to chart out a new and even more aggressive goal going forward.”

The administration is also setting a goal of cutting the per-mile emissions from the agencies’ vehicle fleet 30 percent, it said. It estimates the total commitment across the federal agencies will save taxpayers $18 billion — funds that won’t be spent on energy.

Christy Goldfuss, managing director of the Council on Environmental Quality, said that by the end of 2014, the federal government had cut emissions 17 percent since 2008, putting it well on the way to meeting Obama’s earlier goal. Much of that has come through energy efficiency improvements in federal buildings and with the installation of renewables.

As of the end of 2014, renewable energy accounted for 9 percent of the federal government’s energy use, and Thursday’s directive wants to increase that to 30 percent by 2025. The Department of Defense has set its own goal of deploying 3 gigawatts of solar energy on its installations around the world by 2025.

The federal government is the single largest energy user in the United States, Goldfuss said, with 360,000 buildings and 650,000 vehicles. “Not only is our footprint expansive, our impact is as well,” she said.

The administration also argued that the push to reduce emissions in the federal government has effects across the private sector as well. To that end, the administration also released a scorecard to track emissions from major federal contractors such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and General Dynamics, which the administration is also calling on to make reductions.

The White House estimates that with reductions from the agency and those of private suppliers, the administration can cut greenhouse gas emissions by 26 million metric tons in the next 10 years.

“These goals will make sure the federal government is leading by example and pushing the envelope on cutting emissions,” said Deese, adding that it will “demonstrate that we are going to stay on offense in pushing our clean energy and climate change objectives.”

Wisconsin Legislature Votes to Call “Extraordinary Sessions” for Wrong Reasons

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Organizing committees of both the Wisconsin Senate and Wisconsin Assembly called both houses of the Wisconsin legislature into extraordinary sessions this week to pass a “right-to-work” bill, making it illegal for employers and labor unions to charge their employees and any new employees union dues as a condition of accepting employment. The Wisconsin State Journal reported in today’s newspaper edition that the full Senate could vote on this highly charged legislation (Senate Bill 44) as early as Wednesday and the Wisconsin Assembly could vote on this legislation (AB 61) as soon as Monday.

Governor Scott Walker has said he would sign the bill into law.

The Senate and Assembly organizing committees ought have called their “extraordinary” sessions to address what the State of Wisconsin ought do to protect its citizens from global warming and climate change instead. Greenhouse gas emissions, global warming and climate change are far more significant to the future of Wisconsin than are unions charging union dues in the state.

Governor Scott Walker Punts on Taking On Climate Change in Wisconsin’s State Budget and Other Walker Administration Decisions

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While other countries and U.S. states struggle with the deadly and extremely negative economic costs of dangerous storms made worse by warming oceans and rising sea levels caused by increasing greenhouse gases concentrations in the atmosphere, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has taken a pass on including anything in his two-year budget about how or to what degree the State of Wisconsin might reduce its annual greenhouse gases emissions and better adapt to the changing climate predicted for the future in Wisconsin. Governor Walker’s two-year state budget was forwarded to the Wisconsin Legislature earlier this month for adoption by July 1, 2015.

Much of what the governor’s budget proposes for the state will exacerbate the world’s chances of ever reducing climate change, or global warming, to a safe level. Scientists now say the changing climate around the world (global warming) is overwhelmingly human-caused and will be disastrous for the planet if the amounts of fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) we are now burning are not significantly reduced and in a timely manner – now! – worldwide, and deforestation, over has been done over the last 100 – 150 years is stopped. Forests sequester carbon dioxide (CO2) as they grow, which is also the most abundant of the greenhouse gases emitted during fuel combustion.

While Wisconsin did experience a costly drought two years ago, and suffered through two recent killing heat waves in 1995 and 2011, the state has generally been spared from such massive destruction and loss of life as occurred in the Philippine Islands caused by Typhoon Haiyan U.S. states under hit by Hurricanes Sandy Sandy, Katrina and Ike, Hurricane Irene and increasing torrential rains and flooding around the world, heavier snowfalls, and long lasting droughts in California, other western states, and other areas around the world.

The economic costs of these catastrophes, especially those occurring in the United States, negatively effects all states in the U.S. through increased prices of goods, higher insurance rates, and the overall health of the U.S. economy.

Instead of addressing the inevitable economic and environmental effects of climate change and its causes in Wisconsin, Governor Walker instead chose to include in his two year budget proposal for the state many action items that, if enacted into law by the Wisconsin Legislature will, without question, add to the already abhorrently high human, economic and environmental costs of change climate here in Wisconsin and throughout the rest of the world. For example, Governor Walker’s two-year budget, which would begin taking effect in July 2015, expands numerous major highways in the state to increase their capacity to accommodate increased driving of cars and trucks, the vast majority of which burn fossil fuels. The governor’s budget proposes to contribute millions of dollars in state bonding to help the privately owned Milwaukee Bucks build a new arena for NBA games, games that require thousands of miles of jet travel each year for each visiting team as well as their fans and supporting personnel, adding measurably to rising volumes of greenhouse gases linked with global warming.

Furthermore, by not proposing other actions, many additional sources of greenhouse gases and pollution will continue and undoubtedly increase significantly in the next two years under the Walker administration and the current Republican legislature. Due to the lower price of crude oil, prices of fuel at the pump have dropped, leading to the purchase of less fuel efficient SUVs and trucks.

Americans and Wisconsinites need to drastically reduce their annual driving miles, and Governor Walker’s budget should have included positive financial benefits to encourage people to drive fewer and fewer miles each year, and compensate those individuals and Wisconsin families who manage to drive less miles, annually, than average – especially those individuals and families who don’t drive personal automobiles or fly airplanes (jet fuel is a fossil fuel and jets burn tons of fuel on each trip) during the year. The emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to the atmosphere from motorized transportation, jets, other internal combustion engines, as well as GHGs emitted from coal, oil, and natural gas burning power plants and household and business furnaces is “cumulative”, meaning the various emission of those gases accumulate in the atmosphere over time, rising to higher and higher levels of concentration in the atmosphere.

Scientists the world over have reached a level of consensus that the amount of GHGs present in the atmosphere are becoming increasingly of concern, more threatening each year that global warming worsens. Eventually, global warming could reach, or is close to reaching, its “tipping point” in the atmosphere – a level of accumulation of GHGs in the atmosphere after which the earth’s natural systems could keep adding more and more GHGs into the atmosphere, the point at which continued warming would become inevitable, regardless of what we humans do to reduce our GHG emissions. For example, as the permafrost region of the planet thaws (1/5 of earth’s surface exists in the form of permafrost), the GHG methane is released from the rotting permafrost. Methane is a much more potent GHG than CO2, and when the permafrost begins to thaw extensively, it will be releasing massive amounts of methane to the atmosphere, This would make matters much worse, because global warming would become less responsive, if responsive at all, to the amount of GHGs we humans cause to be emitted (or not to be emitted).

Positive Incentives Plan Wages Three-Prong-Attack Against Climate Change

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Please refer to “About this Blog” before proceeding.

The planet Venus is on the left; Earth is on the right.  Nobody wants to see Earth go the route its that its commonly called twin planet Venus took, eons ago. You see Venus once had oceans of water, too, just like Earth does.  But something went very wrong on the surface of Venus (possibly it is because the Sun got hotter), which started a “runaway greenhouse effect”. The oceans of water Venus once had boiled away. As temperatures began rising ocean water converted to water vapor, also a strong greenhouse gas.  The water vapor increased the effectiveness of heat trapping and accelerated the greenhouse effect, which caused the temperature at the surface to rise further, thus causing the oceans to evaporate faster, etc., etc. This type of runaway is also called a “positive feedback loop”. When the oceans were gone the atmosphere  finally stabilized at a much higher temperature and at much higher density, making the planet uninhabitable.

The sobering warning for us is obvious: we have to be extremely concerned about processes such as burning of fossil fuels in large volumes that might have the potential to trigger a runaway greenhouse effect and produce on the Earth atmospheric conditions that are incapable of supporting life.

That is why it is so essential that we initiate actions now, worldwide, to curb all forms of unnecessary activity that causes the greenhouse effect in our atmosphere to strengthen (meaning an increase concentrations of greenhouse gases). Carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas, has increased in concentration in the atmosphere from 280 parts per million (ppm) in the 1880’s to 400 ppm today – mainly the result of humans burning coal, oil. and natural gas, the combustion producing significant amounts of (invisible) CO2.

As a result, the global average annual temperature of the Earth at the surface has risen, the temperature of Earth’s oceans have been increasing and, as a result of the ice melting off of the island of Greenland, the continent of Antarctica, and water runs down the mountainous glaciers on practically all the continents, and the property of the thermal expansion of water, Earth’s oceans levels are rising.

Meanwhile, the Earth’s once solid permafrost region, which is approximately 1/5 of the Earth’s surface, is now thawing in many places, decomposing,and releasing methane to the atmosphere, a greenhouse gas 37 times as strong as CO2 in trapping heat.

Furthermore, replacement of large areas of ice and white snow surface (ice cap) on the Arctic Ocean means the open Arctic ocean water absorbs more of the radiant heat from the Sun, causing the ice and snow to melt even faster still, an so on. If it were not for the vast amounts of ice in the Arctic Ocean, the water would warm even faster.

It is essential that people and businesses, the world over, especially those in countries burning vast quantities of fossil fuels, in power generation, motorized transportation and jet travel, for human travel and shipping, find alternatives that don’t burn fossil fuels for their pursuits. Presently, citizens from the United States fly 40% more than citizens from other countries, and more U.S. citizens are buying gas guzzling SUVs and pickup trucks than more fuel efficient vehicles – because gas is “cheap” again,  They remain apathetic about global warming, or are members of the “Earth is flat” society. As John Lennon once said, “apathy is it”. The Earth is also round. Above all, we need to Conserve, NOW!

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Conserve Now ex sum

Wisconsin Must Join the All Out World Effort to Fight Global Climate Change Without Delay, BEFORE Time Runs Out

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Wisconsin has traditionally prided itself as being a state that “cares”. Wisconsin residents care about its wild and domestic animals, its fish, birds and butterflies; its plants, trees, and its forests; its tens of thousands of lakes, streams and rivers, and the quality of its wetlands, groundwater and air; its mighty bluffs and gorges, its remaining prairies, and the state’s overall majestic scenic beauty.

Wisconsin has traditionally had a strong manufacturing economy, a top notch agricultural industry, a public education system second to none, a world class university system, and an equally top notch private schools, colleges, and other educational institutions. Wisconsin also boasts an excellent highway, airport, and bicycle transportation system, and communities that are walking and wheelchair friendly. It has always held all visitors to the state in high regards and treated them with respect the production and sustainability of its farms, the well being of its human population, without regard for race, heritage or creed. Wisconsinites treat visitors to their state with respect and dignity,satisfaction of its visitors and transients alike, and, perhaps above all, in leaving its land, water and its economy better condition than they received it. In a nutshell, that’s a statement of Wisconsin’s traditions and value, as I have come to know them.

Wisconsin residents often boast, and rightly so, that Wisconsin was the home of such renown conservationists and humanists as John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Senator Gaylord Nelson, Midge Miller and Vel Phillips. In the 1970s, Wisconsin was emulated by other states as the state to look at for developing effective environmental protection regulations to safeguard its treasures. With Wisconsin Departmental Resource Secretary Anthony “Tony” Earl at the helm, who would later become Wisconsin’s governor, and George “Knute” Knudson as its chief naturalist, Wisconsin natural resources were in good hands.

It is no exaggeration to say that all this is at risk the longer our Wisconsin Legislature, our governor, other state legislatures and governors, and the people’s representatives in the United States Congress continue to kick the issue of excess fossil fuel burning and greenhouse gas production by Americans down the road. What we don’t need is more highway development and expansion and more airport capacity expansion that encourage even more fossil fuel burning by the public. What we don’t need is more trade with distant countries that requires more fuel for shipping and flying. What we don’t need are more coal and natural gas burning power plants and the thousands of miles of high voltage transmission lines that go with them, and not Wisconsin power companies who restructure their rates in favor of more fossil fuel burning, thus discouraging their customers from investing in solar energy panels for their homes and businesses, and having the governor’s appointed Wisconsin Public Service Commission (the PSC) “rubber stamps” the fossil-fuel-dependent utilities’ proposals.

We are wasting valuable time and money by not relying less and less on fossil fuel dependent energy, and more on either energy conservation or on conversion to solar and wind generated power, in our homes, businesses and institutions; and that we desperately need to reduce aggregate driving and flying, which rely almost exclusively on burning fossil fuels that, when subject to combustion, release large quantities of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide (CO2), to the atmosphere. Most of the greenhouse gases, such as CO2, remain in the atmosphere for centuries, accumulating to increasingly more ominous concentration levels, or they get absorbed in the oceans, making the earth’s ocean water more acidic, harming the biological species in the oceans.

But scientists the world over are in agreement that the rising concentrations of greenhouse gases from significantly increased fossil fuel burning by humans since the time of the Industrial Revolution (early 1800’s) have remained in earth’s atmosphere, trapping more and more of the Sun’s radiant energy and changing it into heat energy, causing the earth’s surface to warm, melting more of the polar ice caps and mountain glaciers, causing the vast permafrost region to thaw, releasing more and more methane gas, another greenhouse gas that’s known to have 37 times the heat-trapping power of CO2.

Scientists don’t know when global warming could begin accelerating, but it could be any day now. What they do know is that there are higher concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere now to push global surface temperatures much higher than what we have experienced thus far. Time is of the essence for the world’s populations who are relying on fossil fuel burning for energy to stop adding even higher concentration levels of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, risking setting off positive feedback mechanisms in the system that could worsen the situation and amplify the weather extremes global warming has already caused in earth’s climate.

WORT-FM Radio Show “Planet Earth: It Needs Our Help Now More Than Ever”

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This past Labor Day, WORT-FM (89.9 FM), Madison (www.wortfm.org), broadcasted my proposed solution for reducing global warming & climate change. The program would offer government-provided positive financial incentives ($) to encourages people and families in Wisconsin who chose to minimize their global footprint by driving less than the average Wisconsin individual or family (or not driving at all), by not flying at all, and by using less fossil fuel derived energy during the year. The “Conserve, NOW program is further described in about this blog.

The Labor Day Access Hour show “Planet Earth: It Needs Our Help Now More Than Ever” starts with a brief introduction announcing the program followed by several songs containing lyrics applicable to the subject and further information on the program and sources of funding for carrying out. The thought is that much of the funding would eventually be paid back by reducing governmental spending on major environmentally disrupting infrastructure capacity expansions (highway developments, power plants and transmission line construction, airport runway construction and new airports), state and federally funded personnel such as highway and airport and transmission line planners and air traffic controllers. There would also be less cost and harm due to fewer motor vehicle crashes and airplane crashes due to heavier traffic.

Because it provides more income for individuals and families, it would also reduce the need for reliance on poverty assistance programs that provide food and subsidized housing, it would reduce homelessness, and by reducing these impediments, this would eliminate factors detrimental to education of young children.

Click here to listen to the show. It lasts a total of one hour.

Of course there are many other ways individuals, communities, nongovernmental organizations, business interests and others can reduce their annual global footprint in addition to driving and flying less
and using less energy derived from fossil fuels. Some of these include buying fewer consumer products most of which require fuel burning and mining or drilling in their development or use; buying locally produced products whenever possible (less energy used in transport); buying already used products and supporting organizations which only use recycled products; eating less or no meat products; supporting planned parenthood and humane societies that provide rescue animals for pets rather than buying from breeders; supporting organizations that promote reforestation not deforestation, and removal of paved surfaces and replacing them with green space, where ever feasible. Cities and businesses that attract large numbers of daily commuters should provide daily mass transit services to those locations, and the state should subsidize those municipalities who provide those services to outside-the-city locations – rather than put more even money into cement (greenhouse gas emitted in its production and application)for providing highway capacity expansion (which promotes even more driving).

The state, universities, public radio stations and other organization should stop coordinating long distance air travel trips to tourist spots around the world and events such as professional sports, actor/actress movie and music awards shows should be terminated. Major amounts of money, worldwide but especially by the U.S., should stop being funneled into fossil fuel using vehicles including most military airplanes. The U.S. should limit and eventually eliminate sending troops to foreign soils and establishing military bases and headquarters overseas.

– The Lorax

Enbridge Pipeline Expansion Larger than Keystone

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A Wisconsin Dane County zoning committee is holding up plans for a major expansion of an Enbridge Energy oil pipeline that would carry more crude oil from Canada’s tar sands through Wisconsin than the nationally debated Keystone XL pipeline would further west.

Enbridge wants to send half its flow from the tar sands through Wisconsin to the Illinois border, and the committee has raised concerns about the potential for a spill of the heavy petroleum product, which is mixed with a toxic solvent to make it flow through pipes. The company wants to increase the flow in the pipeline to 1.2 million barrels a day, more than the 860,000 barrels a day proposed for the Keystone XL pipeline.

Enbridge say its practices have improved since 2010, when it fouled 35 miles of Michigan’s Kalamazoo River by spilling nearly 20,000 barrels of tar sands crude in the largest-ever release from a U.S. pipeline.
Read more at Wisconsin State Journal.

Black Lives Matter in Madison and Wisconsin, If they Don’t Now, THEY WILL

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A new generation of human rights activists mounted a passion-filled, peaceful march in South Madison Friday, tapping the energy around race issues sweeping the country to funnel it to local issues.

“Young black men are being murdered. It is a national problem,” organizer Brandi Grayson told the crowd that gathered at the Metro bus hub at South Park Street and West Badger Road. “It is time to educate ourselves, it is time to educate our neighbors, it is time to educate our employers. It is time, my people.”

“Black Lives Matter,” was the banner slogan and rallying cry of the action led by the Young Gifted and Black Coalition, as up to 150 demonstrators marched in traffic lanes a half-mile up South Park Street to North Ave., then back to the South District Police Station on Hughes Place for short speeches, poems and chants.

The crowd’s final march took them down Park Street up to, but not onto, the ramp to the west-bound Beltline as they held a silent vigil for four-and-a-half minutes to honor Michael Brown, whose body lay for four-and-a-half hours on a street in Ferguson, Missouri, after he was fatally shot by a white police officer in August.

The local activist group emerged following a grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson in Brown’s killing, in response to which they organized a rally and march around the Capitol Square last week. Like other race rights actions cropping up in the latest round of public outrage over the killing of black men by white police officers, the Madison coalition turned the failure of another grand jury this week to return an indictment in the killing of Eric Garner in New York City into an opportunity to demonstrate the depth of concern over civil rights.

Demonstrations over the lack of an indictment in the Garner case continued Friday in cities across the country.

The Young Gifted and Black Coalition of Madison is clearly organizing for the long haul.

The coalition points often to the disparities in education, incarceration and other aspects of life, documented in the Race to Equity report, as proof that even absent fatal police violence against blacks, racial inequities are rife in Dane County. The group is demanding an end to plans to build a new Dane County jail, immediate release of people incarcerated for crimes of poverty and investment in community initiatives.

Leaders called on demonstrators to join a planned protest Tuesday at a Dane County Board committee hearing on a proposal to spend $8 million for a study on the need for a new jail that could cost $150 million, and to participate in a community building and planning session next Friday evening at the South Madison Public Library.

“The civil rights movement brought change, but it didn’t happen because people were sitting down,” Grayson told the crowd. “Change happened because people were committed to change and were willing to sacrifice themselves and their time.”

The crowd demonstrating Friday was mixed racially and ethnically, but overwhelmingly young. Grayson said that older civil rights advocates and those whose work is enmeshed with majority establishment organizations are stepping back to let a younger generation take the lead on protests. “They can’t say the things we can say. We can take the action in the street; hopefully they will help make the policy.”

Will Williams, a long-time activist with Vietnam Vets for Peace and other local movements, watched the march take shape from the sidelines. “Old folks need to turn the baton over,” Williams said.”We have young people with the fire who understand what going on with racism overall and with cops who are murdering black people and not being held accountable.”

A handful of other older advocates were present on the edges of the demonstration, as well such leaders on race equity matters as Floyd Rose, president of 100 Black Men of Madison, and Mayor Paul Soglin.

The demonstrators chanted as they marched: “No Justice, No Peace! No Racist Police!” When they paused at North Avenue, the gathering took on something of the feel of a revival meeting where participants were called on to raise their fists and pledge to take up the fight for human rights.

“It starts with you, it starts with you, it starts with you, it starts with you, it starts with you, it starts with you, it starts with you, it starts with you, it starts with us,” Grayson shouted, pointing to individuals in the rapt and silent crowd.

“We are here to show what solidarity looks like. You are absolutely beautiful, don’t let anyone tell you anything different,” she said. “We are conditioned to fear black men; we are conditioned to think every black person is innately violent.”

Madison Police Chief Mike Koval watched from across Park Street, noted that marching in the traffic right-of-way was an act of civil disobedience, and spoke to the protesters rights to do so. “This is the First Amendment in action. This is how it’s supposed to work,” Koval said. “And the police in a free society should be here to facilitate it. This is democracy in action.”

Outside of the police station, protesters chanted slogans punctuated by trombone blasts and heard speeches and poems, one of which named many of those killed by police and lamented: “There is not enough skin to tattoo the names…We are black lives and we matter.”

The group fell into formation for the final march down Park Street just as darkness fell. “I came out to support everyone,” said one 20-something protester. “Human rights matter.”