Harrisonburg Citizens Affirm Paris Climate Accord

Jun 12, 2017

More than a year and a half ago, a crowd of about 150 gathered outside the Pale Fire Brewing Company in downtown Harrisonburg to sign a giant "Postcard to Paris" in support of the then upcoming world climate talks in Paris. This past Saturday, at least half that many braved the summer sunshine to say that even though President Trump has withdrawn the United States from the Paris Climate Accord, they believe the agreement was a good thing. WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Les Grady of the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley minced no words at the rally when it came to the president's logic for withdrawing:

LES GRADY: "We want a better deal." Get serious. That's a foolish idea born out of ignorance.

In the crowd was Johann Zimmerman, who unveiled his PVC replica of the Eiffel Tower at the 2015 gathering and on Saturday brought it back.

JOHANN ZIMMERMAN: The talks were kind of a symbol that the world is going to get together to deal with climate and environmental issues, and that's what I want to support.

Anne Nielsen, too, returned.

ANNE NIELSEN: We can do this, for ourselves, for our children, for our grandchildren, for the planet. We have no choice. But it's a happy choice. We can do this.

Harrisonburg vice-mayor Richard Baugh spoke about the recent formation of a city Environmental Performance Standards Advisory Committee, and other speakers encouraged attendees to take selfies with a beach ball replica of Earth, sign petitions urging local leaders to affirm the Paris Agreement and prioritize climate action, sign a postscript to the Postcard to Paris saying they're "still in" -- and vote in Tuesday's [June 13] primary election.

For WMRA News, I'm Christopher Clymer Kurtz.