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Group rallies to raise global warming awareness

ENCINITAS — North County residents gathered at Moonlight Beach for a rally to bring awareness of the issues surrounding global warming on Oct. 16. Local activists with Greenpeace were joined by Surfrider Foundation, Kids for Peace and other local groups and individuals concerned about the economic, social and ecological impacts of global warming on the area.
“As a community I think we understand the importance of preserving what we have to pass on to our grandchildren,” Dee Gomez said. The Oceanside resident said she has been volunteering with Greenpeace for several months for her 1-year-old son Riley Serfozo. “Global warming is making an impact on everyone’s life,” she said.
Approximately 100 people listened to speakers from various groups and candidates for public office speak on the importance of using science-based solutions to reduce the effects of global warming. The group carried banners south to D Street at the water’s edge where participants broke into a song led by children from Kids for Peace.
While the words of the song were simple — “stop global warming” — the message was multi-pronged with an emphasis on the effect of global warming on eroding beaches. “The sea level is rising, leading to narrower beaches,” Belinda Smith, vice chair of the San Diego chapter of Surfrider Foundation, said. “Temperature and acidity changes cause damage to coral reefs which provide surf breaks,” she continued. “With more severe storms predicted, that leads to more runoff and beach closures.”
The group posed for photos to be sent to congressional candidates U.S. Rep. Brian Bilbray and his challenger Nick Leibham. “We are sending a message that we need leadership on this issue in Congress,” Jenny Binstock, a field organizer with Greenpeace, said.
“This is such a huge issue,” Smith said. Other speakers agreed. Many added that individual contributions were important. Andrew Carstens, 17, told the crowd that Carlsbad High School’s newly formed Alternative Energy Organization was making strides toward reducing the impact of global warming. The group is raising funds through the sale of compact florescent light bulbs to purchase solar panels that will be installed on the school’s science building.
“I like the ingenuity of these young people,” Sarah Gladner said. The Encinitas resident said she was taking a walk on the beach when she noticed the red banners. “I wish we would have thought of some of these things 10 years ago instead of arguing whether global warming was caused by humans,” she said.
Greenpeace plans to stay active in the county long after the election is over according to organizers. “We are here to stay,” Gomez said.