This post was written by Jill MacIntyre Witt in Bellingham, Washington in the United States. To join her in Connecting the Dots May 5th, visit

Our precious earth has been sending out distress signals for quite some time and people in communities around the world have been deeply impacted and grossly affected by both uncharacteristic climactic events and subtle changes. Our ecosystems are crying out for help as we continue to increase our carbon pollution in every corner of the world.

The success of stopping the Keystone XL pipeline (for now) restores my faith that we can make a difference…so…on May 5th, communities around the world will be connecting the dots on the impacts of climate change to paint a global picture of what is happening around the world, sending a global smoke signal.

In my community of Bellingham, we are bringing together everyone concerned about the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal that SSA Marine would like to build just a few miles up the road. They want to ship coal, mined in the Powder River Basin over 1000 miles away after it has travelled in mile and a half long rail cars through several states just to reach our shores, destined for Asia to burn. Their plan is to build the largest coal port in North America’s history, along with other companies interested in several several other ports along the West coast. This is no small feat to conquer yet, when the economic benefits are examined alongside the negative impacts to our health, local economies and environment, it is clearly a bad idea. This calls for connecting the dots from the Powder River Basin to Asia as the carbon pollution across the globe will affect us all.

On May 5th, our town will come together and walk through the middle of downtown, circle up in a beautiful city park (near the tracks), connect the dots, and hear our Mayor proclaim May 5th as Climate Impacts Day! When it comes time for the public comment period on the coal terminal project, we will send our smoke signal to all at and ask for everyone to weigh in on the concerns of this project as its climate impacts are global in scale. 

Our town is rallying in so many ways as we near the scoping phase for the environmental impact statement, where they (the powers that be) will need to hear from everyone on what impacts to consider for study. We have over 180 doctors that have come together to raise their voice of concern over the health impacts. Their concerns and more can be found at

We have local activists reaching out to people and businesses in the county, sending a clear message with signs popping up everywhere that broadcast COAL COSTS US. Their website, shares articles, information and action steps along the way. Another group has created an initiative to get a vote for a community rights-based ordinance on the ballot this fall, found at Yet another group is informing the conversation while taking a neutral stance to help others find a ‘non-biased’ discussion at Environmental groups have come together at the regional level to leverage their power en masse, forming

The buzz is afloat in our community with neighbors talking to neighbors, strangers engaging with strangers, businesses starting to raise their voices and taking a stand. At the end of the day, it will be the voices and actions of individuals and communities adding up to make a world of difference.

There is no planet B.

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