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Originally published Friday, January 11, 2013 at 8:55 PM

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Rally in Olympia Monday to highlight climate change

Activists plan a climate-change rally Monday in Olympia, coinciding with the start of a 105-day legislative session.

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OLYMPIA — Activists with the Fellowship of Reconciliation and other groups plan a climate-change rally from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, coinciding with the start of a 105-day legislative session. The goal is to draw attention to rising global temperatures that have been tied to human activities such as burning coal for power.

Chances for legislative action this year are uncertain. Gov.-elect Jay Inslee has advocated action while in Congress, and Democratic Sen. Kevin Ranker of Orcas Island is proposing a carbon tax that could help discourage use of carbon-based fuels that contribute to global warming by generating greenhouse gases.

But Inslee has not laid out his plan, and a new conservative majority caucus in the state Senate may be reluctant to take action. Inslee did promise this week that he would push for thorough and fair environmental reviews on any coal-export proposals.

"Extreme weather patterns throughout the world, historic rates of polar ice melt, and other realities confirm scientists' increasingly strong findings that the climate crisis is already upon us," said Bourtai Hargrove, one of the event's organizers. "Every person, local community, state and nation must take bold actions to reduce climate disruption."

The rally will include speakers, music and a human mural spelling out "NO COAL" because organizers oppose exporting coal through Washington and Oregon ports to Asia, where it would be burned and would return to this area in air pollution and climate damage.

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