Los Angeles, California, USA

On September 16, 2018, Pathway to Paris held an event in Los Angeles in the Theatre at the Ace Hotel. This event brought together musicians and activists from around the globe to share in a collective message of shifting our world away from fossil fuels into a future of 100% renewable energy.

The event opened with ‘Letters from Home,’ a short film by Steven Sebring. The film explores a dystopian future wherein the Earth can no longer sustain human life, with the four elements—earth, wind, air, and fire—all in peril.

Opening with sirens and newsreel audio clips discussing various calamities that have occurred around the world, the film is then narrated by Sebring’s own son, ten-year old Seneca Sebring, warning of the environmental crisis to come and its impact on future generations as dancer Joules Magus interprets the elements, from thrashing tornadoes, to burning fires, and underwater life, bookmarked by scenes of chaos. At its finale, Seneca implores: “Let’s make change now.”

During the event there were several moments of action, a constant reminder of the reason the audience was gathered together. Bill Mckibben lead the audience in a live letter writing campaign, urging Governor Gavin Newsom to halt all permits for oil and gas drilling, fossil fuel infrastructure, or petrochemical projects, both onshore and offshore, in the California landscape. These postcards were sent directly to the governor’s office, a message heard loud and clear that we must continue. Below is the slide shown on screen to the audience, prompting them with talking points for their handwritten letters. The petition can be signed here.

A beautiful and important surprise from this event was something orchestrated by Tenzin Choegyal. He contacted the office of the Dalai Lama, and in return received a global call to action for our planet, and a wish for success for the Pathway to Paris California events, written and signed by His Holiness. During the the evening, an image of the letter was projected on the movie screen as Jesse read the words, accompanied by Rebecca on cello and Tenzin with his dranyen, a 3 stringed Tibetan instrument. Following the reading of the letter, the lights came up in the theatre, and Tenzin asked the audience to stand, joining their hands above their head in the symbol of Everest, ‘roof of the world,’ making a pledge, to protect this roof and not let it leak. Below is the letter sent by HHDL.

Throughout the night, Pathway to Paris highlighted their 1000 Cities Initiative, having the audience sign the global petition which now has nearly 120k signatures, inviting all cities of the world to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2040. All proceeds from the event were donated to Pathway to Paris.

The evening featured performances and talks from Patti Smith, Bill McKibben, Jim James, Flea, Talib Kweli, Tenzin Choegyal, Karen O, Dhani Harrison, Eric Burdon, Tony Hawk, Lucinda Williams, Imany, Steven Sebring, Rebecca Foon and Jesse Paris Smith.