Fight against global warming gets direct

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The heat is on for the League of Conservation Voters as its global warming campaign launches with a petition requiring 100,000 signatures.

The nonprofit is using the 2008 presidential primaries to generate a national debate on global warming.

"The key was to develop a relationship with online activists," said Terri Shuck, vice president of development for the Washington-based League. "We developed a good campaign plan where people could take action."

The list of supporters and petition names grew, along with the League's database. The nonprofit has 210,000 names on its e-mail list. Its direct mail list contains roughly 40,000 names. Thus far, the nonprofit has acquired 23,000 signatures.

"Having goals for every action is key," Ms. Shuck said. "Activists want to know that they're achieving something bigger than themselves."

The nonprofit often asks members to contact members of Congress on an important, urgent piece of legislation. The League often follows up with an update after the vote.

The League's Web site at www.lcv.org has online advertising. The organization launches an online newsletter this month.

"[The Global Warming initiative] is a new campaign for us, so we have to see how people respond and are focused on the presidential election process," said Andrea Bieling, director of grassroots fundraising at the League.

The nonprofit plans to place organizations in early voting states to work on the ground with state League partners.

"A lot of our marketing efforts include activity taking place in the primary state of New Hampshire and issuing a lot of briefs on climate change with the press," Ms. Shuck said."

The League will track what each of the candidates is saying about global warming. It is conducting a paid advertising campaign with no set time limit. The petition campaign will last until the end of this year.

"People think that we're working toward a change," Ms. Shuck said. "It is about consistency and coherence in our conversations, along with time-sensitive action and accountability opportunities."

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