This weekend was incredibly exciting. Rarely is there a time where I desperately wish I could be somewhere, but this past weekend was one of them, where I would have loved to have participated in the world’s largest Climate Change march in New York City. Organizers were hesitant to give attendance predictions for the event, and rightfully so – hard to gauge something of this magnitude. In the end, estimates put 400,000 people, along with some of their dogs (you can check out twitter #caninesforclimate) who marched to the United Nations building in New York City Sunday, September 21, 2014. The marchers in NYC, along with numerous puppets, banners, protest signs, and the help of at least 20 marching bands made as much noise as possible along the two-mile route.
New York wasn’t alone in this effort. Rather, it has been a global coordination, which involved 1,400 partner organizations, 300 college campuses, and 2,700 other climate-related activities in 158 countries, as cited in this NYT article. In Melbourne, Australia, where Prime Minister Tony Abbott has called climate change science “absolute crap” and since rolled back climate change policies during his recent tenure, 30,000 protestors showed up to march. In Portland, Oregon, the Raging Grannies participated in the event, along with the highest demographic of teens and young adults. In an equally impressive stance, some of the countries with the most to lose with climate change also participated in solidarity, and with the help of social media, those Pacific Islands also were able to get their word out. Check out 350Pacific’s Facebook page to see many of the islands participating!
The night before the march (Saturday), thanks in part to Oscar winner Louie Psihoyos, he and others helped organize “illUmiNations”, where the UN building became illuminated with striking images of endangered species. The terrifying part is that it also included humans – environmental refugees – in the stunning display. Clearly, the people want action, and with the UN Climate Summit starting on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, it’s set to be an exciting week. If the people truly have any influence, the climate change policy scales will be tipping in the right direction!