Inspiring Day At Peoples' Climate March

by Rona Fried

Bleary-eyed after marching with over 400,000 people in yesterday’s People’s Climate March, I can tell you it was well worth going.

What amazed me most about being there – other than the importance of showing up – was a rare chance to be among almost half a million people who feel exactly as I do.

Those of us who really care about climate change and the raft of intertwined issues too often feel marginalized in this society, even among our family and friends.

The signs people held up covered every aspect of our dilemma:  100% Renewable Energy Now!; There Is No Planet B; Forests Are Not for Sale; Climate Deniers are Immoral; No Fracking Way, Youth Choose Climate Justice; Cook Organic, Not the Planet; Monsanto is Criminal; No Drill, No Spill …

I was pleasantly surprised to see a huge, energetic youth contingent and a big focus on organic and meat-based agriculture and diet.

Climate March1

We arrived around 10:30 and finally reached the end of the march 2.2 miles later around 4PM. Along the way, giant TV screens displayed marches occurring concurrently around the world – there were 2800 of them in 166 countries.

At the front, Al Gore marched with Ban Ki-moon, Secretary general of the United Nations (who presides over tomorrow’s UN Climate Summit), beloved Chimpanzee devotee Jane Goodall and Riverkeeper Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. Some representatives from Congress were there: Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Keith Ellison (D-MN), 
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Eric Schneiderman (NY State Attorney General) and Christiana Figueres (Executive Secretary of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change). 

In an impassioned speech, Ellison called for a Robin Hood Tax, which would apply a tiny tax on stock trades to "raise funds to
help communities deal with the devastating effects of a rapidly changing
climate and curb harmful high frequency trading."

Climate March2

While we marched, Secretary of State John Kerry worked behind the scenes, convening foreign ministers from the
17-member Major Economies Forum in a meeting on climate change. Todd Stern, chief US climate change negotiator, held back-to-back meetings throughout the day, reports the NY Times.

But even this didn’t make the Sunday news shows other than MSNBC! How can they keep Americans in the dark about this important news? 

No worries because last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that worldwide, June, July and August were the warmest on record and 2014 is on track to be the hottest year on record. 

Climate March3

credit: Ron Benenati

If you’re in need of inspiration, this week’s full of great events.

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Rona Fried, Ph.D. is CEO of SustainableBusiness.com

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Comments on “Inspiring Day At Peoples' Climate March”

  1. William Callahan

    Rona, I attended a smaller local group here in California, roughly 250 in support of the march in NY. My sign read: SYSTEM CHANGE not CLIMATE CHANGE.

    Reply

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