400K+ People Give A Sh!t About Climate Change (VIDEO)
This Sunday’s People’s Climate March in New York City exceeded expectations. The original attendance estimate of 100,000 was shattered when 310,000 to 400,000+ people marched through the streets of NYC in protest of government inaction on climate change.
The People’s Climate March was the largest climate protest in history and the largest social demonstration of the past decade, but the cry for action went well beyond the Big Apple. Hundreds of thousands attended solidarity events around the world, including 2,646 additional events in more than 150 countries.
Amazing drone footage of the People’s Climate March:
The timing of the march was critical, as President Obama and over one hundred world leaders meet in NYC for United Nations Climate Summit 2014 on Tuesday. The organizers of People’s Climate March hope an action of this magnitude will help convince world leaders to act.
One of the events key organizers, Ricken Patel, executive director of Avaaz, presented a petition with over 2.1 million signatures demanding action on climate change. The New York Times spoke with Patel who said, “It’s a testament to how powerful this movement is… people are coming in amazing numbers.”
Time spoke with May Boeve, executive director of 350.org and an event organizer, “Today, civil society acted at a scale that outdid even our own wildest expectations… tomorrow, we expect our political leaders to do the same.”
A diverse crowd attended the march. The event drew far more than just environmentalists, hippies and vegans. Over 50,000 students attended along with doctors, scientists, labor union members, religious congregations, the old concerned for their legacy and the young worried about their future. People from all walks of life, all 50 United States and countries around the world took place in the march.
Time spoke with several attendees, including a 20-year-old junior at Tulane Zak Davidson, his classmate Emma Collin and Dr. Erica Frank a preventive medicine specialist from British Columbia.
Zak Davidson commented, “A lot of conservatives try to marginalize environmentalism as a fringe movement, like just people wearing hemp skirts. But I have a job offer in the government for when I graduate, and I’m going to continue fighting for climate change within the system.”Joining the crowd were celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Edward Norton, Russell Brand, Sting and Mark Ruffalo. Policymakers such as Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former Vice President Al Gore and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio were also in attendance.
“Moving to New Orleans really politicized me about climate change, since the Gulf Coast is predicted to have the worst sea-level rise,” said Emma Collin. “It’s like being in Rome before the fall.”
“It’s one of the most important threats to world health, and it’s completely preventable,” reported Dr. Erica Frank. “It would be irresponsible for us to do nothing.”
Though from different walks of life, this diverse melting pot of concerned citizens clearly had one thing in common. We need to take urgent action to combat climate change.