On September 21 between 300,000 and 400,000 people marched through New York City demanding climate action and climate justice. Here in Seattle anywhere around 2000 people gathered in solidarity with the People’s Climate March in New York to raise awareness of fossil fuel projects that threaten to turn the Pacific Northwest into a fossil fuel export hub. For more information on those projects check out the most recent report the Sightline Institute published on this topic.
The People’s Climate March in New York took place right before a U.N. one-day climate summit and aimed to demonstrate to delegates and policy makers that the time for serious climate action is now.
Climate Action, because, although we have had evidence of human caused climate change since the late 1980s, nothing meaningful has been done about it. While President Obama, acknowledges (for example speaking at the one-day climate summit) that we are the first generation to experience climate change and the last generation that is able to do something about it, his administration continues to promote the use and extraction of fossil fuels. In a 2012 speech at the Rose Garden he proudly announced that his administration had “added enough new oil and gas pipeline to circle the Earth and then some.”
Climate Justice because the people least responsible for climate change are impacted the most. A study by researchers at the University of Hawaii published in 2013 in Nature found that “Unprecedented climates will occur earliest in the tropics and among low-income countries, highlighting the vulnerability of global biodiversity and the limited governmental capacity to respond to the impacts of climate change. Our findings shed light on the urgency of mitigating greenhouse gas emissions if climates potentially harmful to biodiversity and society are to be prevented.” (Mora, C. et al. The projected timing of climate departure from recent variability. Nature 502, 183–187 (2013)).
Scientific evidence strongly suggests that to protect the American people and the rest of the world from detrimental, irreversible climate change, our government must drop its support for the fossil fuel industry. Instead of investing in pipelines, our government should invest in green energy, infrastructure, public transportation, green jobs and job training.