On September 21st, 2014, hundreds of thousands of people will gather in New York City to show that we are willing to put our bodies in the streets to fight for strong, immediate international climate legislation. This day of action is called the People’s Climate March, and there will be more than 1,500 sister marches in 130 different countries across the world, from Mumbai to Manila. All 50 states will be represented at the march in New York City, as well as 28 different religious faiths and denominations, 20 marching bands, thousands of students from more than 300 colleges and universities from across the United States, and more than 1,100 community, labor, environmental justice, faith, and progressive groups.
On September 23rd, two days after the People’s Climate March, world leaders will convene at the United Nations for an emergency Climate Summit. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called world leaders to New York City in order to prepare for COP 21 in Paris in 2015. (In a future post I will explain more about COP 21 and the UNFCCC, but for now it is simply important to know that leading climate scientists have agreed that COP 21 will be our last opportunity, as a species, to create meaningful climate legislation that stands a chance of keeping us from condemning the planet to utter chaos.)
The People’s Climate March is going to be an historic event, hopefully on the scale of the March on Washington and the Nuclear Freeze March in New York City in 1982 that attracted more than 1 million people. We need to be historic. We need to be big. Climate change is bigger than anything humans have ever faced, and to deal with the coming challenges, we need everyone on board.