Michigan activists join hundreds of thousands calling for action on climate change
People's Climate March leads up to UN summit
Hundreds of Michigan activists joined with many thousands of others to advocate for global action to address climate change in the People's Climate March in New York City on Sept. 21.
"We’ll take to the streets to demand the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities," the organizers announced before the rally, which was planned to lead up to the UN’s Climate Summit 2014.
(The photo at right, taken by Mary Ann Baier, shows Ian Nichols, one of the Michigan activists who attended the march.)
Estimates of the total number of marchers range from 300,000 to more than half a million, but it’s safe to say the People’s Climate March was the largest demonstration of its kind, and was just one of some 2,700 events around the globe that day.
“The People’s Climate March, a globe-spanning set of demonstrations centered in Manhattan, was a testament to environmentalists’ fortitude and organizational skills and a spreading sense that humanity’s fossil-fueled path — and, for some, the economic model underpinning it — is not sustainable,” Andrew Revken wrote in a New York Times blog post.
“I was glad to see big contingents of students in the crowds, representing the generation that inherits the epic task of shifting humanity’s energy menu.”
The Ecology Center worked to the Sierra Club and other local groups to arrange bus transportation to and from the march.
“There are many people in our community who are interested in taking action at the local, state, federal and global levels to address climate change,” according to Monica Patel, creative director of the Ecology Center and coordinator of Ann Arbor 350, a project working for climate action and community resilience in Washtenaw County.
Patel is planning a “mixer” at the Ecology Center offices in Ann Arbor at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, to follow up on local action ideas from the march. “This event is mostly about socializing and networking, but we also have some activities planned,” including reports and video from the march, and materials about Ann Arbor's Climate Partnership. “We'll also have drinks and snacks -- and guests are always welcome to bring some to share also.”
The march was planned by a coalition of more than 500 local, national and international organizations, including labor unions, religious groups and environmental organizations.
"Together we can make this march into an example of the ambition we want our leaders to bring to confronting the climate crisis. That means aiming high for September 21, but also taking that energy back home and into the many fights already underway," the organizers posted on their site.
EcoLink — September 2014 An online publication of the Ecology Center