Nine days from now, on September 21, organizers of the largest climate change march in history expect at least one hundred thousand of people to join the People’s Climate March in New York City. Happening just before the United Nations holds a summit on climate change, the real goal of the march is to show convening world leaders that climate change isn’t just a policy issue that matters only to scientists and policy wonks. The idea is to show that climate action is a populist movement, too—and one that’s capable of making some noise.
While it might not get the same level of attention as the summit itself, the march is no mere sideshow. Elected officials often treat climate change as an isolated policy area—a distraction from the broader economic, humane, and stability challenges of our time. Environmentalists have tried and failed to change that perception, working within the political system and on their own. This march represents a different approach. It’s bringing in religious groups, labor unions, students, and social justice organizations—in order to show that support for fighting climate change is broad. In many ways, this effort mirrors the (so far) successful grassroots tactics of bringing attention to environmental and climate concerns like the Keystone XL pipeline and the growing fossil fuel divestment movement.
Rebecca Leber THE NEW REPUBLIC NYC
AND it’s happening all over the world!