The People’s Climate March, New York City, Sunday, September 21, 2014—Some Reflections
Photo courtesy of Abba Carmichael
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
by Maxine Margo Rubin
Tar sands, fracked gas, artic melt and nuclear waste are harming the planet, as our never-ending thirst for energy, and those seeking profit over people, has left a horrible imprint on the Earth, that will take many generations to fix. Last Sunday, a sea of humanity congregated to voice concern about the depletion of our planet’s natural resources, and the damage caused by the burning of fossil fuels. Nearly 400,000 people assembled in New York City, on the last Sunday of the summer to make some noise and put their collective will together to make a difference.
September 21st, 2014 will go down as an historic day, when people took to the streets to demand action from their world leaders on climate change. We are all Earth Holders and Keepers of the planet, and as I talked to and marched with teachers, policy makers, celebrities, heads of state, doctors, lawyers, students, union members, and children with their parents in tow, I realized that the world is filled with people who do care, and who rallied together for a common cause to raise their eco-consciousness.
The marchers were of many different cultures, an intertwined mosaic of humans that showed the world, in a peaceful way, that under their watch government entities and leaders are going to be held accountable to develop policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Pressure must be put on those in power to use the advancements made in science and technology, to help clean the air, the water and the land, for this and future generations to enjoy.
The chants that “Fossil Fuels Have To Go” or “America, Frack No!” could be heard with every step. Doctors and nurses shouted and held up posters that said, “We’re Losing Patients, Climate Change is a Health Crisis.” Environmental and social justice organizations carried signs exhorting their governments to promote the harnessing of sun, wind, and tides that can power the earth.
“Grandparents for the Climate Campaign of Norway,” a group of elders who came to New York from Norway to participate on behalf of their grandchildren, had come to get their point across. People from all races, and all classes, marched as a unit as horns blared and the beating of drums echoed through the air.
When drones floated overhead, a sight that will forever be planted in my brain, the crowds roared in response—it was a chance to scream and shout at those who are in power to protect individuals, but instead choose to profit from what money is left in the ground.
There were no swords or stones, only cautionary words and calls for positive actions. There is a lot we can do on a personal level to conserve and take action to reduce our carbon footprints. Swapping out light bulbs for LEDs, using less water to wash and shower, recycling and reducing consumption, using reusable bags are all good things, but the problem is bigger than that.
World leaders know that we are on borrowed time, and when we reach the tipping point—and it will be here soon, if it’s not here already—the game will be over. The gauntlet has been dropped and now it is time to take action. It’s up to every individual to become an active participant in democracy, write your local and national officials, join an environmental group. Teach your children well—the future of the planet is in our hands.
New Castle resident Maxine Margo Rubin is host and producer of “The Many Shades of Green” radio show on BBoxradio.com.