“Hey! Ho! Fossil Fuels Have Got to Go!” — World Sees Largest Climate March in History Amidst Mounting Dangers

(PBS expose covering the 2014 Climate March shows that nearly 1,500 organizations including environmentalists, faith-based groups, small business groups, economic and social justice organizations, and student organizations participated in this historic event.)

According to the National Climate Data Center, the summer of 2014 was the hottest in the global record. It was a season of record wildfires, sea surface temperatures far above the 20th Century average, and of record droughts and rainfall events around the globe. And it was a year in which the ability of nations to provide food for the world’s seven billion and growing population amidst a mounting tally of extreme droughts and floods was called increasingly into question.

On Sunday September 24, 2014, the ever-more alarmed people of the world responded.

In New York City, an estimated 410,000 took to the streets to protest the broad failure by global governments and businesses to effectively respond to the growing threat of an ever-increasing fossil fuel emission that is rapidly pushing Earth toward a dangerous hothouse environment. In London, nearly 50,000 protesters gathered as Melbourne, Australia saw 30,000 climate marchers. 25,000 lifted their voices in Paris, 15,000 marched through Berlin, and 5,000 gathered in Rio de Janeiro.

Overall, more than 2,500 protest events occurred in 166 countries around the world. Total participation is now estimated to be more than 750,000 — the largest and most widespread climate protest in history.

Climate March Grist

(Hundreds of thousands gather in New York City for Climate March. Image source: Grist.)

In New York City, the massive march began at 11:30 AM at Columbus Circle near Central Park. More than 550 buses disgorged passengers bearing signs labeled with a variety of apt sayings including: “There is No Planet B,” “Carbon Tax Now,” “Go Vegan,” “This Country has a Koch Problem,” “Never, Never Vote Republican,” and “We Can’t Burn all the Oil on the Planet and Still Live on It.”

The march, which included more than 50,000 students, numerous members of the scientific community, and such notables as Bill McKibben, Ban Ki-moon, Jane Goodall, Vandana Shiva, Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Leonardo DiCaprio, and Al Gore, at times stretched to fully 4 miles in length. Loud chants such as “Hey! Ho! Fossil fuels have got to go!” rocked what many still believe to be the center of global capital.

I Can't believe I'm having to protest this

(Sign speaks for itself, doesn’t it? Image source: Here.)

The rallies came just two days before a global climate summit was scheduled to convene on Tuesday, September 22. The summit, which will include more than 120 world leaders aims to provide more aggressive measures to attack the vast and growing threat of carbon pollution. As of 2013, recent studies showed that human hothouse emissions jumped by another 2.3% — primarily driven by increases in China, India and the U.S. Ominously, both China and India — previous bad actors on climate change due to astronomical increases in coal burning — have decided to opt out of the current climate summit.

A press conference held prior to the climate march drove home the growing plight of millions of people around the world already staring down the face of fossil-fuel inflicted harm. A number that is likely to jump to billions unless our race toward a hothouse extinction is rapidly halted.

peoples-climate-march17

(Is this a game? Image source: Here.)

Stanley Sturgil, a retired coal miner from Kentucky now suffering from black lung made this statement at a press conference before the march:

“Today I march because I want to behold a brighter future. We have destroyed ourselves. We have destroyed our health and I’m here because our political leaders have failed us.”

Marshall Island resident Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner also made this deeply resonant statement:

“We need to act now… We only have one atmosphere and we of the Marshall Islands only have one land we call home. We don’t want to move and we shouldn’t have to move.”

Sadly, if world leaders continue to fail to hear the pleas of their increasingly foundering constituents, residents of the Marshall Islands won’t be the only ones on the move. The migration, under business as usual carbon emissions and an emerging and deadly hothouse world will comprise a majority of the human race.

Links:

Hundreds of Thousands Turn out for People’s Climate March

Summer of 2014 Hottest on Record

Climate Change Summit: Global Rallies Demand Action

Great Photos From the Climate March

Leave a comment

27 Comments

  1. Reblogged and distributed. Thank you.

    Reply
  2. Seth

     /  September 22, 2014

    This “failure to respond” is a response – a response made in line with interests of the “traditional energy” lobby.

    Reply
    • All too true, Seth.

      And two weeks ago, the same spinsters were claiming the climate movement was dead… The anti-response marketing/messaging campaign could well be labeled ‘deny, deny, distract.’

      Reply
  3. “Largest Climate-Change March in History Unlikely to Convince Idiots”

    BY ANDY BOROWITZ

    http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/largest-climate-change-march-history-unlikely-convince-idiots

    Funny, and true.

    Reply
  4. Kevin Jones

     /  September 22, 2014

    Thanks, Robert. And thanks, davidwindt. Very funny indeed, except for that last sentence!

    Reply
  5. Kevin Jones

     /  September 22, 2014

    When President Buchanan placed a $250 price on John Brown’s head, Brown responded with: “Well, I place a $2.50 price on his!” Pre-gallows humor…..

    Reply
  6. HuffPost has a live feed right now (3pm EDT) from the Flood Wall Street protest (http://floodwallstreet.net/):

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/22/flood-wall-street-photos_n_5861848.html

    Reply
  7. Kevin Jones

     /  September 22, 2014

    BREAKING: Forecast the Facts is reporting Google just dumped ALEC for it’s climate denial.

    Reply
  8. Hi Robert, thanks for the report. Glad there was a sizable turnout.

    – Meanwhile a lesson in hydrology or glaciology from a mountain in California, USA.

    Mt. Shasta mudslide blamed on drought, melting glacier

    California’s prolonged drought is believed to have caused a massive mudslide on Mt. Shasta over the weekend after meltwater from a glacier sent torrents of debris and mud down the mountain, officials said.

    Experts believe glacial melting, accelerated by the drought, may have released “pockets of water” that destabilized massive ice blocks and causing the debris flow Saturday afternoon in Shasta-Trinity National Forest, officials said.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-mount-shasta-mudslide-california-drought-20140922-story.html

    Reply
  9. Great coverage. It must have been inspiring to be there.

    The news media mostly ignored the hundreds of thousands of climate marchers in NYC and around the world. Had they been protesting against something more palatable to corporate interests, I’m sure the coverage would have been 24/7.

    Meanwhile, an 18 year-old Oregon teenager (Kelsey Juliana) is the co-plaintiff in a lawsuit against her state government for violating the public trust by its inaction on climate change. The case has huge implications and could end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Reply
  10. Colorado Bob

     /  September 23, 2014

    Arctic sea ice melts to 6th-lowest level on record

    Arctic sea ice shrank to its summer minimum — and sixth-lowest level on record — on Sept. 17, according to data released Monday by the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

    “Arctic sea ice coverage in 2014 is the sixth-lowest recorded since 1978,” said Walter Meier, a research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

    Link

    Reply
  11. Colorado Bob

     /  September 23, 2014

    Global Warming Concerns Grow

    While few Americans regard the environment as the nation’s foremost challenge, most say it should be a priority, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. And more than half say global warming is caused by human behavior, the highest level ever recorded by the national poll.

    New York Times/CBS News poll

    Reply
  12. Colorado Bob

     /  September 23, 2014

    Seriously off topic but worth noting –

    Humans Just Got A First Close-Up Look At A Comet And It’s Mind-Blowing

    Read more: Link

    Reply
  13. Colorado Bob

     /  September 23, 2014

    Arctic sea ice helps remove carbon dioxide from atmosphere, study shows

    Only recently scientists have realized that sea ice has an impact on the planet’s CO2 balance.

    “We have long known that Earth’s oceans are able to absorb huge amounts of CO2. But we also thought that this did not apply to ocean areas covered by ice, because the ice was considered impenetrable. However, this is not true: New research shows that sea ice in the Arctic draws large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere into the ocean,” says Dorte Haubjerg Søgaard.

    Dorte Haubjerg Søgaard has just completed her studies of sea ice in Greenland. The studies show that sea ice may have a major impact on the global carbon cycle, and that chemical processes have a much greater impact on the sea ice’s ability to remove CO2 than biological processes. The research is published as a series of articles in scientific journals.

    “The chemical removal of CO2 in sea ice occurs in two phases. First crystals of calcium carbonate are formed in sea ice in winter. During this formation CO2 splits off and is dissolved in a heavy cold brine, which gets squeezed out of the ice and sinks into the deeper parts of the ocean. Calcium carbonate cannot move as freely as CO2 and therefore it stays in the sea ice. In summer, when the sea ice melts, calcium carbonate dissolves, and CO2 is needed for this process. Thus, CO2 gets drawn from the atmosphere into the ocean — and therefore CO2 gets removed from the atmosphere,” explains Dorte Haubjerg Søgaard.

    The biological removal of CO2 is done by algae binding of carbon in organic material.

    Link

    Reply
  14. Kevin Jones

     /  September 23, 2014

    RE: arctic sea ice/ CO2 removal: Earth’s fantastic processes continue to impress. Perhaps we should take care not to impair Her care-taking.

    Reply
  15. Colorado Bob

     /  September 23, 2014

    The Racial Gap On Global Warming

    Before the big climate march in New York on Sunday, New York magazine’s Tim Murphy asked, “Can Sunday’s climate march expand the movement beyond wonky white men?” After the march, Sally Kohn at The Daily Beast had an answer: Yes.

    http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/the-racial-gap-on-global-warming/

    Reply
  16. Kevin Jones

     /  September 23, 2014

    Colorado Bob. At the end of the walk, heading down 11th ave. I found myself strolling next to a young black male. Maybe sixteen. Engaging. Knowledgeable. I said, “You have no idea how much it warms my heart to see young people just like you here and engaged.” We shook hands, bid each other farewell, and wished each other good luck. The highlight of my day!

    Reply
    • The African American faith community was one of the first to adopt climate action as a necessary movement going forward. They are among the most active groups RE almost all justice related issues and climate justice is at the forefront for them now.

      Reply
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