The People’s Climate March on September 21 in New York was an amazing event.
So many people — over 310,000 with some estimates at 400,000.
So many groups — environmentalists, scientists, religious leaders, teachers, ordinary folk, and over 1,500 sponsors.
So many ages — mostly under 35 including 50,000 college students. But there were also people in wheel chairs and grandparents pushing strollers, marching for the next generation.
So much good energy and hope all around.
It was electrifying and hard to describe the emotions that washed over us during the day. We waited for an hour and a half for the march to begin as there were so many people who had assembled. We talked with the students from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies with whom we marched. They were filled with excitement, overflowing with a sense of solidarity, as were we. As we began to march we were all called to a collective moment of silence. And then from behind a vast roar, like a wave of unstoppable energy, swept over us.
We were buoyed by pictures along the route of those marching with us around the world in 160 countries where climate marches were taking place. The realization of the suffering already being caused by climate change was evident — from the Pacific Island nations, to those who weathered Sandy and Katrina, to those dealing with extreme droughts and floods.
This climate march, the largest in human history, was indeed a watershed moment. It demonstrated that people and planet are one force; and that climate justice and ecosystems preservation are part of a holistic way forward. The Earth community was visible there with such variety of humans and such boundless determination for protecting the Earth.