In less than two weeks, I will join hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens at the People’s Climate March in New York City. We will take to the streets just as world leaders arrive for the UN Climate Summit. Our presence will demonstrate the groundswell of support for a sustainable future that has grown around the country and across communities, ages, and backgrounds. Together, we will demand global action on climate change.
This will be a historic moment for our movement. The People’s Climate March aims to be the largest rally for climate action in the world.
The September 21st march is drawing record numbers because people recognize the urgency of the climate threat. We can see it with our own eyes.
Most of California is in the grip of “exceptional drought,” the worst category on the U.S. Drought Monitor. Unusually warm and dry conditions in the Pacific Northwest fueled wildfires that devoured hundreds of homes and charred hundreds of thousands of acres this July. And record-breaking rains in Michigan turned Detroit’s freeways into veritable lakes last month.
Extreme drought, heat, and storms are hallmarks of climate change, and several recent reports confirmed these events are on the rise. The world’s leading scientists say dire consequences for our health, food supply, economy, and environment await if we continue to kick the can down the road.
But if we act today, we can stave off that dire future. We know how to solve this. Now we need to create the political will for action.
That is what September 21st will help generate. Hundreds of thousands of people will gather in New York and around the world in Berlin, Paris, Delhi, Rio, Melbourne, and beyond to call for reducing climate change pollution.
At the People’s Climate March here in the US, ranchers, farmers, college students, union members, doctors and nurses, and countless others will join the chorus. Indigenous groups, people of color, and members of low income communities living with fossil fuel extraction in their backyards will be there to represent their struggle on the frontlines of climate injustice.
This is a potent mix. I have seen time and again what can happen when people from all walks of life demand change. Back when I was in college, gatherings like these helped spur the passage of the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and other breakthroughs that protect our health and environment.
Now I see that same powerful citizen energy channeled into climate action. Engaged citizens across the nation have helped pass and defend the first-ever climate change law in California. We have prevented polluters and from rolling back clean energy standards, we have delayed indefinitely the Keystone XL pipeline for dirty tar sands oil, and we pushed for the first-ever national limits on carbon pollution from power plants.
My four decades as an environmental advocate have taught me this: raising our voices and getting into the streets works.
And that’s why we will come together on September 21st to demand real progress on climate change. The United States has begun to move forward. It recently proposed limits on dangerous carbon pollution from power plants. This is a good start, but we must take bolder steps in the U.S. and around the world.
Join the People’s March and help spread the word in your communities. If you can’t make it to the march, you can still take action: click here to show your support for strong limits on carbon pollution. Our leaders need to hear that the time for talking about climate change has passed. And the time for taking decisive action to protect future generations is now.