Georgians Joined in People’s Climate March in New York

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(APN) ATLANTA — Hundreds from Atlanta and Georgia joined over 400,000 people from around the country, in New York City to march for climate change to save the planet.  Atlanta activists represented at the march include Scott Brown, Dawn Gibson, Daniel Hanley, and James Woods.

 

Photograph courtesy of James Woods

Photograph courtesy of James Woods

This was part of events, protests, and marches held around the world to spotlight global warming ahead of the United Nations climate summit in New York.  It the first time in five years that world leaders have gathered to discuss climate change.

 

The “People’s Climate March” was led by indigenous people who are often the first to notice and be affected by climate change.  

 

Environmentalists, celebrities, policymakers, and ordinary people called for financial incentives to fight global warming in the largest climate march in history that stretched for miles.

 

Different contingents carried signs, such as, “No Nukes, No Carbon, No Fracking,” and “Invest in Wind, Solar and Geothermal.”  

 

This was the message the People’s Climate March wanted to communicate to U.S. Congress and the world: Stop investing in the old outdated business model the fossil fuel industry clings to that is destroying the planet; instead, invest in clean, safe renewables like solar and wind.

 

“I felt like it was an opportunity for different groups to connect a lot of the struggles together and to highlight underlying issues.  A lot of us see a need for climate justice… and how climate change affects communities of color…. and the march is helping to make those connections,” Gibson told Atlanta Progressive News.

 

According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the evidence for rapid climate change is compelling.  For example, global sea level rose about 6.7 inches in the last century but in the last ten years it has nearly doubled to 12 inches.  The oceans and global surface temperatures are all warming.  Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets continue to decrease in mass.  Glaciers are retreating around the world.  The acidification of the ocean with the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the upper layers of the oceans is increasing by about 2 billion tons per year.  An increase in the numbers of intense rainfall events and extreme weather are all symptoms of climate change.

 

Gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).  Carbon dioxide is released through natural ways like respiration and volcano eruptions, and also by human actions such as cutting down forests that take in carbon dioxide and that release oxygen, as well as burning fossil fuels.   

 

Gibson, as well as others, think the root problem of climate change is capitalism, and hold capitalists, and the fossil fuel industries they control, responsible for global warming and polluting the planet.

 

“There were a significant number of sections, in the Climate March, that were anti-capitalist,” Gibson told APN.

 

“When you think of capitalism, you think of the people who own and control a lot of the resources and make the decisions.  Who is blowing the tops off of mountains, who is building nuclear reactors in poor agrarian areas, who is releasing toxic gas in the air because of their factories, who is not being regulated by the government?  These private owners of production are destroying the environment   A large part of capitalism is exploitation… of labor… of resources… of the environment.  They care about making their profits, not the people or the animals that inhabit the area,” Gibson told APN.  

 

Rising temperatures will also trigger health problems, including respiratory disorders like asthma, allergies, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heat stroke, and more infectious diseases like malaria and Lyme disease, according to a new study by lead author Dr. Jonathan Patz, Director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin.

 

The only thing standing in the way of a safer and healthier future is the big fossil fuel industry’s money and the political influence that money buys.  

 

The next day a second action called “Flood Wall Street” occurred, in order to expose Wall Street’s role in funding corporations responsible for the air pollution that is causing global warming.

 

A massive sit-in on Wall Street was planned, but the police had the area blocked.  So the social justice activists held the sit-in on Broadway, for hours, which was only blocks away from the U.S. Stock Exchange.  Over one hundred people were arrested, including a person wearing a polar bear costume.

 

(END/2014)

 

 

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