Washington, DC – Several hundred people allied with environmental organizations rallied at the White House on Sunday, November 30 to show their solidarity with protests happening at the start of a major summit on climate change in Paris.
More than 500 activists called on President Obama to end carbon emissions and implement programs now to transition to renewable energy sources.
Parisians responded to a government ban on planned climate protests by setting 20,000 pairs of shoes in streets near the Place de la République.
Several thousand protesters defied the “State of Emergency” ban nonetheless, congregating at the square. Police tear-gassed protesters and arrested hundreds. One video shows police clubbing youth seated quietly on the sidewalk.
The repercussions of climate disruption are still not being acknowledged fully, warned climatologist Dr. James Hansen, addressing an audience of Baby Boomer and Greatest Generation climate activists on September 9.
“We’ve now got an emergency,” he told about 150 “elder activists” at Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, DC, who were participating in Grandparents Climate Action Day.
Hansen–formerly NASA’s head climate scientist, now Adjunct Professor at Columbia University–is probably best known for bringing definitive evidence of global warming to Congress in testimony in 1988. In July of this year, he released a report with sixteen co-authors studying glacier melt in Greenland and Antarctica. Unlike previous models, the new report takes into account some feedback loops which may be hastening the loss of ice sheet mass far faster than anticipated.
Time is running out to transition to renewable energy, Hansen said, yet the most “relevant” people in power aren’t aware of the situation’s gravity. “Even people who go around saying, ‘We have a planet in peril,’ don’t get it. Until we’re aware of our future, we can’t deal with it.” Continue reading Climate Expert James Hansen: “We’ve Got An Emergency”→
Back in December, Charles Chandler was arrested for trespass in Southern Maryland while protesting a plant under conversion there to liquefy natural gas and load onto tankers for export to Asia. This facility on the Chesapeake Bay, called Cove Point LNG, could be a major driver of fracking on the East Coast and facilitate the emissions of millions of tons of greenhouse gases.
Chandler decided that walking to his court hearing in Prince Frederick this coming Monday would be appropriate. But he didn’t just resolve to walk a few miles to the courthouse. No, he embarked on a march of 360 miles.
Note: One of the most pervasive and insidious myths shoring up fracking is that natural gas is the “clean bridge fuel.” Even many environmentalists persist is using the industry’s propaganda term “clean” to refer to natural gas, often calling it “cleaner than coal.” Burning gas is not “clean” or “cleaner than” using other fossil fuels. This is a myth that needs to be shattered. The following is one piece which penetrates the fog.
In his letter to the editor [“There are benefits to natural gas,” Jan. 23, The Calvert Recorder], Mr. Tom Forgette of St. Leonard wrote that natural gas is “the most environmentally friendly fuel (in Calvert County, the U.S. and the world),” and that it “can reduce the rate of global warming and, hence, have a positive impact on the world.”
The Great March for Climate Action completed an eight month cross-country trek on Saturday, arriving at the White House. Enviros walked their last leg into Washington, DC escorted by nearly 200 people. As they walked from Maryland into DC, they chanted the names of the 11 states they had crossed over 8 months. They sang songs accompanied by guitars and spoke of their experiences. Their arrival marks the beginning of a week of climate actions across the region.
As they arrived at the White House, they called on the administration to immediately begin fulfilling promises it made in 2008, to convert energy production to renewable sources–wind, solar and geothermal.
They read aloud messages written by citizens from across the country. A common theme among them was time was running out to prevent more environmental destruction from fossil fuel energy. In a symbolic gesture of commitment to the environment, they hugged a giant hundred year old oak tree near the White House.
Last month, more than 400,000 people took to the streets of New York City to protest against the global systems which continue to contribute to accelerated climate change in the mad dash to increase profits. Billed as the largest climate rally in the history of the world, the “People’s Climate March” was largely ignored by the mainstream media after filling Manhattan with activists and celebrities trying to garner attention to their cause.
The following Monday, a much smaller group numbering in the thousands stormed through the Financial District en route to Wall Street and staged a “sit-in” large enough to wreak havoc on traffic and commerce in the area for the entire day. As a result, the “Flood Wall Street” action received more press coverage than the previous day and more than 100 protesters (including a large polar bear) were arrested for failing to disperse after being confronted by the NYPD.
While protesters being arrested in New York City has become a common occurrence since the 2011 evolution of Occupy Wall Street, the affirmative “necessity defense” being asserted by the 12 protesters who entered a plea of not guilty is definitely worthy of note because it is so seldomly used, it could actually work.
They say that the longest journey begins with one step. The Great March for Climate Action took its first steps on March 1 in Los Angeles. By November 1, when the marchers arrive at the White House, they will have taken over 15 million steps.
Thirty-four people started in Port of Wilmington in Los Angeles and will have walked over 3,000 miles in eight months when they finally reach Washington, D.C. Even the wagon trains of the 1800’s took less time to cross the country.
Along the way, they have stopped in major cities and small communities, bringing attention to the effects of climate change and the global need to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.