Two weeks from today, UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon and heads of state from around the world will gather in New York for the first major climate summit since the largely ineffective Copenhagen conference in 2009. Moon hopes to reach a global deal to reduce greenhouse gases with 100 the heads of state expected to attend, an ambitious yet increasingly pressing issue. Atmospheric CO2 this week is hovering around 396 ppm, almost 50 parts per million higher than the 350 ppm goal set by many climatologists.
While we can always count on global leaders to reach groundbreaking accords to combat climate change,* environmental activists worldwide are organizing a “People’s Climate March,” with the main arm of the march taking place in New York on Sunday, September 21. A broad coalition of environmental, educational, labor, and religious organizations have organized the march to pressure leaders into reducing greenhouses gas emissions in what promises to be the largest environmental march in history. As to be expected, Middlebury students and faculty members have been busy organizing for the march, and want you to join in the fight. Middlebury organizers will host a talk tomorrow, Wednesday September 10, in St. Stephen’s Church to give context to the march within the broader environmental movement, and more details on plans for the march. Hannah Bristol ’14.5 writes in:
Things are heating up in the climate movement this fall as organizers prepare for the largest climate march in history at the People’s Climate March (PCM) in New York City on September 21. Bill McKibben, Fernando Sandovol ’15,Marjeela Basij-Rasikh ’15, Jon Isham, Rich Wolfley, and folks from Migrant Justice are speaking at St. Stephen’s Church (the stone one in town where you can ring the bell at Chili Fest) at 7 pm tomorrow, September 10, to give an update from the global climate movement and talk about why the PCM matters.
There are already over 80 Middlebury students signed up to head to NYC for the big march and a youth convergence on Saturday. Buses and vans will be leaving Saturday morning and getting back to campus Sunday. Transportation and housing are all taken care of, although we are asking students to donate if they are able to help pay for the bus and gas. To sign up, visit go/pcm. Email Hannah Bristol at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Again, the People’s Climate March and the following UN conference are of seismic importance to the environmental movement and the state of the planet as we know it. The failure of the 2009 Copenhagen Conference, and the continued delaying of large scale, multi-national action to reverse the increasingly ominous specter of global climate change have only furthered the need of mass social action. If you consider yourself an environmentalist, there is no better opportunity to practice your beliefs than pressuring the leaders of the world to act on one of the defining issues of our time. See you all there.
When: Wednesday at 7 PM
Where: St. Stephen’s Chapel, downtown Middlebury
People’s Climate March detes:
When: Saturday and Sunday, September 20-21
Cost: the fate of the planet