Crowds of people marched from Battery Park to Broadway as part of the People’s Climate March in New York City.
On September 21, 2014, about 400,000 people flooded the streets of New York City for the People’s Climate March. It was the largest environmental protest in world history. The march took place just two days before world leaders were set to gather there for the United Nations Global Climate Summit. Organizers of the march wanted to pressure UN member nations to take serious action to reduce climate change.
The march’s slogan “To Change Everything, We Need Everyone” was reflected in the diversity of the people who took part. Students, scientists, environmentalists, civil rights activists, Native American groups, and labor union members all turned up for the march. Notable public figures, such as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, and actor Leonardo DiCaprio, also took part.
New York City was the site of the main event. Thousands more showed up for smaller rallies in more than 160 countries across the globe. In places ranging from big cities like London, England, to small island nations in the South Pacific, people gathered to call for global action to fight climate change.
Why are groups calling for us to fight climate change? During the twentieth century, Earth’s average surface temperature rose by almost 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit. This may seem like a small change, but climate scientists say that this temperature rise is largely responsible for melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and an increase in extreme weather events.
Although some disagree, most climate scientists argue that certain human activities are the cause of recent climate changes. They point to the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. If nothing is done to reduce these activities, climate scientists predict that climate change will increase and cause more problems. Organizers of the People’s Climate March are calling for reducing fossil fuel use, developing clean energy sources, and limiting deforestation. Time will tell how much their message will convince world leaders.
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