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People’s Climate March, NYC, September 21, 2014
What a day! Historic, memorable, uplifting, spirited. Estimates of over 300,000 people, young, old and diverse, marching through the streets of our city. They came just as the world’s political leaders meet to discuss climate change at the United Nations.
They came to wake up and shake up those leaders with simple demands:
ACT NOW to prevent further climate change.
ACT NOW before catastrophic and irreversible damage changes our planet forever.
ACT NOW so that our children and their children will have a planet that they can actually live on.
ACT NOW, not years from now when it will be too late.
Brooklyn For Peace joined other peace and justice organizations. But the march represented a vast array of different organizations and just plain citizens concerned about the future of civilization. The spirit was one of camaraderie and a feeling that this movement for change was only just beginning to find itself and that it would grow and become broader and more powerful.
We came away, uplifted and optimistic. This is a titanic battle to push back against the enormous monetary power of Big Oil and Big Energy which have shown they control Congress and countries….they have the money….we have the people. It’s a battle for the future of our world as we know it today. The outcome is still undecided but today’s march shows clearly that those ominous forces have not yet won and they’ll have a powerful foe in the hundreds of thousands who marched today.
Stop the Wars Stop the Warming
Our planet is threatened by twin crises: irreversible climate change and the ever-present danger of global war. These two threats are rooted in the same soil – our unsustainable economic system and its insatiable thirst for profit.
We are now witnessing droughts, wildfires, floods, and storms like we’ve never seen before – yet every year we pump more CO2 and methane into the atmosphere. The polar ice caps are melting and the oceans are rising at an alarming rate. Wetlands and forests are disappearing. Whole island nations are drowning. Species are going extinct at rates not seen since the dinosaurs. Yet corporations and governments continue to promote their unsustainable policy of “growth,” ignoring the reality of a planet with finite resources. [read more…]
The People’s Climate March: What’s It About, How Do I Get There, and What Else Is Going On?
You may have seen ads in the subway for the People’s Climate March or heard someone talking about it. Here’s what it’s about.
What’s It About?
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has called a special UN climate summit “to galvanize and catalyze climate action.” Global greenhouse gas emissions have doubled since the 1980s. If we continue down this path, climate change will become irreversible within 15 years, putting most of the species alive today, including our own, at risk of extinction. So we have to convert from a fossil fuel-based economy and energy system to a zero-carbon-emissions renewables-only energy system very very rapidly.
That’s what the People’s Climate March is about — to show our own government, and the world, that we want real action on climate change, and we want it now. Over a thousand organizations have signed on from all over the country and all over the world. Over a quarter of a million people will be in the streets on Sunday, including parents and children, church groups and labor unions, peace groups and anti-frackers, indigenous people and people from countries and neighborhoods that are being impacted by climate change right now. Join us. Bring a sign. Bring your friends, your kids, your parents. We’re all in this lifeboat called Planet Earth together, and there is no Planet B.
How Do I Get There?
The People’s Climate March will leave from Columbus Circle on Sunday, Sept. 21, at 11:30 a.m. You can see the route here. People will assemble north of Columbus Circle in six different hubs, shown here. The march organizers strongly advise getting to the assembly area no later than 10:30. People are also advised to bring water and food.
Brooklyn For Peace is going in to the march as a group. Other groups and individuals are free to join us. Bring your own banners and signs or take one of ours if you wish.
In Brooklyn: At 9:00 a.m. join Brooklyn For Peace on the plaza at Court and Montague Sts. We will take the 1/2/3 train to the assembly area.
At the rally: From 10 to 11:30 a.m., we will assemble at the Peace and Justice rally at 77th St. and Central Park West. Great speakers, great music, great art — look up in the sky for our war-no-more inflatable.
There’s a ton of other stuff going on around the UN Summit and the People’s Climate March. Here are brief descriptions of what’s on offer, with links to the relevant websites.
Friday and Saturday, Sept. 19-20
The Climate Convergence will have 100 panels all day Saturday, Sept. 20, in several lower Manhattan locations, and plenaries on Friday and Saturday nights. Tickets range from $20 to $50. The complete schedule of panels is here. Here are some panels that look interesting to us:
9:00-10:30: Climate Change and Militarism: Following the Money and Understanding the Costs. Institute for Policy Studies
10:45-12:15: Building a Strong U.S. Southern Initiative to Address Climate Change and Community Resilience.
12:30-2:00: You Are Here: Mapping the Fracking Boom in New York State. Sane Energy Project.
2:15-3:45: Uniting Our Strategies to Stop War and Save the Planet. Speakers include Michael Klare, Michael Eisenscher (USLAW), and Michael McPhearson (IVAW).
A Global Climate Treaty: Why the U.S. Must Lead
Saturday, Sept. 20, 6:30 — 9:30 p.m.
This star-studded panel of climate defenders — among them, Mary Robinson, UN Special Envoy for Climate Change — will take place at the New York Society for Ethical Culture, 2 W. 64th Street. It’s our pick for the evening before the march. The event is sold out but it will be livestreamed offsite. Details here.
Also . . .
The Future of Energy
Tuesday, Sept. 16, 6:30 p.m.
NYC premiere of this powerful documentary, which captures the movement across the United States to transition to renewable energy and what everyday people are doing to help foster that shift. Featuring Mark Jacobson, star of the renewable transition movement. Details here.
Why the UN’s Climate Summit is Important to All of Us
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 7:00 p.m.
A panel discussion that explores the reasons why we should care about a successful UN’s Climate Summit, for our economy, our community and the generations that follow us. Details here.
Rude Mechanicals and United For Action at Union Square
Thursday, Sept. 18, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Promote the People’s Climate March and have fun at the same time. Join the Rude Mechanical Orchestra and the anti-fracking group United for Action at the south end of Union Square to hand out flyers about the march. Wear something creative and colorful.
Groundswell Rising, The Human Cost of Fracking
Thursday, Sept. 18, 6:30 p.m.
Film screening at Community Church of New York Assembly Hall, 40 East 35 St., between Madison and Park. Movie trailer here.
Monday, Sept. 22, 9:00 a.m.
Direct Action: The economy of the 1% is destroying the planet, flooding our homes, and wrecking our communities. After the People’s Climate March, wearing blue, we will bring the crisis to its cause with a mass sit-in at the heart of capital. Join the flood here.
The US has 900 military bases and outposts in 130 countries. Since 2000 it has deployed combat troops to more than 20 countries. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are beginning to wind down, but the US is expanding its military presence in the Middle East, Africa, and the Pacific Rim and preparing troops for subzero combat in the Arctic.
War at Home
The 1 percent gets bailouts for Wall Street while the rest of us get foreclosures and cutbacks. The banks are propped up while the infrastructure is allowed to crumble. Big Energy gets trillion-dollar subsidies while unions, immigrants, and communities of color fight for their lives. And the public sector is being auctioned off cheap to the private sector.
War on the Planet
Climate change is causing droughts, wildfires, floods, and storms like we’ve never seen before–yet we continue to pump ever more CO2 and methane into the atmosphere. Wetlands and forests are disappearing. Our air, our land, our water are being poisoned. Species are going extinct at rates not seen since the dinosaurs and whole ecosystems are dying. Yet corporations and governments continue to promote their unsustainable policy of “growth”, ignoring the reality of a planet with finite resources.
A Common Thread
Today, international conflicts increasingly revolve around control of essential resources–oil, minerals, land, water. War destroys the environment, wrecking agriculture and infrastructure, killing and displacing millions of people, leaving a landscape of lethal chemicals, heavy metals, and radiation in its wake.
The US military is the biggest single consumer of fossil fuels in the world. And who’s footing the bill? Not the 1 percent–they’re getting rich off war. The rest of us are paying for these wars with our blood, with cutbacks, with the destruction of other countries and societies–but most of all with the environmental IOU that is being passed on to our children.
Climate change is upon us–we need to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and go full speed ahead on wind, solar, geothermal, and tidal energy. We need to transition workers out of jobs in oil, gas, coal, and nuclear energy–and into renewable energy. Into good jobs, union jobs, jobs with benefits and safety oversight. Jobs that stay here in the US. And we need to get out of the war business: converting to renewable energy gives us true energy independence and the possibility of peace.
Presentation by Gary Goff at the Brooklyn Museum, as part of a “Perspectives Talk” in conjunction with its exhibit on War and Photography.
We usually think of violence as something that is abrupt and explosive-a bomb going off, a bullet finding its mark. The photos on exhibit here tend to reinforce this view. But there is another kind of violence that is increasing worldwide-the violence of climate change. Because it is incremental, it’s mostly invisible or at least not perceived as violence. But we need to reassess this view. Climate change is both violent and largely caused by human activity. It’s as violent as war. People’s homes and livelihoods are destroyed, their countries devastated, their lives taken. According to the UN there have been more than 4 million climate-related deaths since the 1970s.
As starling as that number is, the relationship between war and the environment is more than the high casualty rates they share. Environmental disasters cause wars and wars cause environmental disasters. Let me explain.
They came by the tens of thousands – to the nation’s capitol. Their demand was “Save Our Planet.” It was a protest to demand immediate and urgent action to reverse the course of climate change; to change the path of dependency on fossil fuels which is slowly but surely leading to destruction and decline of what has become a fragile environment. (See photos here.)
It was a bitterly cold and windy day but that didn’t stop people from marching around the White House to tell the President to be true to his words and reject the ominous and hazardous Keystone XL pipeline. Continue reading →
FRI, MAR 8: “Fun”draiser Against Fracking
To help make the upcoming Fracking Tour in PA a success, there is a fundraiser being held. We want to make sure that this trip is open to everyone who wants to join the fight against fracking and climate change, so we’re raising money to support scholarship tickets. We’re asking you to help in two ways:
Come to our Fun-draiser at Park Slope United Methodist Church (map) on Friday, March 8, from 8 to 10 PM. $10 at the door. Door prizes, raffles, music entertainment – including CARP’s own Dave Doll. For full details, see the attached flyer below. Continue reading →
HR 2606 Passes. The Fight Goes On What You Can Do To Help!
Two and a half weeks ago, Hurricane Sandy hit the Rockaways full-force, with storm surges reaching as high as 14 feet. Over a hundred homes burned to the ground in Breezy Point. Power was knocked out, homes were flooded, people lost their lives.
Yesterday, Congress delivered a second blow to the Rockaways: shortly after noon, the House passed HR 2606. This is the final legislative step allowing the construction of a high-pressure gas pipeline that will carry fracked gas through Gateway National Park — the very part of our city that has been utterly devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Putting a gas pipeline and regulating station in this area is insane. Yet not a single person in Congress stood up to say no. Not a single person in Congress spoke out to defend nature and the people from this assault by Big Gas.
Our good friends and allies at Occupy the Pipeline have raised our spirits with this amazing video. Follow their lead. Make your voice heard. Call President Obama today at 202-456-1111. Give him this message loud and clear.
Stop the pipeline! Kill the bill! Veto HR 2606!
We do not have time to wait on our so-called leaders. We must become the leaders of this struggle. We must stop fracking, we must stop climate change, and we will stop this pipeline.