Slideshow of the People's Climate March on September 21, 2014, in NYC. Climate Change 911 attended the event, and organized two solidarity events in Southern California, in Los Angeles and Huntington Beach. For the NYC march, we contributed to several hubs/groups, including People of Color, Women, Immigrants, and Vegans at PCM. For more pics and articles on the march, visit http://www.cc911.net/index.php/campaigns/people-s-climate-march
When I was a child in the 1960s, I
cared deeply for the environment and wildlife, and I remembered at
the time blaming adults for not doing more to stop the ongoing
devastation of forests and animals. Few adults seemed to care, and
less even tried to do something about a crisis I saw as real.
I am fifty years now, and have observed more ruined habitats and loss of biodiversity than I ever imagined
possible as a child. Moreover, during the last three decades, I was
witness to a new and rapidly increasing danger – severe weather and
abrupt climate change.
Back in the 1960s, I did not know that
the carbon, methane and other greenhouse gases (GHG) being emitted
then, waited around forty years to take effect, and would cause
climate change in the 21st century. In that peace-loving
decade, under 10,000 Teragrams of carbon dioxide was being released
annually, but by 2010, that amount had more than tripled.
At the start of this century, I began
to notice increasingly devastating storms and higher temperatures,
caused by GHGs emitted in the 1960s. How would the over 30,000
Teragrams of carbon dioxide released annually now, affect the world
40 years hence? How more severe will weather and storms get, and how
much higher will temperatures be, with 40 years of GHG emissions
I have an eight year old child who
cares a lot about the environment, animals and global warming, and
who probably blames adults for not caring about the world he will
inherit, like I did growing up. Forty years from now, I will probably
be dead, but the children of today will exist in a world in crisis.
caused by climate change. What is my responsibility to them and
By 2052, the average temperature will
go from the current 0.8°C increase relative to pre-industrial times, to plus
2.0°C or more. For a given geographic area, the coldest year in the
future will be warmer than the hottest year in the past. There will
be more drought in drought-prone areas, more rain in rainy areas,
more extreme weather (strong winds, torrential rains, intense heat
spells), more melting of glaciers and the Arctic sea ice, somewhat
higher sea levels, and a more acidic ocean. Ecosystems will move
poleward and uphill.
There will be massive biological and
social consequences, especially in the tropics where I grew up.
Plants and animals in the tropics are accustomed to a narrow
temperature range, and organisms that do not have the genetic capacity to
adapt to rapid climatic changes will be forced to move, or will be
driven to extinction.
During the last four decades, I was
part of a world that created the emissions that my child now has to
deal with. Each year, as I continue adding to my total GHG footprint,
I am affecting future lives. Recognizing all this, I am trying to
make a difference by eating plant-based foods, conserving energy and
driving less. I started an organization, Climate Change 911
(CC911.net) to raise awareness and encourage others to change. I am
getting on-board the People's Climate Train to attend the People's
Climate March in NYC to help bend the course of history. I am finally
doing what I wanted adults to do when I was a child, and what my
child would want me to do for the 40 years of emissions I helped to