Some of the world's top politicians will meet in New York City this week to discuss global temperatures. If they want any proof that climate change is impacting the globe, they only have to look at the map.
The People's Climate March, which was organized for Sunday, Sept. 21, to coincide with a U.N. climate meeting in New York City this week, is now set to take place in more than a hundred locations across the globe. Host cities range from San Francisco to Alausa Lagos, Nigeria. Even smaller events, designed to reinforce the global nature of concern, have sprung up in cities on every continent.
But, as is often the case, the largest attractor to this cause may be the names that are lending their weight to the march. More than 50 celebrities, from Prince Albert II of Monaco to actors like Willem Dafoe, Susan Sarandon and Brad Pitt, are stepping up to support the effort -- which has garnered the endorsements of more than 1,000 environmental, labor and civil rights organizations.
Organizations like Greenpeace, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and Avaaz.org are organizing bussing and scheduling marches. For those who can make it to New York, more than 1,400 businesses are getting involved, as the Big Apple gears up for likely the largest environmental statement to take place across the globe.
Organizers have also put a fair amount of attention into tailoring the march to meet the talents and interests of all attendees, perhaps in an effort to correct one of the key problems that activist marches experience when trying to recruit supporters: disillusionment.
“A lot of people tune out because they feel hopeless,” Canadian author Naomi Kline observed in a recent interview. To counteract that, the organizers have included interactive searches on the People's Climate March website to inspire artists, musicians, activists and others to find their niche and get involved.
It will be interesting to see what impact the march has on world leaders and the gridlock that has manipulated climate talks in the past. One thing is for sure: Most U.N. leaders won’t leave the climate change dialogue in New York when they head home. And that may be the greatest positive outcome of Sunday’s Climate March --which aims to “bend the course of history” -- when it comes to climate change denial and the perception that global warming is an elusive phenomena that can be ignored.
Image credit: People's Climate March
Jan Lee is a former news editor and award-winning editorial writer whose non-fiction and fiction have been published in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and Australia. Her articles and posts can be found on TriplePundit, JustMeans, and her blog, The Multicultural Jew, as well as other publications. She currently splits her residence between the city of Vancouver, British Columbia and the rural farmlands of Idaho.