Large protests in hundreds of cities vent over climate change

NEW YORK CITY, New York.(KSNT)- According to NPR, streets in New York City and other towns are being taken over by marchers Sunday in what organizers hope will be the largest climate change protest in history. The People’s Climate March is timed to draw the notice of world leaders gathering for this week’s U.N. Climate Summit.

As the New York march prepared to get underway at its official start time of 11:30 a.m. ET, protesters elsewhere were already celebrating large turnouts. A Twitter feed at the march’s website showed crowds of demonstrators marching in Perth and Melbourne, in London and Dublin, and in Johannesburg and Tanzania.

As NPR’s Joel Rose reports from New York, the idea for the huge march started with professor and activist Bill McKibben, as a way to push for actions that limit greenhouse gas emissions. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said he’ll march with the protesters.

“The stakes are the future of the planet,” McKibben says. “And so far, we’ve seen essentially no action from world leaders that matter on this question.”

The organizers say some 2,000 marches are planned around the world today, with large marches expected in cities as varied as Bogota and Berlin, Rio and Istanbul. Overall, the turnout could top 100,000 participants.

“McKibben says there will be no celebrity speakers, no stage, and no speeches,” Joel says. “But marchers are encouraged to bring air-horns, trumpets and other noise-makers to ‘sound the smoke alarm for a planet on fire.'”

Global climate change expert Jessica Hellman, a professor at Notre Dame, says the march “sends a strong message that everyone is affected by climate change.”

“We can still avert catastrophic change if we act quickly to reinvent our economy and our relationship to the earth,” she says, “but we must also find ways to live with the climate change that has already started. Corporations and the development community are already helping the world to adapt, but these efforts are not enough.”

 

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