In case somebody didn’t notice it because we had such beautifully mild conditions here for once, August around the world was the hottest since such record-keeping began in 1881. May was also the hottest May on record. Static ain’t dumb. The climate be a-changin’. And on Sunday, a whole lot of people are going to descend on New York City for the People’s Climate March to make certain that everyone else is aware of it.
More than 100,000 people — and maybe more than a million — from organizations across North America are expected at the march, which was spearheaded by the environmental and climate change group 350.org. The Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund and the National Resources Defense Council are among those helping. Trains and buses are being coordinated to get people to the Big Apple with the smallest possible carbon footprint. Simultaneous marches will be held in more than 100 cities around the globe, including London, New Delhi, Melbourne, Rio de Janeiro, and Seoul.
Texas will be represented by the Tar Sands Blockade and the Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, among other groups. North Texas farmer Julia Trigg Crawford, who battled TransCanada over eminent domain when the southern leg of the Keystone Pipeline was laid across a section of her farm against her family’s wishes, will be there as well.
The march is scheduled just two days before the opening of the United Nations Climate Summit, intended to encourage the world’s political and business leaders to develop specific actions to reduce emissions contributing to climate change. The summit is not an official part of the United Nations climate change negotiating process, but it is intended to get world leaders ready for official meetings on the issue in Peru in December and Paris, France, in 2015.
T.E.J.A.S. co-founder Bryan Parras said the march is proof that people far beyond the environmental movement want action: The event also has the support of religious groups, labor unions, business organizations, health workers, and social service entities.
“We’ll be there because Texas needs to be represented,” he said. “We’re the biggest polluter in the U.S. We’re doing the most damage and seeing the effects of that damage on our climate with tornadoes, flooding, and drought.
Ramsey Sprague, activist and former campaign director for the Green Party of Texas, said that while the New York event is vital to drawing attention to the issue, “what we really need is to have people taking action locally.”
Like, for instance, the protest scheduled for 3 p.m. Monday, organized by the Blackland Prairie Rising Tide group. It will be at 401 W. 13th St., outside the Fort Worth offices of the Texas Railroad Commission — appropriate, since that agency’s symbol ought to be an ostrich with its head in the sand.