The planet is in big trouble, and they want us all to stop ignoring it.
Organizers for the People’s Climate Change March are gearing up for what they hope will be the largest environmental demonstration in history. The event, which takes place Sunday in New York’s Upper West Side and Midtown Manhattan neighborhoods, is expected to draw anywhere between 100,000 to 400,000 people and includes the participation of more than 1,000 organizations -- from environmental groups and civil rights organizations to religious and civic groups.
Organizers said Wednesday that more than 1 million fliers were handed out this week, and volunteers canvassed subway stations across the city. In addition to marchers from the New York metro area, the group expects 496 buses filled with people from across the country.
The march is taking place ahead of Tuesday’s United Nations Climate Summit 2014. With “the whole world watching,” organizers say they want to take the opportunity to draw attention to the climate crisis, discuss solutions and urge governments to enact environmentally sound policies.
Marchers will meet at 11:30 a.m. on Central Park West between 65th and 86th streets. The march lineup comprises six themes -- “We Need Everyone,” “The Debate Is Over,” “We Know Who Is Responsible,” “We Have Solutions,” “We Can Build the Future” and “Frontlines of Crisis,” -- each of which will assemble at different points along the route. The route will be blocked off to traffic during the event.
In addition to tens of thousands of attendees, the event is expected to draw some big names, including Ban Ki-moon, the secretary-general of the United Nations. (As the Guardian reported Wednesday, joining a mass protest is an unusual move for a high-ranking official.) Actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who was recently named a U.N. Messenger for Peace and will speak at the U.N.’s climate summit, will reportedly attend the march as well.
Although concerns about climate change are growing in the United States in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and other devastating weather events, data from Pew Research shows that Americans still typically rank global warming low on their list of priorities for policy.
For more information on the People’s Climate Change March, visit the website here.