World Leaders Challenged to Address Climate Change by NYC March
(3BL Media and Just Means) - Tens of thousands of people are expected to march alongside environmentalist Bill McKibben in New York City on September 20 and 21st. In a recently published article he wrote in Rolling Stone, “A Call to Arms: An Invitation to Demand Action on Climate Change,” McKibben invited all to join him to make a ‘loud movement,’ lifting banners that say “CLIMATE/JOBS. TWO CRISES, ONE SOLUTION.”
This ‘call to arms’ coincides with the United Nation’s climate summit in NYC where many of the world leaders will come together to talk about why plans to end climate change have not progressed. Rather, ‘turn-off-the-lights’ plans have failed and today, humanity faces an environmental crisis that is bigger than when the world leaders met in 2009.
McKibben says, “the "world's leaders" haven't been leaders on climate change – at least not leaders enough. Like many of us, they've attended to the easy stuff, but they haven't set the world on a fundamentally new course. Barack Obama is the perfect example. Sure, he's imposed new mileage standards for cars, but he's also opened vast swaths of territory to oil drilling and coal mining, which will take us [the USA] past Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world's biggest petro producer.”
And he’s right. Humanity is responsible: our transportation, our manufacturing plants, our technologies. And, perhaps most importantly, how we have failed to acknowledge that we are one part of Earth’s systems and every choice we make impacts in some way our home. Many of our choices have affected Earth’s temperatures. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), scientists predict that ‘the earth’s temperatures are expected to rise between 2 and 12 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.” What does that really mean for humanity? The EPA says that for about every 2°F of warming, we can expect to see:
● 5—15% reductions in the yields of crops as currently grown
● 3—10% increases in the amount of rain falling during the heaviest precipitation events, which can increase flooding risks
● 5—10% decreases in stream flow in some river basins, including the Arkansas and the Rio Grande
● 200%—400% increases in the area burned by wildfire in parts of the western United States (EPA)
And, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Or, what’s left of them… But, deep breath, all is not lost. There is still hope. McKibben is calling us to march so that we can remind the world’s leaders that there is still time and that we, the people, demand leadership and change that matters.
“You can watch the endgame of the fossil-fuel era with a certain amount of hope. The pieces are in place for real, swift, sudden change, not just slow and grinding linear shifts: If Germany on a sunny day can generate half its power from solar panels, and Texas makes a third of its electricity from wind, then you know technology isn't an impossible obstacle anymore. The pieces are in place, but the pieces won't move themselves. That's where movements come in. They're not subtle; they can't manage all the details of this transition. But they can build up pressure on the system, enough, with luck, to blow out those bags of money that are blocking progress with the force of Typhoon Haiyan on a Filipino hut. Because if our resistance fails, there will be ever-stronger typhoons. The moment to salvage something of the Holocene is passing fast. But it hasn't passed yet, which is why September is so important.”--Bill McKibben, “A Call to Arms: An Invitation to Demand Action on Climate Change.”