Yesterday the UN got together to discuss future climate change policy. What I think might be a better way to phrase that is; yesterday the UN got together to discuss the very future of the World as we know it. That is, of course, what we’re talking about when we talk about Climate Change and Environmental Change – EVERYTHING is on the line. And finally, finally, that’s really sinking in with large numbers of people… even if some politicians still need a little convincing to feel it in their hearts & souls. And so, on Sunday 21st September, in light of our leaders getting together to talk about this, hundreds of thousands of people worldwide marched through the streets to show that they strongly feel that the very fate of the World as we know it is something they give quite a shit about. The UN summit itself was held in New York, and this image (below) from The People’s Climate March shows just how many New Yorkers took to the streets in support:
Well Done New York!
Over in Nottingham, UK, I was a part of a slightly smaller, yet no less important gathering. An estimated 300 people turned out on the day to the march organised by an Astrophysics student called Emma, and I was immensely proud to be among them. It was inspiring to see so many people out on the streets supporting something that, to be honest, hasn’t been the coolest thing to get worked up about for a while. Environmentalists are only just really shaking off the grass-smoking, tree-hugging stereotypes the Flower Power revolution lumped us with. Of course, now it’s getting really serious, it’s becoming a bit more socially acceptable to engage with the single biggest threat ever faced by mankind (and all the trees & flowers and shit too). And those who turned out in Nottingham this weekend were a great representation of how many people now deeply care about this. The focus is the future – what will happen to the world for generations to come – so there were kids there showing that they’re not too young to get involved in saving their world for themselves; and happily there were old people too, and everyone in between. There was everyone you’d expect; the good representation of Hard-Core Vegans, plenty of ‘mainstream/normal’ folks, and even a woman on stilts dressed as the moon. As we walked through the streets, I got a chance to talk to Emma, the organiser, about why she’d set up the event. She told me that of course she feels that it’s important, as the evidence that we’re doing what we’re doing and how bad it could get if we carry on is overwhelming. She mirrored my own feelings when she said that people also need to feel that there’s something they can do to change the world, which is why she’d chosen to set up the Nottingham march. The march was staggered between speeches made by 5 passionate speakers dotted around the city. They were all brilliantly delivered, but one line stuck out to me; after speaking about greening one’s lifestyle, growing one’s own food etc., one speaker said that we should now “Think Global, Act Local. These are all things that we can do at home, but now it’s time for international action. THAT is why we’re out here today, to show the leaders of the world that we’re ready to do our bit – but we need them all to do theirs.” Emma said that she was immensely pleased with the success of the event, and how many people surprised her by turning out when realistically she’d only expected maybe 70. It just shows that there really are a fantastic amount of people who care about this; and are ready to take action to save the world. I was deeply proud to live with this passionate crowd of people, and would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to Emma, Sam, and everyone else involved – in Nottingham and the World over. You’re all an inspiration, and a great hope for the future. Check out this video from the People’s Climate March to see the History-Making, World-Changing Movement that you’ve been a part of. And as a bonus – I was really chuffed to get to hold the sign!