150+ Events Across America Demand Bold Climate Action in Paris
Today, climate justice organizations, labor unions, faith-based groups and regular people from all walks of life organized more than 150 events across the U.S. demanding world leaders take meaningful action on climate change at the Paris climate talks just six weeks away.
Some great photos from the NYC #PeoplesClimate action happening right now! #ActOnClimate http://t.co/KPsRCqDDNB— Sierra Club (@Sierra Club)1444839485.0
The People’s Climate Movement, an outgrowth of the People’s Climate March, helped organize today's National Day of Action to put U.S. and global leaders on notice that the climate movement is growing and expanding every day and is even more committed to tackling the climate crisis than ever.
“Climate change is too big for any one organization or sector to address alone,” said Eddie Bautista, executive director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance. “That is why we are building a multi-sector, broad-based movement that unites communities, led by those on the front lines, to demand bold action and to show those in power that climate change is everyone’s issue.”
The People's Climate Movement said the idea is to "create momentum at the grassroots level" and spur action on climate change, particularly in places "that are not typically associated with grassroots action on climate change like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, Texas and Florida."
Yes we do! #peoplesclimate http://t.co/6GGvuucXU8— Rob Friedman (@Rob Friedman)1444839435.0
From rural villages, to small towns & large cities, #peoplesclimate has come together to demand action on climate. http://t.co/kabp3NQu6l— Rep. Keith Ellison (@Rep. Keith Ellison)1444844645.0
"Across our country today, from Denver to Miami, from Seattle to Pittsburgh, Americans are making their voices heard for climate action and a strong and just clean energy economy," said Executive Director of the Sierra Club Michael Brune. "Whether it’s faith leaders, working families, civil rights champions or just concerned citizens, communities nationwide are standing up for climate solutions and a strong international climate agreement in Paris this year to move us beyond dirty, dangerous fossil fuels to the health of our families and our planet.”
RT if you agree: We can't condemn our kids to a planet that's beyond fixing. http://t.co/xQDERBymp3 #PeoplesClimate http://t.co/GBSJ8hDkgd— The White House (@The White House)1444836835.0
The activists emphasized that addressing the climate crisis provides an opportunity to create not just a "clean energy economy" but a "fair and just" one too. They stress that the transition to a low carbon economy will provide "new jobs and training for workers hardest hit in the transition from fossil fuels, so communities and families can benefit from clean energy technology."
The groups involved in today's actions believe that "America can revitalize its manufacturing and construction industries by investing in energy efficiency, clean energy technologies and sustainable infrastructure. We don’t need to sacrifice economic growth, and we can protect the workers and communities who are most likely to be affected during the transition."
Many of the participants argue we must address climate change or risk destroying our economy.
“Climate change doesn’t just impact our environment; it also hurts our economy,” said Dave Spangler at the rally in Cleveland, Ohio. Spangler, a charter boat captain on Lake Erie for the past 23 years, has been directly impacted by algae blooms in the lake.
“The bottom line is the climate change and these algae blooms are already hurting my bottom line. We need action now,” he said.
#Cleveland #peoplesclimate day of action #ActOnClimate #LakeErie #GreatLakes http://t.co/KEEYBfFFri— Marnie Urso (@Marnie Urso)1444838222.0
For many, the recent extreme weather has really brought home the urgency of the crisis that we face.
"Recent events like the floods in my home of South Carolina, and disasters nationally and globally, show climate deniers that their continued denial of reality is devastating not only to the planet, but to human lives as well," said Reverend Woodberry of Florence, South Carolina.
But the activists say the movement won't end at the Paris climate talks.
“Any agreement that comes out of Paris will not mark the end of our efforts, but rather, it will be an important step in the global process of ending the climate crisis," said Paul Getsos, national coordinator of the People’s Climate Movement. "The next step is to hold nations accountable to their commitments and continue to set the bar high for actions in fighting climate change.”
End the extraction economy! Invest in solutions! #peoplesclimate http://t.co/CUO3g1FdTA— People's Climate (@People's Climate)1444840753.0
Here are just a few of the more than 150 events taking place across the country today:
TODAY: Miami marches to demand bold climate action to protect our communities! Meet 5pm at Gov Center #peoplesclimate http://t.co/quuVBCNQvd— Occupy Miami (@Occupy Miami)1444844133.0
The Miami People’s Climate March included faith communities and business leaders as well as labor, social service, social justice, education and student organizations—all of whom are pressing for change. And taking to the streets to demand it.
In Milwaukee, organizers held a demonstration and rally addressing the climate change crisis that brought together a broad coalition of labor, environmental, peace, interfaith, American Indian, African American and community justice organizations to plan and participate.
In Louisville, community members gathered for a march and rally to celebrate Mayor Fischer’s proclamation of October 14 as “People’s Climate Action Day” in Louisville.
In Silver City, New Mexico, young people held educational events on food security, water conservation, solar power and recycling, along with a video and discussion.
In Cleveland, activists gathered at Edgewater Park at Lake Erie to demand action now to take on climate change. The group highlighted the recent water crisis in the state of Ohio, in particular Toledo, which lost its entire water supply due to extreme algae growth from climate change. With bottles of ugly green lake water, they made their point. They called on Governor Kasich to lead by enforcing strict clean air and clean water laws.
In Columbia and St. Louis, Missouri, 2,000 petitions demanding action on climate are floating down the Missouri River on their way to Governor Nixon, accompanied by canoes full of Show-Me-State activists. Also a stand up press event in St. Louis with a giant inflatable coal plant called for clean energy now.
In New York City, participants gathered at Chase Bank’s Midtown headquarters and the Harlem State Office Building to publicly demonstrate against Chase Bank and other entities’ financial ties to climate change and to call for investment in a clean energy economy that addresses the needs of low-income communities, workers, the unemployed and communities of color.
In Chicago, a coalition marched through the city to urge the governor to implement the Clean Power Plan in an equitable way.
In Seattle, a diverse group of marchers took to the streets of downtown to show that everyone is invested in the fight against climate change, and all voices need to be heard when determining climate solutions.
Pittsburgh People’s Climate Change activists marched on Congressman Keith Rothfus' office Wednesday demanding he stop denying climate change and show leadership towards a solution. More than 100 activists from all walks of life flowed into Rothfus' office and asked his staff to meet with the larger crowd outside. They refused. The activists then left a huge money bag with the Exxon, Koch and other corporate logos for Rothfus, symbolizing his coziness with the carbon industry and his refusal to acknowledge the threat of climate change. The action included a march to Rothfus' office from a nearby mall accompanied by a Marching Band.
In Charlottesville, Virginia, more than 130 activists turned out for a rally demanding clean power now.
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Jean-Marc Neveu and Olivier Civil never expected to find themselves battling against disposable mask pollution.
When they founded their recycling start-up Plaxtil in 2017, it was textile waste they set their sights on. The project developed a process that turned fabrics into a new recyclable material they describe as "ecological plastic."
Mounting Piles of Waste<p>It is not only the streets of Chatellerault where pandemic pollution is piling-up, but also the world's beaches and oceans. Once there, they can take up to 450 years to degrade and disappear.</p><p>Esther Röling, co-organizer of the annual Adventure Clean Up Challenge held on Hong Kong Island, has seen this waste firsthand. In October the sports challenge pitted teams against one another in a competition to remove trash from 13 hard-to-reach coastal areas around the city.</p><p>They find tons of both disposable and reusable masks, said Röling. "You wonder how it ended up there. Was it just thrown on the ground? Or was it in a garbage bag that broke open?"</p><p>Almost 10,000 kilometers away in Antibes on the sunny French Riviera, it's a similar picture. For the past few months, divers and clean-up volunteers working with an ocean clean-up non-profit called Operation Mer Propre have been collecting an increasing number of masks found on land and in the sea.</p><p>"Since the beginning of the lockdown when we started to count, we've reached 800, 900, [and now in total] 1000 masks," said co-founder Joko Peltier. </p><p>According to <a href="https://unctad.org/news/growing-plastic-pollution-wake-covid-19-how-trade-policy-can-help" target="_blank">UN estimates</a>, up to 75% of all coronavirus-related plastic could end up as waste in oceans and landfills.</p>
The Limits of Recycling<p>Yet not all are convinced the recycling of this waste is possible on a global scale. </p><p>"What those citizen groups are doing is really beneficial but once they collect it, it should just go to a landfill or an incinerator. They shouldn't necessarily expect it to get recycled," said Jonathan Krones, an industrial ecologist and visiting assistant professor of environmental studies at Boston College.</p><p>That's because mask recycling programs like Plaxtil are few and far between and most don't have the benefit of a readily adaptable production process. </p><p>Even in countries with solid recycling infrastructure, he says, the system is designed to separate out specific types of waste like bottles or cardboard.</p><p>"I imagine that it would be technically feasible to develop a separation process to filter out masks, but there simply aren't enough of them to make that economical," he said.</p><p>Collection is a big hurdle, he adds. Since each mask only weighs a fraction of a gram and they're scattered on roads or mixed with other trash, it is difficult and costly. </p><p>"You need a lot of raw material of the right quality to make investing in the recycling technology and the recycling system worthwhile," he said.<span></span><br></p>
Hemp, Sugar Cane and Sustainable Alternatives<p>Some projects are instead addressing the material used to make masks.</p><p>French company Geochanvre have created a mask made primarily from hemp, while in Australia, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology are experimenting with a disposable product made from agricultural waste. </p><p>Biodegradable options are exciting alternatives to reduce the fossil fuels needed for the creation of plastic-based masks, said Krones, but they don't absolve the wearer from the responsibility of what happens afterwards. </p><p>Bio-based masks often need their own composing solutions, he explains, because in landfill they can produce high amounts of the greenhouse gas methane when anaerobic bacteria feeds on the organic material. Methane is known to be significantly more potent than carbon dioxide.</p><p>"I think as long as we have in our mind that we want to have disposability, we're going to have to wrestle with a variety of different sorts of environmental tradeoffs," he said, adding that reusable, fabric masks are the best option available to most people.</p><p>Precimask is developing a clear face covering with an optional visor made from hard plastic, designed to be long-lasting.<br></p><p>Air enters either side of the cheeks through a technology normally found in pool filters and car exhaust systems, said company spokeswoman Juliette Chambet.</p><p>"We wanted to make ceramic-based filters that would be washable and cleanable, which would allow them to be reused as many times as desired without having to buy a new consumable or produce waste," she said. </p><p>Ultimately, encouraging mask wearers to think about the entire lifecycle of a mask is key, explains Neveu. </p><p>"We want people who put on the masks to realize that they are also responsible for the waste, he said. "It's not inevitable that this [pandemic] will become an environmental catastrophe.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-recycling-pollution-trash-pandemic/a-55707817" target="_blank">Deutsche Welle</a>.</em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649032193#/" target="_self"></a></p>
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