7.6 Million Join Week of Global Climate Strikes
More than 7.6 million people worldwide participated in the global climate strike between Sept. 20 and 27, according to the current tally reported by 350.org. That number could grow as counting continues, but the week of strikes is confirmed as one of the largest global protests in history. For comparison, the massive 2003 protest against the Iraq War drew between six and 11 million.
"This week was a demonstration of the power of our movement. People power is more powerful than the people in power. It was the biggest ever climate mobilization, and it's only the beginning. The momentum is on our side and we are not going anywhere," Fridays For Future International said.
Four million people participated in the first round of strikes on Friday, Sept. 20, making it the largest climate mobilization in history. But that number grew with strikes on Sept. 27. Large turnouts on the 27th were reported in New Zealand, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Canada, according to The Guardian and BBC News.
The day began in New Zealand, where more than 3.5 percent of the country participated, The Guardian reported. Demonstrators delivered a letter signed by 11,000 people to the country's parliament asking it to declare a climate emergency, according to another Guardian report.
"Our representatives need to show us meaningful and immediate action that safeguards our futures on this planet," School Strike 4 Climate national coordinator Raven Maeder said, as The Guardian reported. "Nothing else will matter if we cannot look after the Earth for current and future generations. This is our home."
Organizers counted 170,000 people through a combination of speaking to people on the ground, talking to councils and police and viewing drone footage, New Zealand's Stuff reported. It's a number of historic proportions, Stuff explained:
If accurate, it takes the lead as one of New Zealand's biggest strikes (in terms of attendees) - beating out the 1951 industrial confrontation that saw 22,000 wharfies join the picket line for 151 days from February to July, as well as this year's mega teachers' strike, but not quite the 1979 general strike which saw almost 300,000 workers nationwide join the picket line for one day.
In Italy, meanwhile, more than one million people participated, according to ANSA.
"There are 200,000 people in Rome, which attracted the biggest crowd, followed by 150,000 in Milan," Gianfranco Mascia of Fridays For Future said. "There are around 80,000 in Naples, 50,000 in Florence, 20,000 in Turin and Bologna and 10,000 in Palermo and Bari."
Swedish 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, who has been instrumental in launching the school strike movement, marched in Montreal with half a million others, BBC News reported.
"It is very moving to see everyone, everyone who is so passionate to march and strike," she told reporters. "It is a very good day, I would say."
Leading the Montreal strike were 15 indigenous and 15 non-indigenous delegates holding a banner by Anishinaabe artist Rachel Thusky Cloutier, which read, "Au front pour la Mère Terre, To the front lines for Mother Earth," CBC News reported.
In total, 800,000 people participated all over Canada, according to 350.org. Canada's climate strikers are calling for an end to new fossil fuel infrastructure and subsidies, BBC News reported. That means cancelling the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, which has the support of both Canada's Liberal and Conservative political parties. Strikers also want the country to commit to reducing emissions by 75 percent of 2005 levels by 2030.
The organizers behind the global climate strikes now intend to build on the past week's success. The next UN Climate Summit will take place in Chile in December, and organizers there say they will continue fighting until governments take meaningful action to reduce emissions and phase out fossil fuels."Today in Chile we marched from Arica to Punta Arenas, where people of all ages, organizations and institutions gave their voice, a voice that bravely rises to ask politicians of the world for no more double speeches and more actions that seek the 'good living', or as they say in my community, the küme mongen," Fridays for Future Chile organizer Joel Enrique Panichine, who identifies as a member of the Mapuche people, told 350.org.
- After a Year of Strikes Can Fridays for Future Maintain Momentum ... ›
- 15-Year-Old Greta Thunberg Calls for Global Climate Strike ›
- 4 Million Attend Biggest Climate Protest in History, Organizers ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
- Bayer and BASF Ordered to Pay $265 Million to U.S. Peach Farmer ... ›
- Trump's EPA Backs Bayer's Appeal in Roundup Verdict Appeal ... ›
- 'Dangerous Drift-Prone Pesticide' Threatens Millions of Acres ... ›
Human activity has pushed atmospheric carbon dioxide to higher levels today than they have been at any other point in the last 23-million-years, potentially posing unprecedented disruptions in ecosystems across the planet, new research suggests.
- CO2 Levels Top 415 PPM for First Time in Human History - EcoWatch ›
- 415 PPM: We Are All Part of Exxon's Unchartered Climate ... ›
By Ilana Cohen, Evelyn Nieves, Judy Fahys, Marianne Lavelle, James Bruggers
When New York Communities for Change helped lead a demonstration of 500 on Monday in Brooklyn to protest George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis, the grassroots group's activism spoke to a long-standing link between police violence against African Americans and environmental justice.
'I Worry About My Kids and Their Kids'<p>Watching the events of recent days unfold have been very painful for Arnita Gadson, a veteran environmental justice advocate who has played a pivotal role helping to keep a large chemical industry in Louisville accountable through a local task force, and also serves as Kentucky's Environmental Climate Justice Chair for the NAACP.</p><p>She is contributing to a local climate adaptation plan, and that work has continued through the recent strife, Gadson said, adding, "but I've been scared.</p><p>"I am a black woman living in a white world," she said. "If I go out, I might get shot and I may get killed. I worry about my kids and their kids."</p><p>In Salt Lake City, Utah, Grace Olscamp has been reaching out on social media, calling on environmentalists to do more than pledge support for people of color on behalf of the environmental group HEAL Utah, which has focused for two decades on hazardous and nuclear waste, as well as air pollution and climate change.</p><p>"It shouldn't have taken us this long to really step up and take action," said Olscamp, HEAL's communications director, noting that she, the group's staff and many of its members are white and "definitely in a place of privilege."</p><p>It's a problem among environmental organizations, generally, that they have failed to include more people of color and to hold themselves accountable for working toward real change.</p>
- 4 Climate Activists Explain Why the Climate-Justice Movement ... ›
- Why Defending Indigenous Rights Is Integral to Fighting Climate ... ›
- Pollution, Race and the Search for Justice - EcoWatch ›
Russian President Vladimir Putin declared an emergency after 20,000 tons of diesel fuel spilled into a river in the Arctic Circle.
Atmospheric researchers have pinpointed the spot on Earth with the cleanest air. It's not in the midst of a remote jungle, nor on a deserted tropical island. Instead, the cleanest air in the world is in the air above the frigid Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica, as CNN reported.
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions Set for Record Decline Due to ... ›
- Coronavirus Shutdowns Causing Huge Drops in Traffic, Air Pollution ... ›
- Blowing the Cover off the 'Cleanest Air' Illusion of the Trump ... ›
Satellite data collated for the World Resources Institute (WRI) showed primal rainforest was lost across 38,000 square kilometers (14,500 square miles) globally — ruining habitats and releasing carbon once locked in wood into the atmosphere.
Bolivia Has 80% Higher Loss<p>In its Global Forest Watch report, the WRI highlighted Bolivia, saying its removal of primary forest and surrounding woodlands — to produce soy and range cattle in 2019 — had been 80% higher than any of its previous years on record.</p><p>"Its highly biodiverse Chiquitano Dry Forest was particularly affected, with reports that nearly 12% of it burned," said the study.</p><p>Other countries with severe losses had been Peru, Malaysia and Colombia, followed by Laos, Mexico and Cambodia — from 1,620 square kilometers and 800 square kilometers in primal forest lost.</p><p><strong>Indigenous Rights Protect Forests Too</strong></p><p>WRI's Seymour said a "mounting body of evidence" suggested that legal recognition of indigenous land rights "provides greater forest protection:</p><p>"We know that deforestation is lower in indigenous territories," Seymour said.</p>
Pandemic Weakens Enforcement<p>The current Covid-19 pandemic had changed dynamics, said Weisse, weakening enforcement of forest-protection laws and leaving rural families desperate to feed themselves back home after losing jobs in cities.</p><p>In April, scientists grouped within the Global Carbon Project estimated that coronavirus-induced economic slowdowns would trim carbon dioxide emissions by more than 5% year-on-year.</p><p>It was "something not seen since the end of World War Two," said project chair Rob Jackson, professor of Earth system science at Stanford University, California.</p><p><span></span>But, recalling the aftermath of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, climate scientist Corinne Le Quéré at England's University of East Anglia, forecast in April that emissions were likely to rebound if structural changes were not instituted.</p>
Glasgow's COP26 Postponed<p>Last week, host Britain confirmed that UN climate talks due in Glasgow, known as COP26, had been postponed a year until between November 1 and 12 2021.</p><p>Experts involved in those long-running negotiations insist that global emissions must start dropping this year to avoid irreversible impacts, including polar melts, record hot weather, rogue storms, and ocean level rises.</p>
- Statistic of the decade: The massive deforestation of the Amazon ... ›
- Amazon Rainforest Deforestation Hits Highest Rate in 10 Years ... ›
- Amazon Deforestation Rate Hits 3 Football Fields Per Minute, Data ... ›
Researchers have found that warm temperatures in the U.S. this summer are unlikely to stop the coronavirus that causes the infectious disease COVID-19, according to a new study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Disease.
- Will Warmer Weather Curb the Spread of Coronavirus? - EcoWatch ›
- Don't Expect Coronavirus to End This Summer - EcoWatch ›