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250,000 People #RiseForClimate on All 7 Continents
More than 250,000 people took to streets and waterways to #RiseForClimate Saturday as part of more than 900 different events on all seven continents to urge global leaders to transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, march coordinating site Rise for Climate reported.
The day began with demonstrations in Pacific islands like Fiji and Vanuatu which are disproportionately at risk from sea level rise and closed out with a march in San Francisco that ABC7 News tweeted was the "largest climate march the west coast has ever seen."
Demonstrators around the world found many creative ways to make their voices heard.
In Sydney, Australia activists sailed into Sydney harbor in a tall ship with "Rise for Climate Action" written on the sails.
Artistic activists in Vietnam produced a music video in honor of the day.
In northern India, the Red Tape Movement, which places red tape on trees to raise awareness about the dangers of deforestation, contributed to the day's events by forming a giant peace sign with their bodies.
Activists in County Durham in the UK took direct action by locking themselves to equipment in the Field House opencast mine to stop work for the day, The Independent reported.
In Antarctica, scientists at Concordia Station including astrobiologist Cyprien Verseux suited up to photograph themselves holding signs in the snow.
Some demonstrators even brought their pets along to join the fun.
The march in San Francisco highlighted the indigenous communities that are often on the front lines of fighting fossil fuel extraction.
Leaders of indigenous communities from Hawaii to the Amazon led the march down Market Street, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.
President of the Kichwa group from the Ecuadorian Amazon Mirian Cisneros was one of several indigenous activists that Amazon Watch helped fly to San Francisco for the event.
"We must leave fossil fuels underground, both in the Amazon forest and the whole world," she told The San Francisco Chronicle.
The marches come as regional, city and business leaders prepare to gather in San Francisco for the Global Climate Action Summit organized by California Gov. Jerry Brown.
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Nestlé cannot claim that its Ice Mountain bottled water brand is an essential public service, according to Michigan's second highest court, which delivered a legal blow to the food and beverage giant in a unanimous decision.
A number of supermarkets across the country have voluntarily issued a recall on sushi, salads and spring rolls distributed by Fuji Food Products due to a possible listeria contamination, as CBS News reported.
If you read a lot of news about the climate crisis, you probably have encountered lots of numbers: We can save hundreds of millions of people from poverty by 2050 by limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, but policies currently in place put us on track for a more than three degree increase; sea levels could rise three feet by 2100 if emissions aren't reduced.
Poverty and violence in Central America are major factors driving migration to the United States. But there's another force that's often overlooked: climate change.
Retired Lt. Cmdr. Oliver Leighton Barrett is with the Center for Climate and Security. He says that in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, crime and poor economic conditions have long led to instability.
"And when you combine that with protracted drought," he says, "it's just a stressor that makes everything worse."
Barrett says that with crops failing, many people have fled their homes.
"These folks are leaving not because they're opportunists," he says, "but because they are in survival mode. You have people that are legitimate refugees."
So Barrett supports allocating foreign aid to programs that help people in drought-ridden areas adapt to climate change.
"There are nonprofits that are operating in those countries that have great ideas in terms of teaching farmers to use the land better, to harvest water better, to use different variety of crops that are more resilient to drought conditions," he says. "Those are the kinds of programs I think are needed."
So he says the best way to reduce the number of climate change migrants is to help people thrive in their home countries.
Reporting credit: Deborah Jian Lee / ChavoBart Digital Media.
Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.
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