Saturday, September 8, more than a quarter of a million demonstrators representing over ninety countries around the world, gathered for a global action day and marched to the beat of “Rise for Climate Action.”
Over 900 events on seven continents marked the day, which began on Pacific Islands like Fiji and Vanuatu, locations at great risk of sea level rise. In Australia, activists sailed a tall ship into Sydney Harbor; its sails were emblazoned with the “Rise for Climate Action” message.
The Red Tape Movement focused awareness on the dangers of deforestation in northern India. While in Vietnam, they produced a music video singing “unite make it better for the children.”
“Making the Politically Possible, Politically Inevitable”
Demonstrations circled the planet to conclude in San Francisco, where world leaders are now gathered for this weeks’ Global Climate Action Summit. One mother marching in San Francisco with her two children, said she was rising up for Climate Action because she is worried about her kid’s future.
“They are 3 and 5 years old and the world is going to look a lot different when they’re my age and my grandparents’ age,” said Amber Kerr.
Rise for Climate Action and Demand It Now!
May Boeve, Executive Director of 350.org stated: “It’s been a year of historic wildfires, there’s drought in many parts of the world and sea levels are rising…We are here to demand our elected leaders do more about climate change,”
On Saturday, California Gov. Jerry Brown marked the day by signing two bills to block the Trump administration’s expansion of offshore oil drilling.
Additional legislation signed by Gov. Brown on Monday set a goal of phasing out all fossil fuels from the state’s electricity sector by 2045. This law positions California as a world leader in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Unfortunately, that may not be enough to save California from the disastrous effects of climate change. Scientists warn that the state’s record-breaking drought and wildfires are destined to continue into the future because of climate warming.
Consequently, it is with great urgency that Brown has called world leaders together in San Francisco for the Climate Change Action Summit. See the entire menu of events to be held September 12-14. Blue Ocean will follow the Summit action with you and report on what the members of our Ocean Community that are in attendance have to say.
Update: U.N. Urges Climate Action
“If we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change,” UN Secretary General António Guterres urged as The New York Times reported. His remarks were in reaction to many countries falling far short of meeting the emissions goals that they pledged under the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.
“Climate change is the defining issue of our time, and we are at a defining moment,” Guterres said. “Scientists have been telling us for decades. Over and over again. Far too many leaders have refused to listen.”
The next round of climate talks, starting on Dec. 3 in Katowice,Poland will focus on whether larger, industrialized countries that produce a large share of global emissions will set higher targets for reducing their emissions.
“The time has come for our leaders to show they care about the people whose fate they hold in their hands.”
Update: U.N. and Sweden Join to Combat Plastic Pollution in Asia
In a related announcement Sweden and U.N. Environment said they are joining efforts to take on the challenge of plastic pollution in South East Asia. “Plastic pollution is a global problem, yet 60% of all plastic that ends up in our oceans comes from only 6 countries in Asia. By addressing the problem here, we can make great strides toward a planet free of plastic pollution,” said the regional director for UN Environment in Asia and the Pacific.
Helen Ågren, Swedish Ambassador for the Ocean said “To beat plastic pollution we have to work on many fronts: from material development and standardization in order to facilitate recycling, to increased consumer awareness and behavior change, to policy development that incentivizes a circular economy, efficient use of resources and sustainable waste management systems.”
What You Can Do!
Saturday’s events are a perfect example of the political power that individuals and local communities can exercise. and you can bet that the powers to be are watching, especially two months before a very important mid-term election. Worldwide, from Vietnam to India to the U.S. Midwest people are demanding action. Always keep in mind that politicians work for the people. If they are not doing what they should be doing, “Rise Up,” march and then vote them out of office at the next election.
By Blue Ocean Network
See these related Blue Ocean Articles on Climate Change:
What We Knew About Climate Change – and the forces at work that continue to block meaningful change.
How To Get More Ocean-Hearted Intel Delivered To Your Inbox!
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