“We are the first generation to feel the sting of climate change, and we are the last generation that can do something about it.”
(Photograph of Gene Karpinski, LCV President and Tiernan Sittenfeld, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at the People’s Climate March)
Governor Inslee’s quote rings true, and nowhere was the sting of climate change more apparent than this past week in New York City when the climate crisis took center stage. It started with the People’s Climate March and continued with the UN Climate Summit where world leaders took important steps towards forging an international agreement to tackle this global crisis. Activists and politicians were not alone, as many business leaders also came out in support for strong climate action.
(Photograph of a panorama of the People's Climate March)
As a millennial, I was especially proud to participate in the largest climate march in our country’s history, with about 400,000 people gathering to demand action on the biggest challenge facing my generation, climate change. This diverse and strong mass demonstration was inspiring and shows our nation’s vast support of bold action on climate change. We’re already seeing the impacts of climate disruption in our daily lives, including record-breaking heat waves, longer droughts, more intense wildfires, stronger storms, increased flooding and rising sea levels; climate change puts our health, economy, agriculture and security at risk.
(Photograph of people calling for Climate Justice Now at the People's Climate March)
President Obama’s speech at the UN Climate Summit sent a strong signal that America is serious about combating the climate crisis. The President spoke passionately and underscored that the actions being taken through his historic Climate Action Plan will reduce the carbon pollution driving climate change, prepare for unavoidable impacts and help lead the international community to solve the climate crisis. The UN Climate Summit was an important opportunity for countries to come together and start a meaningful dialogue about how to forge a strong agreement at the official UN climate conference next year in Paris. Business leaders also showed their commitment to tackling climate change, because they know what’s good for the environment is also good for the economy.
It’s time to get up, stand up, and take action on this global challenge. We have the momentum of 400,000 marchers, now it’s time to come together as an international community to tackle climate change.
(Photograph taken at the People's Climate March by Chris Yakimov)