Ten Awesome Signs From People's Climate March That'll Reaffirm Your Faith in Change
Finally, some kinda nice news, right? Sunday was a monumental occasion for all those Americans concerned with climate change, a movement on display in one of the world's biggest stages. It's quite possible you've heard already, what it with it having partially taken over Midtown Manhattan, but in case you haven't, get this: Hundreds of thousands attended the People's Climate March in New York City today, and they came bearing some bright, striking, awesome signs calling for change. In this case, a large-scale response to climate change — the sort of thing you'd want if you take an overwhelming scientific consensus seriously, basically.
The march brought out average people and high-profile attendees alike. According to ABC News, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was among the crowd, as well as actor and freshly minted U.N. Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio, who's been putting his time and money behind combating climate change for a long time.
The event also had some serious institutional backing, according to USA Today, with endorsements from more than 1,000 organizations, the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU. The SEIU ranks as the second-largest union of American workers, and one of the most influential, so even though they frequently support of Democratic and left-leaning causes, that's nice to see. All in all, the event was a lot of fun to watch and to follow through reporting and social media, though as someone who cares about this issue a lot, I really would've preferred to see it in person.
But luckily, there's always a record of these sorts of things, so I don't have to miss all of the fun, funny, heartwarming or heartrending signs that were out in force. Here are ten great examples!
So, What About The Science?
There's nothing quite like a staggering scientific consensus to help inform a possible course of action — or, in the case of the climate change denial movement and its sympathetic advocates in the U.S. government, come up with conspiracy theories about why the consensus exists. Whether arguing that dissent is explicitly suppressed, or that the whole thing is an epic, unthinkable scheme to get grant money, the climate denialist fringe seems to have successfully muddied the waters of the American conversation on climate change.
According to a Gallup poll from April, a whopping one in four Americans is skeptical of climate change's existence, a figure wildly out of step with how the relevant scientific community, and many countries other than ours, view it.
There's Often Some Broader Politics At Play
To be clear, I'd actually be thrilled to see more conservative-themed, slightly off-issue signs at climate change protests as well. After all, there needs to be some sort of break in the intense polarization of this issue to actually affect any change, and finding cross-ideological common ground is one of the best ways to accomplish that.
But obviously, protests on issues like climate change (and the anti-war movement, for example) tend to animate the political left, so you're a little more likely to see signs aligned to left-wing causes. But this isn't the sign of an unhealthy movement, so much as one that's drawing attention from a range of political persuasions — you really don't need to call for worldwide socialism to attend a climate change protest, but it doesn't hurt, either.
Anti-Fracking Messages Abounded
The issue of natural gas "fracking" became something of a sharp contrast issue in the recent Democratic gubernatorial primary in New York, with upstart challenger Zephyr Teachout pledging to ban tracking in the state if she was elected. She wasn't, though she mounted an incredibly uphill climb to seize over 30 percent of the vote against incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo, and if he's looking to mend fences with some of those lost voters, this might be a decent place to start.
Doing it For the Children
Regardless of what happens with climate change in the short term, it's likely that those of us already well into adulthood won't have the suffer the direst consequences that science and research have predicted — it'll be future generations who'll potential suffer most by present inaction, which lends itself well to the theme of generational responsibility. And this young couple had an even more forward-thinking view, considering the implications of climate change on children yet unborn.
Of course, it's not only young, prospective parents who might feel this way — members of the elderly community also showed up to support the cause.
And, of Course, Nothing Beats Cute Kids
Awwww. I get you, kid — if polar bears knew how, I'm sure they'd say thank you.