Miami joins global Peoples Climate March
Miami, FL – Miami joined people around the world on Sept. 21 in the Peoples Climate March, demanding action from a UN special summit on climate change. The largest march was held in New York City, where the summit will take place on Sept. 23. In countries across the globe, hundreds of thousands of people joined together to demand action, not just words from politicians.
The Miami march, nearly 200 strong, started in downtown. It ended at the Intracoastal Waterway as a powerful visual reminder of sea level rise that could put Miami underwater. Along the way, the marchers chanted slogans, “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Keystone pipeline’s got to go!” and “We are unstoppable! Another world is possible!” The group stuck around for almost an hour after the march ended as speakers discussed different aspects of the climate movement, such as how it affects workers, ecosystem rehabilitation and the U.S. military’s wars for oil.
Lorenzo Canizares, a long time labor activist, said it is important to workers because “one of the things that we are concerned about is the ability to have good jobs that are able to sustain a family and that make a worthwhile living and so we believe that our participation on this issue is of utmost importance.”
In Miami, communities are vulnerable to climate change. Already, Miami Beach is experiencing regular flooding brought on by a rise in sea levels. By the end of this century, there may be a rise in levels from six to ten feet. Most of the land in Miami is less than ten feet above sea level.
The climate movement has been disappointed over and over again by the U.S.’s refusal to commit to a meaningful reduction in its carbon output. The U.S. failed to agree to the Kyoto protocol to reduce carbon and current legislation aimed at reducing carbon only aims for 7% below 1990, not enough to bring the amount below 350 parts per million, which is what climate scientists say is a safe level. The irony is that while the U.S. refused to take action, the nations most likely to be affected are the ones who produce the least pollution.
The Peoples Climate march is refreshing for the environmental movement. Florida Atlantic University student Gonzalo Vizcardo pointed out, “This march and the one in New York has succeeded in the sense that compared to past years, the breadth and depth of organizations present has been a lot more representative of social justice movements generally.”