One Year and 400,000 People Later


IMG_0026 Our People's Climate March team started out from Indianapolis on Saturday night, a bus full of environmental hopefuls, bound for New York City and what would be the world's largest Climate Action event.

We drove quietly through the night, waking to navigate the congested streets of Midtown Manhattan on our way to our designated drop off zone. The March Coordinators  had worked for months to make this the most organized and thoughtfully grouped March they could. The results were amazing. As a former New Yorker, I have seen many parades with chaotic organization, leaving vast amounts of trash in their wake, and sometimes even violent outbursts. For the sheer scale of this event, it was efficient, polite, and clean. Sure there were lots of overflowing trashcans, a product of our era where options for package-free life are hard to come by, even for traveling environmentalists.

The lessons for me that day were profound. Seeing the folks from the socialist activists group holding the anarchist climate marchers signs as they used a portable bathroom, watching religious climate groups hold hands with each other, across the spectrum of faith, listening people break out into "Give Peace A Chance" as they passed the Dakota Building where John Lennon was murdered, and pointing out the creative recycled costumes and signs to my friends was the highlight of the experience. You can't help but be awestruck by the diversity, thoughtfulness, and unflinching dedication of our Climate Movement.

A year later, we are still marching, toward Paris and COP21 for a global climate agreement, toward a Clean Power Plan in every state, toward less burning of coal in Indiana, toward protections for air and water in our communities, toward more community gardens and renewable energy projects, toward millions of tiny changes to our daily lives that carry a global impact. Beyond changing lightbulbs, the message of sustainability is taking root in people's every day lives. Here in Indiana, we have celebrated many victories this year for the movement, but we have so much left to do.

We are many, we are so talented, and we have not lost an ounce of our fierce passion to protect the glorious community of life on planet earth. The March in NYC is an echo now, but the road ahead is clear and the company for the journey is fabulous. Come with us!

- Shannon Anderson