Voices from the Historic 300,000+ Strong ‘People’s Climate March’
TRNN speaks to some of the participants who marched Sunday and asks what are their demands of the climate justice movement and world leaders
JAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: So I’m here at the historic climate change march in New York City. You can see the thousands of people behind me. This march has no demands, so we’re here to ask people what they want to come out of this, what concrete changes and actions they think is necessary to address this problem.
BIANCA BUFFAMONTEI, HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT: Regulation, because there’s always going to be–there’s always going to be the fracking, there’s always going to be carbon trading, everything. Just regulating it, because it’s going overboard. It’s going out of hand. And, honestly, to try to get that big change, try to have everyone stop, it’s not going to happen. It’s inevitable to run into people that are going to do fracking, have fracking and everything. So just regulate, just ’cause it’s getting out of hand.
KEVIN FARRELL, MARCHER: I’m not a policy-change expert. I do think that it would be important to get some sort of legislation through, but that doesn’t happen often. You know, the UN’s meeting, but the UN doesn’t really propose policy on issues like this. You know, within our own government, there could be bans on fracking, stuff like that. I know a lot of that policies being pushed forth. But like I said, I’m no expert on this issue.
NOOR: Well, we’ve kind of left this up to the experts for a while, right? They haven’t really gotten anything done. The UN’s been meeting for decades now.
FARRELL: It’s definitely a global issue, and it affects all of us. But, I mean, I don’t want to sound completely apathetic and like I don’t care, but–I do care, but I don’t know how much more awareness can be raised on this issue.
NOOR: A lot of scientists are saying that’s out enough, we need to have a max on carbon emissions by 2020 at the latest, hopefully by 2015. What are your thoughts about that?
TIM BALL, MARCHER: I don’t think that’s realistic.
CAROL CAPPERS, CITIZENS’ CLIMATE LOBBY: I’m from Rockaway, New York, and my house was underwater during Hurricane Sandy. And that’s partly why I’m here, but also because I’m a volunteer member of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, and we’re looking to get a carbon tax. We would tax carbon emissions at the source, which would be the mine or the wellhead. There would be a border adjustment so that American businesses wouldn’t be penalized. And eventually–and because we’re returning money to households, that would offset any increase in the price of gas, etc., until the market actually adjusts, so that investors are putting more money into alternative energy.
NOOR: What do you say to people that–you know, a lot of, like, scientists and some activists say, that’s not enough, we need to go to zero emissions as soon as possible because we’re running out of time.
CAPPERS: Right. Well, we’re running out of time if we don’t do anything. We need to take the next step. And this is the next big step.
NOOR: People talk about a carbon tax, maybe a moratorium on fracking, those type of incremental reforms. Do you think that’s enough?
JULIAN MOSTACHETTII, MARCHER: Definitely carbon tax would be a great place to start, because industries that perform better environmentally should be rewarded over those who are destroying the environment around them more. I mean, it’s ridiculous that we don’t really regulate the industries that are causing more harm to the environment around them. So, yeah, that would be a great place to start, but that probably wouldn’t be enough. We need more investment in alternative energy resources and less subsidies for the companies that are not going to help us out in the long-term.
NOOR: Participants also shared their thoughts about the role of electoral politics and the Democratic Party in bringing about change.
JOYCE FLYNN, MARCHER: There are a lot of challenges that the president has had, and also he’s disappointed a lot of the people who voted for him. I beseech him to look towards the means to solve energy problems. We could use a lot more wind power, a lot more solar power. He would do the world a service by not cowering, by standing true to his beliefs.
RICKEN PATEL, EXEC. DIR., AVAAZ: Barack Obama has tried to have both ways. He’s both taken unprecedented and valuable action on regulatory, having the EPA regulate carbon and coal-fired plants. Same time, we’ve seen a massive expansion of fossil fuel emissions under Barack Obama, both opening up new areas for drilling and the fracking revolution. I mean, so what we need to see is the right side of Barack Obama come out from here on in. Too much is at stake. You know, climate change threatens everything we love.
SUSAN MCANANAMA, YONKERS, NEW YORK: It’s time to take it away from the politicians. And really, seriously, it’s about the money that is being used to influence our elected leaders. Our elected leaders are not looking for solutions. They’re always making apologies. And if we can just do something about using some more renewables for power, then we would be less vulnerable to problems with the loss of electricity. And also it’s a matter of putting the fossil fuels into the atmosphere–that’s no good for anybody. But they don’t think beyond the next quarter for their taxes. And we have to think globally.
NOOR: For The Real News, this is Jaisal Noor in New York.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.