The People’s Climate March, which organizers expect will attract 100,000 people, is set for Sept. 21 in New York City. This action takes place two days before the United Nations summit of world leaders on the global climate crisis.
The peoplesclimate.org blog states that U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is “urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution.” However, the website realistically admits that the summit won’t necessarily solve the crisis, but that “organizing, mobilizing and building social movements are ultimately what change the course of history.”
In New York and at coordinated global actions, the blog states, “We’ll take to the streets to demand the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities.”
The activity’s 950 partnering organizations include businesses, labor unions, and faith-based, environmental and social justice groups. The “Call to Action” aims at a mass audience, raising broad demands in an attempt to bring in corporate leaders and politicians, as well as workers, and activists from many movements and communities.
Undoubtedly, a multiplicity of forces at this march will demand a solution to global warming and the prevention of further endangerment to the planet and its inhabitants. Some groups will decry capitalism as the cause of climate change. Others will raise the need for jobs for workers displaced by environmental regulations. Both are crucial demands.
Environmental racism is another key issue. A meaningful program to end the climate crisis must stress the need for environmental justice for oppressed and poor communities that contend with and suffer from corporate pollution here and worldwide.
The capitalist class aims to maximize profits without regard for the environment they poison or the workers or communities they harm. The movement must target capitalism — the cause of global corporate pollution and the main danger to the planet and all life. The Pentagon, the largest fuel consumer and the globe’s worst polluter, wreaks mass environmental destruction in its quest for global domination. Its role in exacerbating this crisis must also be met head on.