Last year, in a historic climate march across the nation, nearly 700,000 concerned citizens took to the streets to demand climate action. The marchers, united in their frustration with a lack of political leadership, peacefully allied with non-profit organizations, faith groups, labor unions, business interests, and community organizations. Their message: climate leadership starts with the people, is an issue that affects everyone, and that action must begin now.
What separates the march from previous actions is it’s international success. Leaders at the local, state, national, and even international level all took note—the turnout and passion being too great to ignore. The climate march illustrates that local and community action is often the most potent driver of climate action. When the people push their leaders, leadership reacts.
The lessons learned from the climate march in 2014 set the stage for this year’s COP 21 Climate Change Conference in Paris. Already, organizers are looking to grow the movement, and increase the momentum of climate change action. In communities across the globe, citizens are planning massive shows of support—urging their leaders to lead the way on climate solutions. If you would like your community to get more involved in climate action, please visit the Path to Positive.
Creating a world powered on clean energy to save ourselves from climate catastrophe is a central challenge of our time, and requires a revolutionary transition in our economies. We can’t wait for our leaders to solve this problem; unless they feel serious public pressure, they’ll never go far enough or fast enough. Revolutions start with people, not politicians.
To survive the 21st century, we must discover the sense of common purpose that has driven revolutionary change through history, building a mass movement to stretch what our politicians believe is possible. We must lead, not follow, and bring leaders with us.
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