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Bronx View: UN People's Climate March & Photos 2014

Sep 22, 2014 at 03:11 pm by mikewood

peoples climate march nyc bronx climate change parks bronx

People's Climate March Photos

Over 300,000 People March / Interesting Signage / Creative Costumes / Jazzy Music / Important Message / By The People & For The People / We Are One World / We Are One People / We Must Learn To Live In Harmony With Each Other & With Our Ecosystem

peoples climate march nyc photos

September 22, 2014 / Midtown Neighborhood / Bronx Environment & Parks / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

I came up the subway stairs at Times Square Sunday, September 21, 2014 shortly before 1 pm. I had hoped to cover the People's Climate March story beginning at 11.30 am at Columbus Circle which was when the parade was to start; but I was detained and rushed to cover what I had thought might be the END of the parade. Boy, was I wrong. I ran head on into the BEGINNING of the parade, although I had missed the very front of it.


It truly was a People's Parade as there were few government officials were in attendance. According to one report I read after the parade, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon joined the head of the parade around 12.45 pm, which wasabout the time I had arrived, so I missed them.


peoples climate marchThere were also a few NY City Council Members who marched, versus an NYT report that indicated a third or more planned to march. I recognized three of about five NY City Councilmembers that were there: NY City Council Speaker Viverito, UWS CCM Rosenthal and Astoria Queens CCM Costa Constantinides.


Green Companies Missed Big Marketing Opportunity To Reach Their Passionate Audience

Click here later today to read our full report of the People's Climate March including hundreds of photos, and a number of parade marchers' views of what's really going on, as well as what can practically be done by regular folks about it.


Click here to read our report and view photos of the UN organized People's Climate March in NYC. Story and photos by Michael Wood.

People's Climate March Photos

Over 300,000 People March / Interesting Signage / Creative Costumes / Jazzy Music / Important Message / By The People & For The People / We Are One World / We Are One People / We Must Learn To Live In Harmony With Each Other & With Our Ecosystem

Green Companies Missed Big Marketing Opportunity To Reach Their Passionate Audience

peoples climate march photosSeptember 22, 2014 / Midtown Neighborhood / Bronx Environment & Parks / News & Opinions / Gotham Buzz NYC. Continued.

Editor's Note: The opinions captured and reflected here do not necessarily represent the opinions of the people shown in the photos, nor this web magazine.

They came from all across the nation - young, old and everyone in between. They came from Canada, England, Germany and Austrailia. From California, Oregon, Georgia, New Mexico, Kansas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Florida, Louisianna, Illinois and quite possibly all of the other states in the nation too - as these just represent the states of the folks I met and photographed.

For most of them this was planned participation, taking buses and trains across the country to lend their voice and presence to making a statement for change. And for a couple of others with whom I spoke, this was spontaneous participation, as they were unaware the People's Climate March was happening until they bumped into it this weekend.

I. Street Theater, Costumes, Props & Music At People's Climate March NYC

photos costumes props in peoples climate marchThe weather may have been a bit dark and cloudy, but the mood of the marchers was good natured and generally optimistic. I understand that there weren't any untoward events or significant arrests made - in spite of the huge throngs of people enclosed between the cavernous Manhattan skyscrapers.

I moved east along 42nd Street and this is what I saw.

While the messages they carried were of personal and possibly global importance, the marchers did so with a great sense of street theater. The signage struck me as generally clever and expressive; and the messages were also packaged with creative visuals. The same sentiments also appear appropriate for the costumes worn and the props built to send a message to the world.

One group was pushing what seemed to be a [North or South] American Indian statue of some sort of Inca or Sun god. There were Tibetan monks dressed in their traditional garb.

There was another cart upon which something looking like a root was placed. It was moved along by bicycle power. In front of this cart there was a trumpet player, playing 'When The Saints Go Marching In" and those around him were dancing to the tune.

peoples climate parade photosI headed up 6th Avenue of the Americas and this is what I saw.

There were more muscians with some in groups. I heard the tune mentioned above on more than one occasion. There was an ethnic mix that was quite possibly reflective of both the city and the nation. White, African American, Latin and Asian.

I saw cardboard dolphins 'swimming' through the streets on bicycles. I saw vegans carrying a big cow float. I saw the Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, Techies For Justice, the Socialist Party, the World Wildlife Org and groups from Labor Unions including those working in both the healthcare and educational fields. The list is actually too long to ennumerate, but I've included most of it in the photo slide shows below so you can see it for yourself.

II. People's Climate Change March NYC - Over 300,000 Strong & Motivations

climate change march nycIt was a BIG EVENT. It was far bigger than even the organizers anticipated. They had forecast in the neighborhood of about 100,000 people. I spent about three hours photographing the event shooting nearly 600 photos and in time the estimates rose from 100,000 - which they surely hit - to about 310,000 by the end of the parade, which I can believe but not confirm. And there were surely well over 100,000 parade watchers, which may account for the upwardly revised estimate of 400,000 participants that was bandied about by the major media commentators the day after the parade.

Why They Joined The People's Climate March - Motivation To Change

At some point a movement reaches a critical mass and the exact nature of the numbers no longer matters. What matters is that they came and that they came in droves. So who were these people? Well, in addition to photographing the parade I also conversed with many of them. I asked them where they came from, what they did and why they were here.

climate march photos nycAll of them told me they were here to make a statement. The statement is that they are concerned about the impact the rapid change in climate could have on the entire eco-system. And they were especially concerned because not enough people were really doing anything about it. And those that were, were being thwarted at every turn by the powerful oll interests and military lobbyists who are profiting greatly from the status quo of maintaining a large military presence in the Middle East protecting American oil companies' fossil fuel investments. You can see, in the photo slide shows below, expression of that frustration in the signage about fossil fuels, Wall Street taxation and the capitalist system.

While the reason they were here marching in the People's Climate March were generally the same, their motivations differed. Some were here because they didn't want to leave their children "a cesspool". Almost everyone in the parade sees fossil fuels like oil and natural gas as the problem. Perhaps that's because the leading climatologists / scientists have been telling us for decades that emitting billions of tons of carbon into the air / the planet's troposphere - is warming the globe. And perhaps that's because a consensus of scientists now believe climate change is real.

Motivation - The People Fight Back Against Highly Profitable Corporations That Are Not Socially Responsible & Are Spewing Billions Of Tons Of Crap In Your Children's Air

climate change marchers signs photosIn the 1990's there was still some debate because scientists didn't know how to properly process satellite data, which had conflicted with the data retrieved on the earth's surface. One marcher told me that those climatologists funded directly or indirectly by the oil companies are still holding out - muddying the waters so-to-speak to confuse the voters.

They cited prior examples of capitalist companies protecting their assets by spewing disinformation like the cigarette companies did in the 1950's and 1960's by withholding studies about the connection between smoking and cancer, and by publishing competing studies that were 'inconclusive'. This marcher also cited what they called the Denialist campaign in the 1980's of those industries reliant on the production of flurocarbons which were depleting the ozone layer. Flurocarbons were banned in 1987 and since that time the GROWTH in the hole in the ozone layer has slowed.

Motivation To Generate Awareness Of Some Of The Causes & Solutions

photos of un climate change march nyc 2014Others wanted the planet to begin transitioning to solar, wind, hydro, tidal, and thermal energies. These marchers generally appeared to have graduate degrees. Many were involved in education. Some were actually scientists. They provided me with various sorts of facts which I followed up on after the march. Facts like how much oil and natural gas carbon emissions are sent into the air each year in the world. The number, according to Wikipedia, is 34.5 BILLION TONS CARBON ARE PUT IN THE AIR EACH YEAR. Some argue that this has no effect.

Some discussed how much of our energy is provided by fossil fuels. I looked into this and these are the percents of U.S. energy by source: oil [37%], natural gas [25%] and coal [21%] - versus nuclear [9%], hydro [3%], wood [4%], and wind and solar [1% with solar accounting for 0.1% of that]. Fossil fuels, including oil, coal and natural gas, account for 75% of human emissions over the past twenty years according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

And on Monday I heard that there is a trillion dollars of new investment going into developing global fossil fuels - much of which is tax incented. The source of this factoid was an NPR Radio show with Leonard Lopate discussing a new book called Don't Even Think About It - Why Our Brains Are Wired To Ignore Climate Change by George Marshall.


Other factors contributing to the changing global climate include deforestation. According to the World Wildlife Org, about 50,000 square miles of land are deforested annually. They said that this represents about 36 football fields per minute. They estimated that currently 31% of the earth's land is chart peoples climate change marchcovered by forests, which is one of the earth's renewable fuels.


Others were here because they [vegans] wanted people to pay more attention about how wastefully their food is produced. I was told that it takes xyz of energy / water to produce one glass of cow's milk or a hamburger. While I can't confirm their numbers, I do know that growing plants and eating them directly is far more efficient than feeding livestock plants for months or years before eating it. Will the planet go vegan as they've done in India culturally, centuries if not millenia ago? Probably not anytime soon, but folks have already begun eating less meat.***


III. People's Climate Change March NYC - IS THIS A REAL CRISIS?

photos of climate change marchers signsIt's worth observing that weather fluctuations / warming is only the first step in climate change. It's possible sea levels will rise for a short period of time and then maybe they won't. What climatologists aren't saying is that after the polar ice caps melt, and temporarily raise water levels and rain, what comes next. It's possible that it will continue to get warm enough so the planetary moisture and water will start evaporating, leaving the planet forever.

Currently moisture rises in the troposphere and then cools and rains or freezes to snow. The Troposphere is the first layer of planet earth's atmosphere. If the moisture didn't freeze it would escape out of the earht's atmosphere and our lakes, seas and oceans would evaporate, and the planet Earth would be as dry as Mars.

The second layer of the Earth's atmosphere is called the Stratosphere. The Stratosphere layer is on top of the Troposphere and the section of it which lies on top of the Troposphere is also cool. The top of the Stratosphere is warmer as that is where the Ozone layer captures some of the harmful radiation and heat of the sun. As the seasons change and temperatures fluctuate, there are air exchanges between the Stratosphere and the Troposphere. Chemical reactions take place, one of which is ozone depletion.

Potential Ozone Trouble Confirmed 1974 - Flurocarbon Ban 1978 - Ozone Hole Confirmed 1985

photos of marchers peoples climate march nycA laboratory test was conducted in 1974 by British scientists proving that flurocarbons could deplete the ozone. In 1985 a study was conducted showing that there was a hole in the Ozone layer above Antarctica. Flurocarbons were banned several years later after resistance by private industry with vested interests in flurocarbons. Enforcing the change was easier when the ban began as America manufactured about half of the world's flurocarbons.

The ozone hole continues to grow, and is now the size of the Antarctica continent, but the ozone hole is growing at a declining rate. It lasts two months [springtime] allowing harmful radiation onto the planet / continent when life begins anew. Antarctica is 1.5 times the size of the United States. The ozone layer is also being depleted around the globe by double digit percentages as measured over various periods of time.

One Theory Explains Why There's a Planetary Crisis: Ozone Hole & Depletion & Climate Change = Evaporation Of Water From Air & Loss Of Oxygen - Planetary Asphyxiation

Editors Note: While much of the science contained in my explanation of this theoretical scenario has been verified using reliable sources, it's incomplete and the theory is still purely conjecture.

peoples climate marchOne of the driving elements of planet Earth's weather is the polar vortex. Continual cyclones are swirling around both polar caps - hence the name polar vortex. These cyclones activity levels change with the temperatures as moisture evaporates and rises and then cools and falls, creating vast weather systems and high winds.

The changing planetary climate is changing the patterns and chemical exchanges and one self proclaimed amateur theorist surmised that one of those chemical reactions could be the dismantling of sufficient levels of the hydrogen and oxygen that make up the planet's moisture, water and air atmosphere.

Some of the most sophisticated computers in the world and science technology available to humans such as satellites are used to predict the weather. But as the weather / climate changes - given the size and complexity of the atmosphere - most scientists agree that it's difficult to forecast exactly what the future holds.

If this theory holds true, then the wars and worries will turn from needing oil to needing water and air. Man can live without oil for millions of years, without food for three weeks, without water for three days and without air for three minutes. The change in our planetary climate has been going on for decades - if not longer. Thus, as with ozone depletion, it will take decades or longer just to slow the trajectory of climate change.

Ignore That Planet Earth Is Unique Ecosystem At Your Own Peril - It's The Only One We Know Of

climate change hurricane sandyIt's also worth noting, that like any situation, there is a point of no return to 'normal'. Normal being having rain or snow, sunny and cloudy days, wind blowing through your hair or still days ... and outdoor plants or trees. If the planet loses its water / moisture, billions of people will likely not survive as there will not be room in the climate controlled communities where air and water will be piped in, filtered and recirculated as if we were living on the moon or Mars. One need only look around the solar system or beyond, to know that we live in a very unique ecosystem that does not appear to be easily replicated.

In recent years the United States has experienced some terrifying hurricanes. The increase in the magnitude and frequency of them has lead to a shift in public opinion about climate change. Currently 60% of Americans believe climate change is real and 36% of Americans believe that it is going to have a sigificant impact on living conditions in their lifetime.

Hurricane Katrina was the first super-hurricane to hit in 2005 on the southern coast of Louisianna. This was followed by Hurricane Sandy in October of 2012. And Sandy was the second large hurricane to hit the east coast in as many years [Hurricane Irene hit in August 2011 but ended up in less densely populated areas].


IV. People's Climate Change March NYC - MARCHERS' CONCERNS

un climate change march nycMessage To Government Officials Around The Nation & Around The World - It's Time To Act

One of the themes or refrains I heard generally throughout the march by the marchers was that our elected officials aren't doing enough - if anything. One of the marchers told me they weren't doing anything because of the oil industry's powerful lock on the federal government.

In 2001 I recall observing after George W. Bush became president that the federal government was being run by an oil man President [George W. Bush from Texas], we also had an oilman Vice President [Dick Cheney from Texas moved to Wyoming in 2000 to qualify as Bush running mate], we had an oil man House Majority Leader [Dick Armey of Texas] and an oil man Senate Majority Leader [Trent Lott of Mississippi who is now an oil and energy lobbyist]. It seemed that the oil industry was running the federal government.


Hence, in March of 2003 - only two years after the Bush Administration came to power - the U.S. became involved in a Middle Eastern oil war on trumped up and false charges against the then Iraqi photos of UN climate change marchers signsPresident: Saddam Hussein. It was noted that we're still entangled in this war ... likely because of the oil.***


The Canadians - Concerned About Shale

Many of the Canadians carried ant-shale extraction placards. Here the issues are significant negative impacts on the air quality and water pollution. A huge amount of water is used to extract the oil and in some cases the water table is ruined so that the surrounding land cannot be used for agriculture. The air pollutants include significant dust levels, but worse are the high level of carbon emissions, only some of which are filtered.


The Canadians - Setting An Example

photos un climate change marchThe Canadians referred me to the British Columbia carbon tax. Taxation on carbon emissions was passed in the British Columbia province on July 1, 2008. In 2012 the University of Ottawa's Department of Social Sciences did a statistical study of British Columbia emissions changes to determine whether or not it was effective. The British Columbia carbon tax was to be taxation neutral - meaning the taxes revenue collected was then returned to British Columbia tax payers in the form of lower taxes or tax rebates / refunds.

The British Columbia state increased taxes on carbon fuels in 2008 in the belief that this would have a dampening effect on consumption. The study found that a 5% increase in carbon tax reduced emissions by 2.2% and that a 5 cents increase in the carbon tax resulted in a short term reduction of gasoline consumption by 10.6%. Copy and paste this url to read the study results yourself [you'll need to put the whole string - the following two lines - in the browser as one whole string]


As it was told to me, this law was passed by a Canadian Conservative government official. It is believed that by making the tax policy government revenue neutral, that it would make possible participation / support by conservatives who oppose any increase in size of government.

New Yorkers & Michiganders - Concerned About Water Quality & Natural Gas Drilling Process Called Fracking

photos anti fracking climate marchersNew Yorkers appeared most concerned about Fracking [I also saw some signage protesting fracking in Michigan]. Fracking is an inexpensive method for extracting natural gas by cracking through the hard rock that encloses it. The 'collateral damage' is that somewhere between oftentimes and everytime the cracking of the surrounding rock damages the area water table. In damaging the water table, natural gas seeps into the table along with the chemicals used on the drill blades - polluting the water which is piped into consumer homes.

The New York City water reservoirs are located upstate New York where the natural gas extraction process of fracking has been used and its use as a lawful method of extraction is currently being debated at both the state and national level.


Frustrated With The Capitalist System - U.N. Secretary General Compares People's Climate March With Occupy Movement

occupy movement & climate change marchersA few of the marchers blamed the capitalist economy in which we live. I suppose it's a measure of frustration with a system that glorifies profits over people. To transform a phrase of Green Bay Packer coach Vince Lombardi, in the capitalist system "Profits aren't everything. They're the only thing." [Editor's Note: Lombardi said, "Winning isn't everything. It's the only thing."].


Capitalism is an economic system of incentives. So just as capitalism may be what got us into this situation in the first place, capitalism may be used to move in the renewable direction by redirecting the profit incentives toward the actions we - as a people - want to go. This is where the government's role becomes very important and right now the government is doing something between nothing and not enough.


President Carter's Health Education and Welfare Secretary, Joseph Califano began calling for such a taxation policy on cigarettes and tobacco in January 1978. Slowly and photos peoples climate paradeincrementally taxes would be raised on tobacco every year. In 1978 between 35% and 40% of Americans were smokers. Today that number is between 15% and 20%. But in all fairness the decline in smoking had begun prior to the implementation of the tax policy and based on the CDC [Center For Disease Control] chart I saw - the increased taxation did not appear to accelerate the trend.


As noted above, the effectiveness of taxation increases on use of carbon fuels appears to be different from taxation of cigarettes based on a study done by the University of Ottawa in 2012.


V. People's Climate Change March NYC - POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

Calling All Socially Responsible Businesses - Join The Parade In Floats [and / or advertise here]

glades hydropower in peoples climate marchOnly, and Zevin Asset Management were quick on their feet and participated in the march. TriStateBiodiesel had a large truck rolling through the parade and GladesHydroPower and Zevin Asset Management had marchers with a sign informing watchers and particpants of its clean energy efforts and investments, respectively.

The other entrepreneurs working toward this change need to get involved in these parades to increase awareness of who they are, what they do and how people can PURCHASE their offerings. Capitalism can be enlisted to channel the energies and monies in the right direction.

This was a lost marketing opportunity for green companies including green energy providers, windmill manufacturers, solar panel companies & installers, organic food producers & vendors, bicycle manufacturers & retailers, motorbike manufacturers & retailers ... & many other green, socially-responsible, capitalist companies ...

Harnessing Capitalist Investment To Channel The Nation's Energies & Resources

peoples climate march 2014But there are other approaches to this problem. On Monday the Rockefellers, descendants of the oil baron of the 19th and 20th centuries, said that their trust was going to divest itself of fossil fuel holdings. The BBC reported that there are many other philanthropic organizations that are planning to do the same thing - DIVESTING THEMSELVES OF $50 BILLION IN FOSSIL FUEL ASSETS.

This doesn't solve anything so long as the demand for fossil fuels continues - if not grows. The solution is to announce that you're going to INVEST ALL OF YOUR FOSSIL FUEL PROFITS INTO RENEWABLE ENERGY. This is not just a protest statement - it's definitive positive action in the direction in which the planet needs to move.

Modify Outdated Fossil Fuel Tax Credits & Implement Renewable Energy Tax Credits

photos marchers signs people's climate marchThe problem with transitioning to renewable energy is that fossil fuels receive tax credits developed over the past century - including free protection of assets by the U.S. Military [see NYC OpEd]. And, at present, renewable energy receives far little by comparison in incentives because the capitalists / entrepreneurs trying to move the nation / world in this direction are completely out lobbied by the fossil fuel interests.

At present the fossil fuel corporations have all of the resources. And sometimes these large corporations buy the new technologies so that they can deliberatively slow the pace of adaptation and transition to new technologies. The well-intentioned philanthropist organizations mentioned above need to invest in these companies and ensure that that does not happen.

The entrenched interests are a threat not just to themselves, but to the rest of us in the global community as well.

Tax Credits For Solar & Wind On Every Rooftop Or Solar Or Wind Farms

wind power marchers photos climate march nycThe solution is to INVEST in new technologies by providing resources to them through investments and tax breaks. Set up state neutral carbon taxation like they did in the province of British Columbia in Canada in 2008. Provide incentives to adopt renewable energies and gradually increase tax disincentives on fossil fuels like the U.S. did on cigarettes and tobacco beginning in the 1980's and 1990's.

Why can't there be a solar panel on every roof top like there were TV antennae in the 1960's? Or smaller versions of the little windmills on rooftops, like smaller versions of those seen on older farms?

The new slogan is - It's doable. It's renewable. We have the technology. We can make this happen. We just need to decide that it's important to do now. So why don't we?

Humans are imitators. The huge statement made by the people participating in this march was an important first step. Many opined that this sort of march needs to happen everywhere around the nation and around the world every year until the world has reversed the carbon emissions cycle. And companies providing green solutions need to get involved and support these efforts as they are in their best interests. There's the other green [$$$] to be made.

Or Marry An Oil Executive & Move To Texas Or Nevada?

peoples climate parade fotosSome Texas shopping / resort areas have already begun building such climate controlled environments. One examples of these climate controlled environments is the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center just outside of Dallas. Many of the large hotel casinos in Las Vegas also operate climate controlled environments.


IV. Peoples Climate March NYC Photos

Click this link to go to a photo slide show of the Peoples Climate March Photos. We'll post two more photo slide shows at a later time.



Maybe one day I'll have the time and inclination to post the many photos I shot of this important march.

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