Mark McConnell of Athens (left) at the climate change march in Washington, DC Apr. 29.
Almost 40 members of the Athens-based Georgia Climate Change Coalition joined more than 300 Georgia Sierra Club members in a convoy of five buses to participate in the in the People’s Climate March Apr. 29 in Washington, D.C.
According to organizers, the march spilled out over the route that the National Park Service permitted for the event, while attendance reached more than 150,000, significantly more than the 100,000 that the NPS permitted for the event.
The official event included speakers from grassroots environmental and political organizations from all parts of the US, as well as musicians and dancers representing native cultures. Speakers portrayed the increasing use of fossil fuels, particularly by the U.S. military, as the cause of climate change. One pointed out that a single fighter jet uses 1,500 gallons of fuel per hour, and that the U.S. military is the single biggest consumer of fossil fuels in the world.
Most marchers were carrying signs, including one that read, “When there’s a sun spill, it’s called a nice day.”
“There was a tremendous feeling of camaraderie,” said Mark McConnell, a GCCC member. “There were people from all over the country. The Dogwood Alliance was there to protest the practice of deforesting our Southern forests for wood pellets that are shipped to European markets, where they are burned to produce what they are calling ‘clean energy.’ Burning wood in fact releases more CO2 pollution at the point of incineration than coal.”
A petition to Gov. Nathan Deal and ACC Mayor Nancy Denson to protect Georgia forests from deforestation can be found on the GCCC website.