On Sept. 21, New York City will host one of the largest efforts to increase public awareness of climate change. The People’s Climate March intends to parade with historically large numbers through the streets of Manhattan and attract the attention of the world leaders that will be in the city on that day.
The organization has made efforts to coordinate buses leading to New York.
The concept itself is a good one: take a bus to minimize fossil fuel emissions. But keep in mind that it’s inevitable that people will also use other means of transportation to get to the march. After all, 20 hours on a bus is too long for most. Thus, as people travel to New York, they’ll emit even more fossil fuels into this already heavily polluted environment.
The irony of this situation should not go unnoticed.
Notably, President Barack Obama will be appearing at the rally to hear the protesters’ message. But let’s face it — he will be getting there comfortably on a nice, private jet, as will many other figures of importance.
While it’s important to respect the efforts made to enlighten citizens on the issue of global climate change, it might be beneficial to focus more on solving the problem itself.
The last major initiative that intended to stop, or at least slow, global climate change was the Kyoto Protocol. Enacted in 1997, this established target reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and created a plan of action to achieve its goal. The United States remains one of the few countries in the world never to have ratified the protocol.
Perhaps if we invested more effort into pushing for ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, adopting the use of alternative energy while curbing our use of fossil fuels, instead of marching to make ourselves feel good, there would be more hope for a true solution to environmental degradation.