It is estimated
there will be 50 million climate refugees within the next decade alone,
multiple historic and record-breaking floods in South Carolina, Texas,
Tennessee, Florida and elsewhere, and hundreds of U.S. cities will be in the
path of rising sea levels.
Climate change. The
thought of it can drive people to despair or denial as they struggle to wrap
their heads around such a huge and complicated issue.
On Saturday, April
29, thousands of environmental advocates and activists will descend on
Washington, D.C., for the People's Climate March to raise awareness about
the effects of the climate crisis on families across America and around the
Here at home, the
People's Climate March at Main Square Park in Highland will have a
festival-like atmosphere with a rally planned to educate and entertain, with
children's activities, speakers, musicians, and more. Several local
environmental and other community organizations will host booths where
rally-goers can meet local advocates and talk about local issues.
“It's a fun way for
people to come out and learn about protecting our environment and some
simple changes everyone can make in their lifestyles that can have a big
impact,” said event organizer Heather Leddy.
Leddy, a mother of
four and nursing student, first became involved in the Northwest Indiana
event because “I couldn’t sit idly by while state and federal legislators
vote against clean energy and for deregulation of industries that only
create bigger problems like we see in Flint and East Chicago.
“What excites me
most,” she said, “is the people I talk to who haven’t been active in the
environmental movement who want to learn more about what they see already
happening all around them. I would like this event to spark interest in
people, to get active in demanding politicians put people’s need for a clean
environment before corporate profits.”
Alex Baz‡n, an energy efficiency consultant who also assists with green
business development in Detroit, shares Leddy’s passion and enthusiasm.
“This rally is just the beginning,” he said. “This movement will continue
far beyond the event itself. This is about justice and doing the right
thing,” Baz‡n said. “It’s about people’s right to have access to safe
drinking water, which many of our communities are just now learning they
preserving and protecting our Great Lakes. It’s also about our economy,” he
added. “The Region continues to face a shrinking middle class, diminishing
manufacturing and blue collar jobs, and a decreasing tax base, all while
being one of the most polluted areas in the country. It’s all linked
together and showing those connections is a big piece of what the 29th is
According to the
People's Climate March website, the current People's Climate Movement began
with its historic September 14, 2014, People's Climate March on the eve of
the UN Climate Summit.
“As heads of state
from around the world gathered, 400,000 people from every walk of life
marched through the streets of New York City demanding bold and urgent
action on the global climate crisis,” the site states. Since then, the
People's Climate Movement has continued to work at the local level,
educating people on the realities of climate change, and advocating for
environmentally sound legislation.
If you go
Climate March Rally will be held on April 29, 2017 from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., at
Main Square Park, 3000 Highway Avenue, in Highland.
Admission is free
but organizers will be accepting donations of jugs of potable water, NSF-53
water filters, and monetary donations to aid East Chicago residents affected
by the lead contamination crisis.
For information on
the People’s Climate March visit Northwest Indiana’s Facebook event or the
People's Climate March website