Minnesotans Take Climate Change Message To Washington

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesotans worried about global climate change will be sending a powerful message to President Trump. The first of five buses departed Wednesday to take part this weekend’s World Climate March in Washington, D.C.

“Everything is ready for the busses leaving today,” said MN350’s, Kate Jacobson.

She and others have spent the past few months planning the event by making phone calls and arranging logistics. The environmental advocacy group has arranged to send a caravan of at least five motor coaches filled with concerned voices to the doorstep of President Donald Trump and Congressional leaders.

“We’ve got an administration, the Trump administration, that wants to move us in the wrong direction as fast as they can by drilling more, and digging more and burning more fossil fuels,” MN350 executive director Kevin Whelan said. “We know we have to get off those sooner or later.”

The marchers are among the many voices who will be shouting that climate change is real. They point to scientific evidence tracking the melting of earth’s polar ice caps, rising global temperatures and extreme weather events. The latest measurement of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is at 410 parts per million — the highest level ever recorded and well above the recognized danger threshold of 350 ppm.

“I go for the sake of my children,” one marcher exclaimed as he stepped aboard the motor coach.

With banners and bullhorns, they’ll join the anticipated crowd of several hundred thousand planning to take part in Saturday’s “People’s Climate March” in D.C.

“I learned about climate change in the 70s as a student in meteorology,” Bill Middlecamp said. “Then I watched it for 30 years and realized if not me, who?”

Others have concerns directed squarely at President Trump.

“Trump shouldn’t wait until Mar-a-Lago is under water before he realizes that climate change is real,” Janet Schafer said.

Large crowds alone won’t change the science of the debate, but they hope it changes many minds.

“We’re the ones who need to turn our political leaders around so there can be a solution to this problem in the nick of time, hopefully,” Whelan said.

In 2014 an estimated 400,000 people marched outside U.N headquarters in New York to push for worldwide carbon emissions. That led up to the Paris Agreement, in which 195 nations signed a commitment to reduce their carbon footprints — something marchers fear could be rolled back.

For those not heading to D.C., there will be a local People’s Climate March in downtown Minneapolis Saturday, beginning at 2:30 p.m. at the Federal Courthouse.

More from Bill Hudson
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