On October 10 of this year, known commonly as 10/10/10, people around the world rallied for the environment. In Afghanistan they planted trees, and in China university students engaged in a clean energy competition.
In Washington environmental activists, scientists and everyday citizens rallied outside the White House for climate action. They want the president to do more than just talk about environmental policy.
“Unchecked, climate change will pose unacceptable risks,” Mr. Obama said.
They want him to take action. “This is the most important [thing] humanity has ever seen, somebody make some noise!!!,” one person said.
Friends of the Earth sponsored the event. President Eric Pica said the Washington event was just one of many on 10/10/10. “We’re all over Europe, we are getting photos in from Africa and South America. It truly is a global event,” he said.
Climatologist and former NASA scientist Jim Hansen spoke to the crowd about the danger of failing to curb the planet’s carbon dependency. “We could cause a future sea level rise of many meters, we would drive a large fraction of the species on the planet to extinction. And this is going to happen in the lifetime of our children and grandchildren. We really need to get the government to understand that and do something about it,” he said.
Not everyone agrees. Walter Cunningham an astronaut and former colleague at NASA has been particularly critical of Hansen, calling him a ‘political activist who spreads fear’ because of his outspokenness on climate issues.
Nevertheless, Pica says, the United States is historically the highest emitter of greenhouse gas. “So we have a responsibility not only in leading in our own reductions but helping in helping communities around the world deal with the pollution that we have already emitted into the air,” he said.
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