A Photo Essay of Sunday’s San Diego People’s Climate March – The Time for Change is Now

by on September 24, 2014 · 12 comments

in California, Civil Rights, Culture, Environment, Health, History, Media, Organizing, Politics, San Diego, World News

By Court Allen

310,000 people marched in NYC Sunday to make politicians and world leaders focus on Climate Change in the upcoming United Nation’s Climate Summit. That’s right – 310,000 people. All in one place. All with one message – the time for change is now.


The Peoples Climate March in NYC – just a few people attending.

Here in San Diego, roughly 1,500 people gathered, marched and added their voice to the cause of Climate Justice. The march went from the Civic Center over to Broadway and then on to the County Administration building along Harbor Drive. Speeches were made, signs were held high, pledges were signed.


Folks begin to gather at the Civic Center.


Now I’m just showing off my new iPhone!


Event organizers kick things off.

Our numbers were not as impressive as NYC, to be sure, but we made ourselves heard, and perhaps most importantly, we were not alone. Around the world, in hundreds of other cities, literally hundreds of thousands added their voice to this cause with similar marches. This was a global event. It is judged to be the largest environmental protest ever.


Climate Marches in London, Berlin, Bogota, Paris, Delhi, and Melbourne. (Photo credit: Avaaz.org)

The sponsors of San Diego’s march are known as San Diego 350. It’s an awesome organization ominously named for the appropriate measure of carbon dioxide (parts per million) in a life sustaining atmosphere. Our current global measurement is 400 parts per million, by the way.

According to Masada Disenhouse of San Diego 350, the organization was expecting between 700 and 1,000 people to attend. There were clearly more, much to their credit, and thank goodness given the critical nature of this issue.


San Diego’s Peoples Climate March makes its way past the Santa Fe Train Depot

I’m grateful to these folks. It was a great event. A true success. San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria was there. So were Councilmembers David Alvarez and Ed Harris, along with a host of other dignitaries and community leaders.


San Diego People’s Climate March heading down Broadway – quite the crowd!

The AFL-CIO? The IBEW? In attendance. Apparently, they favor clean energy, because it’s the right thing to do, and there are jobs in it too! Clean jobs. Sustainable jobs. Meaningful jobs


As would be expected the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Women Occupy, and PETA members were all present. Good to see you all, and thanks for staying the course all these years.


Greenpeace in full force – thanks for all you do!

Also in attendance were representatives from the Catholic Church, The Interfaith Center for Worker Justice, the Islamic Center of San Diego, and a Buddhist monk– you name it, they were there. And not preaching their brand of worship, but rather a truly consistent and cooperative message regarding the responsible stewardship of our world.

Incidentally, Todd gave a truly inspiring speech. A feet stamping call to action. Nice work, man. Below is a video of Nicole Capretz’s intro and Todd Gloria’s speech:

Disappointingly, no one from San Diego County was in attendance, despite all of us being at their “house” at the end of the march. Go figure.

The human race has been actively engaged in destroying its own home for over 2,000 years. If anyone ever did to your home what we have done to this planet you would certainly kick them out, and more likely kill them for the appalling level of criminal damage. This isn’t some hyper-dramatic liberalistic statement either.

PIC 10Think about it – how would you react if you had a tenant in a home you owned that:

  • Defecated on the property and throughout the building and did little or nothing to clean it;
  • Ripped all the minerals from the ground and left gaping holes in the ground;
  • Dumped toxic chemicals everywhere in an effort to maximize their home business profit;
  • Operated equipment that spewed noxious fumes into the entire neighborhood; and
  • Housed a hundred people in a place designed for five.

Mankind may be the worst tenant in the history of the universe. And please don’t start with me about how the world was given to us, so it’s ours to utilize as needs must. This argument is the embodiment of ridiculous. We are destroying our own home. And it’s not like we have a backup plan, as many pointed out during the march.

This isn’t about politics, it’s about practicality. You don’t have to be Democrat or Republican or any other party member to recognize what is happening to our world. Do the math. Check the science. Or just watch the news about natural disasters gone horribly awry with incredible and frightening repetition. Hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, landslides, drought followed by flood followed by desolation.

PIC 11Have any of you heard of the plastic island formed in the Pacific Ocean off Hawaii? It’s 100% refuse – plastic garbage and whatnot, and its growing every day. It’s poisoning the fish we eat, so enjoy that plastic-chemical-laced tuna while you can! And hope we come up with a cure for whatever tumor is now growing in your body.

And we need to discuss resources here as well – it’s related to our climate and the planet. As a race of so-called intelligent beings, we are consuming more than the planet has to offer. The finest scientific minds agree that our resources are coming to a swift end within the next 50 to 100 years. That is correct – 50 to 100 years. At most. For god’s sake, I wish I were exaggerating here.

This is like a bad science fiction come to life. And I like sci-fi; I just prefer the versions where we figure it out and start acting like it matters and make a difference. I prefer stories with hope and promise. Where we stop being the true dumbasses we are and grow up as a species. Star Trek comes to mind, among a few others.

I don’t understand Climate Deniers. I just don’t. The world has changed, and it’s not a natural turn of events. Will the planet itself survive our horrific mismanagement? Almost certainly. The real question is – will we, the current occupants, survive with it?

PIC 12Asbestos and lead based paint were outlawed due to scientifically and medically proven damage to people.

Cancer and countless other diseases have been exhaustively researched and their sheer abundance have been found to be the result of toxins and other substances introduced by humankind. Not a natural occurrence, at least not at these levels and in the forms of disease now present.

You cannot pick and choose your scientific evidence – it’s real and plain to see. Denying climate changes and the resource problems we are having is like saying you deny cancer, or diabetes, or the huge freaking wave of water coming your way. Good luck with that.

The science is clear, and it’s based on common sense – we need to stop filling our home with toxic chemicals, garbage and manage our LIMITED RESOURCES. Not to improve our lives – just to survive.

You want to know who is to blame? The dollar. That’s correct – the All Mighty Dollar. It’s a tragedy of, well, biblical proportions that a few very short generations from now our forebears will have to explain why we didn’t take action sooner. The reason? The economy could not handle it. We could not afford to stop using fossil fuels, or learn to truly recycle, or quit dumping massive amounts of pollution into our air. Talk about short-sighted. More like pure insanity.

Just recently, I was talking to a very pleasant young republican (I mean it, he’s a nice guy, though tragically misguided) about the recently approved ban on plastic bags in California. He was sad because the “market” had not caused the ban, but rather over-protective big government had dictated it. I guess humanity’s well-known tendency to rise above short-term greed was not yet in full swing so we should just continue to dump huge quantities of toxic material into our backyards and oceans until the market decides it’s worthwhile, you know, after a Republican gets sick from poisoned fish or her kid dies from plastic asphyxiation. THEN it will be a priority, eh?

PIC 13Don’t get me wrong, I understand the reluctance to accept government intrusion. I have studied my share of history. But the fact is that we cannot continue on our current track. Time to join the 20th century my fiscally conservative world-mates.

I hope the marches around the world make a difference. For me, I’m starting at home – time to get a new car, maybe a Tesla or Nissan Leaf, and continue to purchase cage free meats (or even go Vegetarian) and holistic cleaning products, and recycle every damn thing in my house – whether San Diego Garbage Collection likes it or not. Hey, the market is demanding we recycle everything, so get with the plan waste managers!

It’s time to change. Change everything. Because we must. Why would you NOT be part of this? You live here, don’t you?

Here’s a great short video that gives a good feel for the “vibe” of the march.

Court Allen lives in Point Loma.

This first appeared at San Diego Free Press, our online media partner.


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Graham Wellington September 24, 2014 at 11:01 am

Global temps have been flat since the late 90’s while C02 emmissions continue to rise. That contradicts the whole premise which is why many people don’t believe the hype.


Frank Gormlie September 24, 2014 at 11:13 am

Wow! Are you a climate-change denier? Every scientist except maybe 1 accepts the premise (it does happen to be true), so your assertion is not standing on a factual ground.


Graham Wellington September 24, 2014 at 12:44 pm

No, i don’t deny the climate changes four times a year. Is it not a fact that global temps have been flat since the late 90’s while C02 emissions have increased? And that 99% of scientists agree talking point is straight bunk. Theres a forbes article that goes into data and debunks it. I do drive a hybrid though. It burns gas and oil.


Frank Gormlie September 24, 2014 at 4:04 pm

2014 August Global Average Temperatures Were Highest on Record – scienceworldreport


Frank Gormlie September 24, 2014 at 4:07 pm

from Scientific American: For the year-to-date, the globe has measured 1.22°F above the 20th century average of 57.3°F, which makes January-August 2014 the third warmest such period since records began in 1880. The record-hot August marks the 38th consecutive August and the 354th consecutive month with a global average temperature above the 20th century average, according to the NCDC.


Frank Gormlie September 24, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Graham – did you get this: “The record-hot August marks the 38th consecutive August and the 354th consecutive month with a global average temperature above the 20th century average, according to the NCDC.”


Marc Snelling September 24, 2014 at 2:00 pm

People who live further South can still try to deny. Those who live further North dont have that luxury. The climate changes are more drastic and undeniable the farther North you go. Business interests and Forbes can say whatever they want. The fact is the percentage of scientists who agree that climate change is happening has been rising since the seventies. If you want to find differing opinions look to oil and gas industry scientists.


OBTonyD September 24, 2014 at 1:15 pm

You’re saying there’s a significant proportion of scientists who deny climate change? Would you kindly provide the link to that Forbes article?


Graham Wellington September 24, 2014 at 9:25 pm

No Tony, im saying the often repeated stat is based on statistical manipulation. In the same fashion as the current 1 in 4 women are sexually assaulted while in college nonsense.



Marc Snelling September 25, 2014 at 6:44 am

A two-year old article from Larry Bell is your ‘proof’? The architect who wrote the ‘Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax’? An architect who has never published a paper in a peer-reviewed journal regarding climate.

Since the time this article was written, here in Ottawa, we have lost over 10,000 Ash trees in the city. We are well on the way to losing one third of the cities entire tree cover. This is because of milder winters that allow the emerald ash borer to live this far north. We now have rain in January which we never had when I was a child.

In Vermont we went to harvest apples at an orchard my family has been going to for fifty years. They had no apples this year due to an absence of bees. (This is most likely due to pollution which is arguably an even bigger problem then climate change.)

These are the real events generating alarm, it isn’t coming from listening to politicians.


Graham Wellington October 2, 2014 at 12:09 pm

These scientists must be paid by the koch bros.

‘Ditch the 2° C Warming Goal’
Commentary by a pair of UC San Diego researchers suggests society is striving for a misleading and unattainable climate goal

“Scientifically, there are better ways to measure the stress that humans are placing on the climate system than the growth of average global surface temperature — which has stalled since 1998 and is poorly coupled to entities that governments and companies can control directly,” write authors David Victor and Charles Kennel in the Oct. 2 issue of the journal Nature.

Theyre saying this because the premise of global warming is being proven false since temps are flat while carbon emmissions continue to rise. It is a theory afterall. So much for the hockey stick.

Do you still believe thewhole 98% of scientist agree line after reading that forbes article?

And Marc, did you know that last winter saw 90% of the great lakes covered in ice? It hasnt froze like that since like 35 years ago during the age of disco. I know its not ottowa or vermont but it happened. Or was that caused by global warming too?


sean M September 24, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Synchronize traffic signals to reduce fuel waste idling and accelerating. Its a ridiculous waste of time, money, pollution and wear and tear to be stopped at almost every signal, especially when there are no vehicles going the other way. This issue is a win win for all politics.


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