On September 21st, Bill McKibben’s 350.org has called for the world’s largest climate action, a huge peaceful march in New York City and solidarity events around the world. The idea, to “bend the course of history” by uniting to send politicians a strong message – we need action on climate change now.
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The Thunder Bay People’s Climate Walk is a chance for everyone who is concerned about climate change and the lack of action by our governments to come out and show their concern – to take part in the largest climate action ever. The day is planned to be fun and family friendly. The City of Thunder Bay has approved a permit for the event and portapotties will be available at Waverley Park. By being there, we’re linking with others across the globe who are unwilling to let unresponsive governments continue their inaction on climate change.

It seems that almost everyone now knows that climate change is a serious problem. With less than 1 degree Celsius of warming so far, the new normal is a world where droughts, floods, super-storms, multiple wildfires and heatwaves are consistently breaking all records. The IPCC and many other reports confirm that if we don’t act quickly, things will get much worse. At the same time, major economic institutions like the World Bank are saying that tackling climate change now will be far cheaper than letting it wreak havoc on the economy. We can make this change.

Our governments represent us and are charged with protecting the common good. But they are failing. Not one national Canadian political party has a credible platform to tackle climate change, and the leaders of the 3 major parties seem allergic even to the words. This problem won’t go away because we don’t talk about it.

As we rush towards climate chaos, there is one thing that can turn things around – people. Lots of people. When enough people speak, governments respond. That’s why we need you. And your grandmother, aunt, uncle, brother, friend, or child. Whoever you can bring. We think you’ll enjoy the event, and be happy that you took part.

We’ll greet people at 1 pm at Hillcrest Park, then Eric the Juggler will entertain before we hear several Anishinaabe drum songs. At 1:30 pm, we’ll walk from Hillcrest Park down to Waverly Park. Some will be dressed in blue for the planet, some will push strollers or pull wagons that are decorated as small parade floats on an environmental theme, some will carry signs, but most will just come as they are. Joining us is what’s most important.

When we arrive at Waverley Park, Eric’s Circus Zone will entertain kids and we’ll have a blend of music and very brief speeches, plus an open mic chance for people to make a brief comment, and a comment’s wall for people to draw or pen their thoughts. We’ll wrap up by 3 pm, and even if you can only join us for part of the event we hope to see you.

The event is organized by CUSP (Citizens United for a Sustainable Planet), Environment North, The Council of Canadians – Thunder Bay Chapter, and Ontario Nature.

If you have questions, please email one of the following:
paul.berger [at] lakeheadu [dot] ca
svjharris [at] tbaytel [dot] net
barry.beaupre909 [at] gmail [dot] com

Read Bill McKibben’s Rolling Stone article about the NYC event.