Delawareans to attend People's Climate March
On the heels of the March for Science, hundreds of Delawareans will attend the People’s Climate March this weekend in Washington D.C. to show their support for action against climate change.
According to University of Delaware research, climate change and rising seas could spell trouble for the First State. Eight to 11 percent of Delaware could be under water by 2100.
Stephanie Herron, the Delaware Sierra Club’s volunteer and outreach coordinator, said that’s why it is important for her group to march this weekend.
“Climate change is not just about polar bears and ice caps melting, but it’s having a real negative impact on people’s healths and people’s livelihoods and ability to just live and be safe and be healthy in their communities,” Herron said.
Herron said the Delaware Sierra Club will take 280 club members and supporters to the march Saturday, and other Delawareans, like Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) plan on attending as well.
In an email to Delaware Public Media, Carper said he feels climate change should not be overlooked, as he wants the Earth to be a better place for his children and grandchildren.
“That’s what addressing climate change comes down to,” he said. “I, like so many parents and grandparents, want to leave a better future for my sons and for the families they’ll have one day. Years from now, I want to be able to look my children and grandchildren in the eye and tell them that we did the right thing – we fought to protect the only planet we have.”
Carper said Delaware sees evidence of climate change every day with flooding and beach erosion that results from coastal storms.
“While some in other parts of the country may have time to be ignorant of the clear changes taking place, in the First State, we have far too much to lose and we know we have to act now,” he said.
During the Delaware March for Science and Our Earth on April 22, many attendees had a similar opinion to Carper, regarding the need to protect the Earth for future generations. University of Delaware’s Center for Political Communication conducted a study weeks before the march, surveying more than 1,000 members of March for Science Facebook groups on why they planned to attend. About 97 percent of the respondents ranked encouraging officials to use scientific facts and evidence to make policies, as a top priority and reason to attend the march.
Barbara Ley, a UD professor in the Department of Communication and Women and Gender Studies and supervisor of the survey, said UD did not conduct a study on the People’s Climate March, but she thinks The March for Science could have helped fuel interest in the event.
“There’s a lot of mutual energy that’s reinforcing each other, getting people excited about these sort of common issues and common ways of protesting,” Ley said.
Ley said there’s also a chance that all the hype around the March for Science detracted attention away from the upcoming climate march, especially as the march this weekend is more narrowly focused. But that won’t be determined until the march on Saturday.
This is the second People’s Climate March.The first was held in 2014 in New York City on the eve of the United Nations Climate Summit.
Just like the March for Science, many towns are hosting a local march. One will be held in Philadelphia at City Hall.