A March for Climate Action

Bridget (right) interviews Kerstin Johansson.

It was a cold and rainy day, but hundreds of people gathered near the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas, on November 29 to voice their concerns about climate change. The march was organized by a branch of the Global Climate Movement, a worldwide campaign that is working to raise awareness about the threat that climate change poses. The organization sponsored 2,300 similar rallies in more than 150 countries over the course of the weekend.

Since 1880, the Earth has grown warmer by about 1.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Most climate experts agree that unless we curb harmful emissions that come from burning coal, oil, and natural gas, continued warming will have drastic consequences, including flooding, drought, and extreme weather.

The march's organizers hope that more people will take action to help combat climate change. “It’s not enough for people to just come to a march and then go home and forget about it,” said Richard Franklin III, president of Youth Unlimited. “We have to get back out there and keep fighting for what we want. Right now, as we’re busy building larger buildings, communities are being flooded, and people are dying.”



In Austin, many families from across the state came together for the march. Local groups talked about what they want to do for the environment. Musicians performed songs that they had written about preserving our world, and people who had made earth-friendly posters held them up as they marched. Krystal Henagan from El Paso said, “I wanted to get involved because my [6-year-old] son, Tanner, developed asthma from the air pollution, and I don’t want that to happen to other children.”

The Global Climate Movement expressed such concerns to world leaders who attended the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, France, this week. Kerstin Johansson, one of the organizers of the Austin march, said, “This is our chance to get world leaders to write a strong piece of legislation so that countries around the world actually commit to reducing CO₂ [carbon dioxide] emissions.”

Photo courtesy of CJ Zhao