Pittsburgh Climate March

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Rising oceans. Potential hazardous amounts of lead and heavy metals in Pittsburgh water. One of the worst air qualities in the United States. Fracking. These are some of the many issues that were discussed, protested, and petitioned against earlier today at the Pittsburgh Climate March. Although it’s a week after Earth day, persons from all over the city gathered in Oakland at 10 AM this morning to really and march for the planet. After President Trump appointed Scott Pruitt, a staunch critic of environmental regulations and denier of human-caused climate change, to head the Environmental Protection Agency, many were upset. Trump himself said in 2012 that climate change was created “for and by” the Chinese. The next year, he called it a hoax. Throughout the course of his campaign, Trump repeatedly threw the topics of environmental protection, climate change, and global warming aside, and continued to say that he would side with large coal and gas companies if there was a chance that their work could harm government lands. He also has repeatedly stated that he will bring back coal jobs, a feat that not-only would shortly revitalize a dying industry, but greatly harm the environment while doing so.

At the march today, there were around 200-300 persons, many of whom were walking their bikes that they used to get to the march, holding signs with funny and accurate catchphrases such as “I’m with her (with an arrow pointing toward Earth),” “Climate change is not a hoax,” and “How about a moment of science.” There were also representatives from PA One, Sierra Club, and multiple other nonprofit organizations. The marching part of the rally went from in front of the Cathedral of Learning to Flagstaff Hill, where inspirational speakers from a variety of organizations and groups spoke. One of the speakers was Joylette Portlock, president of Communitopia, and star of “Don’t Just Sit There, Do Something,” an original video series that the organization produces. Each of the videos are ~5 minutes long, and in them, she talks about different ways that you can help minimize global warming and climate change in your community. Today, she spoke about the same things, especially touching upon the idea that to make change, we must work together. At the end, everyone that attended was invited to walk across the street and visit Future Fest, a festival held by Phipps Observatory and Communitopia, a local Pittsburgh organization dedicated to improving the climate and creating healthier communities. Present at the festival were organizations such as Bike PGH, 350 Pittsburgh, and 412 Food Action. Overall, both the Climate March and Future Fest were empowering, exciting festivities, but both were lacking in numbers to really draw a lot of attention, unfortunately. However, there was action being taken, not just talking– there were petitions to be signed (one of which was petitioning the city council to create green building requirements for all new real estate in the city), persons to talk to, and so much more.

 

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