Activism and politics have not come easily to me as a science grad student, but I marched at the People’s Climate March because we have so few years to put the brakes on impending climate catastrophe: a mere decade or two for global greenhouse gas emissions to peak and then plummet faster than they have risen for the past 160 years; and only a year or two to stop building all fossil fuel infrastructure, according to the International Energy Agency.
I marched because despite the threat of losing everything we love, 2012-13 saw $674 billion spent on fossil fuel extraction and the largest annual increase in carbon dioxide levels in 30 years. I marched because this summer the Canadian government muzzled its scientists from speaking publicly about climate change; because Australia became the first country in the world to repeal its carbon tax; and because the U.S. Senate failed to pass a resolution simply stating that climate change is real.
I marched because climate change preferentially afflicts those least to blame, for want not of solutions, but of courage in the face of greed. I marched because, as Einstein put it, “Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act.” How can I stand idly by as both my future and the science that I love get dragged through the gutter? The only thing that can match the power of the money preventing climate action is the power of a social movement. And so I marched.- Geoffrey Supran, 26, UK