Fighting for Earth’s climate one step at a time: Bend’s 2017 Climate March
In the month of April, the world reached 410 parts per million of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere. This record-breaking number has not been this high in millions of years and it is deteriorating the climate, said 350Deschutes’ Diane Hodiak.
“Our name ‘350Deschutes’ refers the safe level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Many scientists believe that we are unlikely to be able to return to that level for at least 100 years, and only if we act quickly to significantly reduce our polluting emissions,” Hodiak explained about the group that co-sponsored the Climate March.
350 Deschutes is a volunteer group, together they fight against climate change by raising awareness through events and working with petitions.
Callie Covington, freshman at Central Oregon Community College, is a member of the 350Deschutes group. Covington recently realized her love for the environment, the need to address climate issues, and she decided to get involved.
“I wanted to jump on board with being involved because I really care for the environment. I think it’s [being involved with 350Deschutes] a perfect head start.”
The 350 group is a national volunteer group, and, in Central Oregon specifically, they work with the Environmental Center in Bend to advertise and spread awareness about climate change. Covington mentioned that her group was recently on the radio to speak about their group and climate change.
As a student at COCC, Covington works on the college-side of advertising and tries to get the students and the school involved to expand 350Deschutes. Within the group, there are members that work on the legislative side and they meet with city council members in Bend to discuss environmental issues as well as advertisers and organizers for events like the Climate March.
The Climate March on Saturday, April 29, started at Drake Park and the march ended across from the public library. Hundreds of people gathered to get together and fight for the Earth and the climate with signs, chants, speakers from the groups that sponsored the events, climate fair booths, a mural signing, and live music.
After the march through Drake Park and downtown, marchers were greeted with booths from different environmental groups and live music.
Some groups that set up booths included Oregon Wild, which has been protecting wildlands, wildlife, and waters for over 40 years, the High Desert National Organization for Women, the Environmental Center, and several more groups and organizations.
“The march is an opportunity to join together in solidarity, and voice our concerns through our right to free speech. There will be opportunities for people to get involved in this day of action,” the People’s Climate March media talking points stated.
Issues within the climate like clean energy and water, the fossil fuel industry, pollution, extreme weather, Oregon’s outdoor recreation industry, and many more issues are what groups like the Sierra Club and 350 Deschutes are fighting for in the Climate March.
Connie Peterson, Executive Committee member of the local Juniper Group of the Sierra Club stated, “This really is a frightening time for our nation and our world. The current administration is ignoring science and taking actions that dismantle every environmental gain made over the last 50 years. There really is no “Planet B”!
To get involved and help volunteer groups like 350 Deschutes and the Sierra Club spread awareness of Climate Change: go to 350deschutes.org/ or oregon2.sierraclub.org/juniper-group
By Katya Agatucci | The Broadside