This weekend a contingent of Wood County residents joined an international cadre of concerned activists,
politicians and even celebrities in New York City to bring attention to the problem of climate change.
"It was just incredible," said local Green Party member Joe DeMare of the gathering. He was
among 14 members of the Wood County Green Party and Citizens for a Livable Future who traveled to the
Big Apple to participate in the People’s Climate March. More than 100,000 were estimated to have taken
The march took place in advance of Tuesday’s United Nations Climate Summit, expected to draw 120 world
leaders, according to the Associated Press. The goal of that summit is to ink a new global climate
treaty by the end of next year.
The Wood County group left Saturday morning and arrived in the city that night.
"We were there as part of the No Nukes contingent," said DeMare. "There were a lot of
different contingents for a lot of difference cases, and it was very nice to meet other people that are
working on the nuclear power issue.
"We believe that we need to fix the climate, we need to stop using carbons, and we can’t turn to
nuclear to fix it because nuclear in some ways is even worse."
DeMare noted that the Sunday protest, which started along Central Park West, "was very slow getting
going because so many more people joined than they expected. We ended up waiting a long time before the
march started actually moving."
Among the highlights, he said, was a moment of silence held in remembrance of those people "on the
front lines" of the climate crisis, including those whose land is being destroyed by mining for
carbon-based fuels, or those whose homes are at risk from rising sea levels.
"It was intense to go from people singing and chanting and making noise and that, to total
silence," DeMare said. "You could hear the birds in Central Park singing."
The AP reports that celebrities and politicians, including former Vice President Al Gore, and actors Mark
Ruffalo and Evangeline Lilly, took part in the event.
"We lined up next to Central Park," DeMare recounted. "The line of people packed that road
"It was very upbeat, very positive. Everyone was very happy to be there. There was a lot of singing
and drumming. Some people were dancing."
DeMare opined that such events can make a difference in the workings of the world – and that difference
First, it makes a "difference in the people who participated" in it.
"It’s inspiring to see so many people who feel the same way. It definitely makes a difference for
all of us, and," secondly, "it definitely makes a difference for decision-makers, because
there are those who are trying to create the impression that Americans don’t believe in global warming
and climate change. And they have proof positive that they do" thanks to this event.