Today was the day. Finally, powerfully, decisively — the movement to stop climate change has come together.
This was the biggest climate change rally in US history. By our count, 50,000 people gathered by the Washington Monument and then marched past the White House, demanding that President Obama block the Keystone XL pipeline and move forward toward climate action.
There were many high points: Van Jones declaring that Keystone is the only presidential decision anyone will care about in 20 years; billionaire investor Tom Steyer laying out why it’s a bad investment; Chief Jackie Thomas explaining the toll that the tar sands are taking on her neighbors, and promising that they would never allow a tar sands pipeline west to the Pacific.
But the real highlight was you.
Movements aren’t about leaders (though without Michael Brune of the Sierra Club, or Rev. Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus, this day would not have come off). Movements are about people — about all of us who put aside the things we have to do because we understand that the future is at stake. To see so many people make this a priority on a day when it would have been much easier (and warmer) to stay inside says a lot.
We are making plans to put the momentum of this historic day to use, and you’ll hear about them very soon — but for now, I just want to say thank you to everyone who came to DC, everyone who gathered in the solidarity rallies around the country, and everyone who sent their good wishes and prayers.
You are the movement, and the movement is our best chance at making a difference on climate change.
With so much love,
Bill McKibben, for 350.org