Cries of "I don't know what I've been told! Fossil Fuels are getting old!" and "Windmills not weapons!" were heard echoing through the more than three hundred thousands of people who attended the climate march today in New York City.
From Columbus Circle along the length of Central Park, people stood with posters and colorful t-shirts with the hope that United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's Climate Summit will bring good news for climate change mitigation. The Natural Resources Defense Council estimates that 310,000 people attended the event.
Banners that read "Our future, our choice" and "We have the solutions" were followed by groups from all over the world. More than 500 buses were reported to have come from different parts of the US and Canada. Similar events took place in 166 other countries.Behind the "The debate is over," scientists showed their support.
"If you see something say something, that’s why scientists are here," Lucky Tran, a molecular biologist, told us. "Because we’re the ones who have seen the warning signs early."
Tran was joined by scientists from Columbia University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Natural Resources Defense Council and other institutions. Many said they were excited about the turn out and hopeful that the march would lead to policy changes.
"We've been working since the late 80's for climate action," Aldin Meyer, director of the Washington office at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told TreeHugger. "I hope this will send a clear call to politicians and the business community. They need to be on the right side of history."
"We have a huge challenge ahead, but this march and many other things happening all over the world show that there is a strong majority of people who want to take action. This is about proving that democracy still works," added Union of Concerned Scientists president Ken Kimmel.
The march, which began at 11:30, wound through the streets of New York, through Times Square to end on 11th Avenue, where people gathered to mingle and celebrate.
The atmosphere was hopeful as children joined hands with the elderly. They were joined by engineers, architects, mathematicians, musicians, dancers and people of all shapes and sizes.
"We're marching to help make a difference," 13-year-old Sophia Manolis told us, before walking off to chant, "We are unstoppable, another world is possible!"
Tomorrow, crowds of people will be protesting on Wall Street, hoping to get as many arrests as possible.
With reporting by Margaret Badore.