The doomsday clock is ticking for climate change as environmentalists start the spring season rallying in front of the digital Metronome just above 52 E 14th Street in Union Square.
On April 7, protesters marched from Union Square to Washington Square Park, demanding that President Joe Biden and other Congressional leaders take a bigger and bolder approach on a climate change infrastructure package.
There is a famous Greek proverb which states: “A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit.” This quote goes a long way to demonstrate the actions some will take in hopes serving the next generation, knowing they themselves will not reap the benefits. Wednesday evening’s demonstration was led by several elderly activists hoping to do just that—fight for future generations.
While there was roaring support for Biden’s proposed American Jobs plan, protesters want a more progressive approach to fix the damages caused during the Trump administration. They are pushing for the Climate and Community Investment Act (CCIA) to be passed on a state level, as well as the Thrive Act on a federal level.
The CCIA proposes fees to be implemented and charged to corporate polluters, companies who have continuously dumped toxic waste and produced enormous amounts of greenhouse gasses and co-pollutants. By charging for the importation of fossil fuels in New York State and $55 per ton of greenhouse gas emissions, it is estimated that $15 billion would be collected and then invested into developing green jobs, renewable energy, and other climate-friendly solutions.
Additionally, the THRIVE Agenda focuses on economic renewal by developing solutions through climate change, racial injustice, public health, and economic equity through the creation of dignified jobs with access to unions, investing in Black and Brown communities, equal access to healthcare, and more through the $10 trillion plan.
Over 100 individuals gathered on Union Square touting signs calling for a stricter stance on climate change as they listened to speakers like State Senator John Liu, Assemblymember Harvey Epstein, and others.
“It is a beautiful day—truly a gorgeous day. We want many more days like this, but if we don’t do something about climate change we are going to get fewer and fewer. We want to protect our planet and we want to protect the environment for our kids and our grandchildren,” Senator Liu told onlookers.
After speakers had concluded remarks, rally organizers from Rise and Resist, People’s Climate Movement – NY, and more led a march through the streets of Lower Manhattan, spreading the word of their cause from megaphones until they arrived at Washington Square Park.
There will be a virtual Town Hall with Senator Chuck Schumer on April 9 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the Thrive Agenda and CCIA.