On Feb. 17, 2013, several local environmental groups organized a caravan of buses to the "Forward on Climate" rally in Washington, D.C. The rally was organized by 350.org, the Sierra Club, and the HipHop Caucus, as well as other groups, to call on President Obama to act quickly on his statements in his State of the Union Address earlier that week. During this address, the President said, "...for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change." As a short term goal to address climate disruption, the rally challenged the President to reject Transcanada's planned Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline that is proposed to run from Canada to the Gulf Coast. For the long term, we call on the President to take strong measures to protect the planet from greenhouse gas emissions and pollution associated with fossil fuels.
Locally, Sierra Club, Penn Future, PA Interfaith Power & Light, and Clean Air Council sent about 150 people, which filled two and a half buses, to this historic demonstration, the largest climate change rally in
U.S. history. Estimates of the crowd at the rally and march were in the range of 35,000 to 50,000.
Speakers included Michael Brune, Bill McKibben, Van Jones, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rosario Dawson, Chief Jackie Thomas, and more. In the biting cold, the throngs rallied
near the Washington Monument and then marched around the White House and back to their starting
point, where circles of people danced in the sunshine, celebrating an important milestone in the US
-- Sue Edwards