Some 400,000 people participated in the New York Climate March – which has become the largest climate march in history.
The march began at 11:30 am, and several government officials and celebrities participated as well (UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, former vice president Al Gore, NY mayor Bill de Blasio, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Senator Bernard Sanders, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, Leonardo di Caprio, Mark Ruffalo, Edward Norton, Sting and many others).
The 400,000 attendance dwarfs the Washington march which took place last year (50,000 people) and the 80,000 who attended a march at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in 2009.
“Today’s climate movement is different from the one of decades past, and we want to make sure the People’s Climate March tells the story of today’s climate movement.”, organizers said. Over 100,000 people also took participated in other places in the world. “Today, the world marched for climate action. From Manhattan to Melbourne, more than half a million people took to the streets in a unified global move to demand ambitious commitments from world leaders in tackling the climate crisis”.
To calculate how many people came, organizers used a crowd density analysis formula developed by a professor of game theory and complex systems at Carnegie Mellon University.
Initial estimates placed the attendance of 100,000, but the figure was smashed by how many people actually turned up. Even though the overall leader in terms of CO2 emissions (the main driver of climate change) is China, the US emits much more per capita. A recent study showed that China emits 7.2 metric tons of CO2 per capita, while the US emits more than double of that – 16.4 tons.
Generally speaking, Americans don’t see the environment as one of the major concerns. A recent Gallup pole showed 41 of Americans believe that the economy is the major problem, while 1 percent of respondents cited the environment and pollution.