Why the People’s Climate March Matters Now More Than Ever

By Jim Miller, originally published at San Diego Free Press

In the lead up to Earth Day, Elizabeth Kolbert, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction, accurately observed that this year there wasn’t much to celebrate. She’s right. An administration that can’t seem to stop stepping on its own feet in nearly every other area has been pretty darn good at gearing up to kill the planet. As Kolbert writes in the New Yorker:

A White House characterized by flaming incompetence has nevertheless managed to do one thing effectively: it has trashed years’ worth of work to protect the planet. As David Horsey put it recently, in the Los Angeles Times, “Donald Trump’s foreign policy and legislative agenda may be a confused mess,” but “his administration’s attack on the environment is operating with the focus and zeal of the Spanish Inquisition.”

Indeed, the Trump Administration has delayed new energy and fuel efficiency standards, signaled that it will revoke Obama’s Clean Power Plan, proposed a budget that guts the Environmental Protection Agency and threatens to upend the Paris Accord on climate. Perhaps just as bad as this shameful catalog of terrible policy is the rebirth of climate denial as a legitimate ideology amongst top federal officials, and the assault on scientific fact and honest…[read the full article at San Diego Free Press]


Present at the Creation: Walter Cronkite and the ‘Environment Story’

SanDiego350 member, Ron Bonn, numbers Walter Cronkite among the friends in his past and oversaw the creation and execution of an environmentally conscious segment of CBS’s The Evening News that won an Emmy. That was in the ’70’s and Ron is still working toward saving the planet from our worst excesses, which are quite obviously still with us. Part of that effort is this essay he published in the San Diego Free Press.

Read the full article at San Diego Free Press.


Why I am an activist – by Willow Lark

I’m a second year environmental engineering student at SDSU. I have been volunteering with various environmental organizations in California for years as a way of boosting my expertise in the field in an interdisciplinary way as well as being a steward for our community and planet which is in dire need of attention. I was attracted to San Diego 350 because I saw that they were leading the environmental movement in San Diego, mobilizing the community and constantly being present in political matters related to the environment. After hearing Bill McKibben (the founder of 350.org) speak during a Democracy Now! podcast about how we need to mobilize for climate change in the way we would mobilize in a wartime emergency, I realized that the 350.org campaign is very much aligned with my philosophy that slow incremental environmental change– the type that has been supported by our governments for too long –is not enough. Hence, I sought out our local San Diego 350 and wanted to get involved.

I first noticed that there aren’t too many students involved in San Diego 350. In fact, the first meeting I went to, I was the only youth. During that meeting we were brainstorming different organizations to partner with for the PCM and I mentioned that I know many of the environmental organizations at SDSU and UCSD, being involved with many of them in one way or another. I was disappointed that no one from the environmental students organizations were present at San Diego 350 meetings or events, but it inspired me to get students to at least form coalitions with other environmental organizations, student and non-student led, in order to push the next generation into their important role in the struggle for environmental justice. From there I hope to see a large student contingent at the PCM this April.




Contacts:  Bill Wellhouse bwellhouse@gmail.com (619) 201-9002
Mark Hughes writers_mark@sbcglobal.net (858) 245-8028
Spanish version available here.


Marchers will call for resisting Trump’s climate-denying policies and urge strong local action, including 100% clean energy, in solidarity with Washington DC and sister marches.

San Diego, CA – On April 29, thousands of San Diegans will join the People’s Climate March (PCM) under the slogan “Healthy People, Healthy Communities, Healthy Earth”. They will call on local leaders to support a just and rapid transition to 100% clean energy and to oppose federal efforts to rollback climate policies that protect our families. The local march, organized by a coalition of environmental, social justice, labor, and faith organizations, takes place in solidarity with the People’s Climate Mobilization on the same day in Washington DC. Hundreds of other sister marches will also be held around the country and the world.

The San Diego PCM will run from 10 am to 2 pm, beginning with a rally at Waterfront Park, in front of the County Administration Building. Speakers include Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, San Diego Councilmember David Alvarez, and Rev. J. Lee Hill, Jr., Senior Pastor of the Christian Fellowship Congregational Church (United Church of Christ). Live music, a Native American ceremony, and a Kid’s Zone with games and facepainting will be featured. The opening speeches will be followed by a short loop march, and after regrouping at the park, additional speakers and a call for action. The event will conclude with live performances, information booths, and other activities.

According to SanDiego350’s Mark Hughes, the People’s Climate March is a call to action. “We’re all in this together,” he said. “We must protect our health and be good stewards of our planet. San Diego can lead the state and the nation. We will march on April 29 for climate justice, clean energy jobs, and the health of our communities. And as we must, we will be louder and stronger than ever before.”

Organizers say that the administration’s failure to take climate change seriously denies San Diegans – and their children and grandchildren – the nation’s enshrined freedom to pursue the American dream. Coming on the 100th day of the Trump administration, this march rejects the policies that threaten our freedom, future, health, and communities: policies that reject climate science and strip protections based on gender, race, immigration status, religion, sexual orientation, and disabilities.

The People’s Climate March is a call to action to stand up to the Trump administration and Congress, to protect loved ones and the Earth and support our fundamental human rights: to live, survive, and thrive. These rights are threatened when we are denied access to clean air and water, healthy food, as well as access to housing, education, and jobs. Organizers affirm the right to access not only clean air, clean water, and healthy food, but also affordable, convenient public transportation, and housing; a living wage; and justice and equality for all.

The fossil fuel economy and the looming climate crisis directly impact San Diegans’ quality of life, and communities of color are disproportionately and unjustly affected. Diane Takvorian, Executive Director of Environmental Health Coalition, a key organization involved in planning the event stated “All parents want opportunities for their children. Sadly, low income communities of color in San Diego are hit first and worst by the harmful effects of pollution and climate change. Children in the communities of Barrio Logan, Logan Heights, and southeastern San Diego go to the emergency room for asthma-related causes at almost 3 times the rate of San Diego children overall. We must take action to protect all children.”

PCM organizers support policies that reduce energy consumption, defund fossil fuel projects, minimize pollution from transportation, and invest in 100% locally-made clean energy that creates green jobs. The march endorses legislation in the California Senate to achieve 100% clean energy by 2045, and supports the water protectors in North Dakota and their rallying cry: “Water is life!”

To prepare for the PCM, the organizers are holding multiple art and volunteer outreach events that are open to members of the public, details of which are available at http://sandiego350.org/events/. PCM organizers are also supporting the Science March on April 22nd and the Labor Justice march on May 1st.

College students Mukta Kelkar (UC San Diego), Willow Lark (SDSU) and Eduardo Moncada (Mesa College), who are working to mobilize a large student contingent for the PCM, said in a joint statement “As college students majoring in environmental and political sciences, we strongly feel that climate change is a pressing issue, and we have to act as soon as possible in order to prevent the worst case scenarios. We must defend the Environmental Protection Agency, champion funding for climate research, support clean energy initiatives, and we must build coalitions with others who share our values. Everyone concerned about the environment must step up and speak out in defense of a healthy, sustainable future for our communities, our land, air, and ocean. Together, we can turn this threat around – there is still time if we act NOW.”


Why March? By Mark Hughes

The reason I march goes back to a day many decades ago, when I was thirteen or fourteen: my mother told me I was a very selfish person. Shocking, perhaps, to think that a teenage boy could be selfish, but let’s assume it was the case. Actually, it’s a very safe assumption, given who I am today. Oh yes, I was quite likely selfish back then, but I’m much more so now. Perhaps infinitely more.
So, let your imagination go—who do you picture when you think of a very, very, very selfish person? A Nazi skinhead? A serial killer? A reality show contestant?

Yeah, if I were any of those, this would make for quite an interesting read, but sadly for you none are the case (Survivor won’t return my calls, letters, emails, texts, telegrams, or hammering on the door). Not only am I extremely selfish, I tend to spend my time with people who are selfish like me. We have regular meetings (no, not the 12-step kind), events, and even picnics where we wear matching t-shirts. You may not know it, but some of your neighbors might be as selfish as we are; it’s easy to pick them out once you know the signs.

Is this all confusing? Let’s see if I can make this clearer, by asking this question: what is selfishness? Typically, we think of it as an overdeveloped concern for oneself, no? Looking out for #1, on steroids. Solipsism on a grand scale. All Things Considered—as it affects moi. Everyone is somewhere on this scale of Mother Teresa to Edi Amin, so if we’re to judge how selfish someone is, we need a way to measure it.

How about this standard: how many people does the person care about? You may think that the fewer number of people our candidate cares about, the more selfish they are. I propose that while that may be the commonly held concept, it’s a simplistic take on selfishness. I say that because the person we commonly think of as selfish actually cares about more people than we think they do—and more than they think they do. This is the differentiator, I submit. When I was a teenager, I cared almost exclusively about myself. That is beginner’s level selfishness; what I didn’t realize is that truly caring about myself and my wellbeing requires a more sophisticated and nuanced understanding of what it is to be truly selfish.

So yes, I care about myself. In no particular order, I want to be loved, happy, entertained, adequately fed, housed, medically and dentally cared for, clothed, warm, and relatively clean. Consider then that if I’m to be fed I must extend my sphere of concern to the people who work in neighborhood grocery store. Next, I must be concerned about the truck drivers who bring the food to the store. And how about the farmers who grow the food I’m so attached to? The people at Netflix who deliver my entertainment? My doctor and dentist, who see to my comfort, the people at Levi’s who make my pants (I’m retired), the people who keep the electricity coming to my house.

Whew. It’s a really big thing, the size of my sphere of concern—and it’s all about me. I want all these people to be okay so I’ll be okay. But I’m only getting started: I want to be able to go out into the wild and see flora and fauna (I’m partial to both). I want to see whales leap out of the ocean, see a school of dolphins swim by, watch jellyfish bob among coral shoals. I want to see hawks and hummingbirds and songbirds and eagles do their thing. I want to watch documentaries of flourishing African wildlife, South American wildlife, North American wildlife. I want to see blue skies and taste clean air; I want to see Venice someday, and not from a submersible. I want to know that our beaches in San Diego will be there anytime I go out. Actually, I want more than that: I want beaches everywhere to be there—just on the off chance I decide to go visit.

I don’t want any more species to go extinct on our behalf, and not just for me, because my sphere of selfishness concern extends beyond me: I want many, many, many generations to know the world I’ve known, because it would make me happy thinking that was the case. Again, all about me. I want our knowledge of the world to rise to the limits of our abilities, for us to continue to be the universe looking back on itself in wonder, and through us, to know itself. I want all this, and even more, but I can’t go on forever.

The point is, I am a very, very, very selfish person. That’s why I march for the protection of our environment. I selfishly want our world to continue being all that it has been for me. No, that’s not enough: I want it to be a better world, one with justice for all, because I like thinking how that would be too. And for the sake of those who will come after me, I never want it to end; I can’t bear the thought of this wonderful world I love destroyed. Call me selfish.

I really won’t mind.

All About Me Photo credit: Ivamis Trading Patches


The Art of Climate Change Science – by Patricia Masters

Weather on Steroids: the Art of Climate Change Science, a new exhibition at the La Jolla Historical Society, explores the science of climate change through the works of eleven visual artists, with commentary provided by scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Through a variety of media, the artists interpret droughts and floods, extreme heat, rising sea level, fate of the oceans, coastal erosion and beach loss, and the consequences for human health and communities. This collaboration challenges us all to acknowledge our vulnerability to climate change while envisioning a more sustainable future.

At Wisteria Cottage, 780 Prospect Street
February 11 through May 21, 2017
Thursday – Sunday, Noon – 4 pm, free admission.

The exhibit will move to the San Diego Central Library Gallery, following the exhibition at the Historical Society. It will be in the library from June 10 through September 3, 2017

Panel Discussion: Weather on Steroids
Birch Aquarium will host a panel discussion on Monday, April 10, 2017, starting at 7:00 pm with Weather on Steroids artists Luna Rossel, Oscar Romo, and Dana Montlack; and scientists Richard Somerville, Alexander Gershunov, and Manfredi Manizza; moderated by curator Tatiana Sizonenko.

"Ablaze" by M. Luna Rossel
“Ablaze” by M. Luna Rossel

If you are moved by what you learn and see, please join me at the People’s Climate March on April 29!


Why I March – by Rick Bramhall

I am mainly worried about how climate change will affect humans, my own species, but I also care about other species. I just love being out in nature, whether it’s a romp through Presidio Park in the heart of the city or wandering unnamed canyons out in Anza Borrego. There’s nothing like being away from humans to relieve stress.

There’s just something about green expanses and blue skies to calm my internal struggles. I love it when all I can hear is the soft sound of a light breeze through leaves and the individual song of each bird as it flits from branch to branch. When I can stand in one place, turn completely around and see no signs of man-made structures, that’s when I feel at peace.

I fully believe it’s biological. When our ancestors could hear the murmur of a nearby creek they knew there was fresh water available. When they could see nothing but blue sky above and birds singing lustily, they knew they were blessed with a patch of clear weather.

I wish this for every human being that sees me march: that they get to experience some of the sights I’ve seen: a field full of butterflies all coming out of their cocoons the at same time, a pair of groundsquirrel pups tumbling in the dust as they play together, the sight of a male tarantula dancing outside the hole of a female, hoping to gain acceptance.

I also wish this for everyone in the world who has children and grandchildren: I hope those children get to raise their own kids and grandkids in a world that’s not on the brink of death.

Please join me at the People’s Climate March on April 29.


The official reportback from the UN meeting and People’s Climate March

By May Boeve – 350.org


This weekend, the world stood tall. What I saw on the streets of New York City and in pictures from around the world, was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before in its scale, unity and beauty.

This is a short video, but it’s a taste of what I mean:

Yesterday over 125 world leaders met at the UN for the big climate summit. The headline was that more leaders than ever had gathered to talk about this particular issue — but here is what I think is just as important:

When those heads of state walked into the UN, they had the sounds of the largest climate mobilization in world history still ringing in their ears. A huge number of our allies were still in the streets in New York, laying out a strong vision for a transition away from fossil fuels, bringing the fight to polluters, and identifying solutions that are already in progress. Every speaker in the opening ceremony of the summit spoke of the power of our actions this weekend.

World leaders gathered in New York City didn’t plan to sign a new agreement this week. The next important UN gatherings will be in Lima in December 2014 and in Paris in December 2015. Our hope is to use people-power to ratchet up the pressure on these talks, to channel the voices of millions around the world to increase the accountability and ambition of world leaders in these negotiations.

If they are serious at all about doing their democratic and moral duty, they will need to be ambitious indeed — committing to transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy which benefits everyone, and quickly.

The struggle is not around these summits alone. We’ll have to keep pressure on climate polluters and those who invest in them; we’ll have to turn our communities into models for solutions; and we’ll have to convince politicians that their careers are on the line if they don’t act.

Our purpose in marching around the world is to show that without a doubt there is a mandate to act at the level science and justice demand. After this weekend, we can look them in the eye and say that yes, there is — and insist that they join us on the march towards action.

We need to carry this feeling with us as we move forward. Click here to watch the reportback video and see key stats and new articles from around the world.

Thank you, so many times over. It’s an honor to fight alongside you.


P.S. Just an hour ago, we got news that 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben (and 350.org itself) just won the “Right Livelihood Award,” which is known as the ‘alternative Nobel Prize’ — click here to watch a video from him about the award and what this kind of recognition means for our work together.


Thank You for Being Part of the Largest Climate March in History!

The People’s Climate March San Diego Was a Success!

Together, WE are the solution to the climate crisis.

Yesterday 1,500 San Diegans joined people around the world to support marchers in New York and call for immediate action on climate change here at home. We called for solutions that work for people and the planet – a rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewables and energy efficiency, and a just and sustainable economy. We called for a Climate Action Plan for San Diego; developing sustainable water policies, building affordable, convenient mass transit, and facilitating healthy communities; and supporting green jobs and clean energy.

This is just the beginning. To change everything, we need everyone to participate in the growing climate movement.

Start TODAY by taking immediate action. Please join us at City Hall (202 C Street) at 2:00pm to support a strong Climate Action Plan for San Diego. If you can’t be there in person, please call or email your council member to ask them to support the resolution. Please see the SD350 calendar for more information.

Local press coverage of The People’s Climate March San Diego