STATE — On Sunday, Feb. 17, hundreds of people from New Jersey will be headed to Washington D.C. for what is being billed as the biggest climate rally in history, where they will urge the President and Congress to take action on climate change.
Tens of thousands of people from 160 organizations are expected to attend the Forward on Climate rally at the National Mall. Scheduled speakers include Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune, 350.org President Bill McKibben, best-selling author Van Jones and U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).
President Barack Obama mentioned the need to respond to the threat of climate change on Tuesday in his State of the Union speech and added that if Congress does not take action, he will. The demonstrators want to hold the President to his words.
“President Obama and the members of Congress work for the people. On Sunday, myself and thousands of others are going to be sending them a message that the people of the United States want action on climate change and they want it now. We cannot afford to wait any longer. The President has made bold statements in regards to tackling climate change and we need those statements to turn into action,” said Nicole Dallara, outreach coordinator New Jersey Sierra Club.
The effects of climate change have been felt all around New Jersey from Hurricane Sandy to the most recent snow storm, according to environmental activists. However, at an event in Union Beach Governor Christie stated he does not have time to deal with climate change or what caused Hurricane Sandy.
“As a coastal state New Jersey is vulnerable to the effects of climate change,” Dallara said. ”People are still desperately trying to recover from Hurricane Sandy and Shore communities are trying to rebuild before the start of summer. The Governor needs to put politics aside and start to address climate change because by not doing so he puts the residents of New Jersey at risk for another disaster.”