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Carls Join 350,000 in NYC Climate March

Sixteen Carleton students spent their first weekend of the school year fighting for the future of the planet.
They were among nearly 50,000 college students and 350,000 people who marched in the streets of New York City Sept. 21, prior to the UN climate summit.

Freshman Dustin Michels, who attended the march to both “inspire others and get inspired” was floored by the “diversity of people.”

“There was no shortage of flamboyant beautiful hippies,” he said. “But there were also scientists and actors and politicians and UN leaders and people wearing suits… all kinds of people who are concerned about the future and health of their communities.”

While the march was centered on climate action, Michels found it “exciting that so many issues were covered,” including fracking, food justice, meat consumption, clean energy.

For Brent Murcia, another Carleton marcher, the most powerful moment of the march was the moment of silence that occurred at 12:58 p.m. to honor the victims of climate change.

“Four hundred thousand people being loud is amazing, but 400,000 people being silent is even more moving,” he said.

When the silence ended at 1 p.m., Murcia “heard a faint buzz which changed to a murmur and to a roar creating a wall of sound.” Through the power of that moment, he says “we felt like we could do anything.”

Sophomore Thomas Hiura also felt empowered by the energy of the marchers. One particularly meaningful moment for him was when they marched through Time Square.

“When we had effectively taken over the square…it was a symbolically important moment given that our message of living simply and appreciating what we have was being represented in such numbers in one of the places that most exemplifies overconsumption and overstimulation,” he said.

Murcia feels that “we might not be able to fix this whole problem, but there are lots of small things we can do.”

Fortunately, to tackle environmental issues big and small, as Michels points out, “there’s a whole scene of activism and sustainability and food justice that exists” at Carleton and is accessible to all students who want to make an impact,” which was demonstrated by last week’s climate march.

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