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Climate Marchers Return Inspired, New Protests Begin

Austin Rinebolt-Miller

A group of Antioch College students got back Monday morning from the People’s Climate March in New York City. The march was expected to be the largest and most diverse in history at over 100,000 people. Now organizers are pegging the count at at least 310,000.

Several dozen Antioch students and several hundred Ohioans had planned to attend the march on buses. Antioch students hoped to bring back new energy about fighting global climate change.

“At least in my lifetime I’ve not really been aware of something of this scale,” said Antioch sophomore Austin Rinebolt-Miller. “I mean I’ve grown up my whole life hearing there’s this thing that’s happening, but I guess we’re not doing anything about it. Finally I realized that people are doing something about it."

The People’s Climate events focused on divesting from fossil fuels, which are the primary driver of global climate change, but marchers did not have a unified set of demands. Tuesday kicks off the United Nations climate summit, which activists have criticized for giving too much voice to corporations that are partially responsible for climate change.

Meanwhile, a range of corporate leaders plan to announce commitments to reducing global carbon emissions at the summit. President Barack Obama will attend, while the leaders of China and India will not. A new round of protests called "Flood Wall Street" began Monday.

WYSO Public Radio is licensed to Antioch College.

Lewis Wallace is WYSO's managing editor, substitute host and economics reporter. Follow him @lewispants.