Faith leaders joined politicians, celebrities, musicians, labor unions, and more than 300,000 concerned citizens who marched through Manhattan on Sunday in the People's Climate March, reports NCR Online.
Demonstrators waved signs that read "Jesus Would Drive A Prius" and "System Change, Not Climate Change" as they snaked their way through the heart of New York City in what is now considered the largest climate change protest in history,
The New York march coincided with demonstrations across the globe and was planned just ahead of the United Nations' summit on reducing carbon emissions.
Aside from drawing awareness to the climate crisis, demonstrators were drawn to the march for a variety of reasons. Many in the faith community, for example, felt a moral obligation to make their voices heard on the issue.
Steffano Montano, a theology professor at Barry University in Miami, said as a Catholic, there's a spiritual responsibility to combat climate change. "By understanding creation, we can come closer to the Creator. It's an added spiritual responsibility," Montano told NCR. "Justice for the earth is something that affects everybody. It's going to affect my daughter, my grandkids. It affects the poor in ways we are still trying to come to terms with. And it's our fault. So that's why we're here. It's on us to make a difference."
Similarly, Franciscan Sr Kathy Dougherty from the Sisters of St Francis of Philadelphia said climate change is a life issue that desperately needs to be addressed.
"I certainly feel it's critical, the way corporate decisions are made that affect the environment, and I feel there's a need for a change. If we can't sustain the planet, human life is not going to be sustained; therefore, it's very much a life issue," Dougherty said.
FULL STORY Seeking change, People's Climate March floods New York streets (NCR Online)