The debate about whether humans are warming the planet is essentially over—97 percent of climate scientists agree that we are. But the debate over tactics—about how to reduce our carbon emissions—is just starting to heat up.
The 2014 People’s Climate March in New York City was a watershed moment for climate change activists. Over 300,000 people attended the march, and hundreds of small, local groups suddenly saw their work as part of a broad social movement.
The momentum continued to build as climate groups successfully lobbied to shut down the Keystone XL pipeline and helped push the federal government to place a moratorium on new coal leases. In the next two weeks, grassroots activists will be rallying again with a series of protests around the world aimed at convincing governments and industry to limit fossil fuel development.
“We have to keep almost all of the oil and gas and coal that we know about underground. That’s the only place that’s safe for it,” said Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org, an international climate activist group. He maintains the slogan “keep it in the ground” shouldn’t be political.
“It’s not like a great ideological contest—or at least it shouldn’t be. It really is just math.”
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