Lewis Diuguid

People’s Climate Marches tell of growing awareness of global warming problem

People who care about the planet need to harness the renewable energy that went into the massive march on Sunday through Manhattan against climate change.

Thousands of people took to the streets for the “People’s Climate March” — one of several that occurred Sunday in other major world cities — ahead of a United Nations summit on the damage human use of fossil fuels is causing. More than 120 world leaders are to meet Tuesday ahead of producing a new global climate treaty by the end of 2015.

At the climate summit in Paris in 2015, countries will be required to submit greenhouse gas reduction targets for beyond 2020, The Associated Press reports.

Human consumption of fossil fuels is producing greenhouse gases, driving up the overall temperature of the Earth, melting polar ice, raising sea levels, swamping coastal areas, and putting more moisture in the atmosphere, creating more violent and unpredictable weather. Droughts are longer and more intense, and so are storms.

But part of the problem is not everyone believes there is a climate-change problem. Global emissions of greenhouse gases rose 2.3 percent in 2013 to record levels, showing the countries of the world are far off target in efforts to arrest global warming.

The march in Manhattan and other cities should help get people’s attention. They at least show that a sizable number of everyday people across the globe realize there is a problem and demand solutions.