The People’s Climate March: Part 1: Mary Robinson (UN Envoy)

Text and Photos by K. Cecchini @tonightatdawn

“We can’t do business as usual with a little bit of green attached,” the first female president of Ireland said during the media’s 15 minute playdate with notable figures at the People’s Climate March. Ms. Mary Robinson emphasized that it makes economic sense for every government to make pro-environmental changes.

“We can’t do business as usual with a little bit of green attached.”- Former Irish President, Mary Robinson

When I inquired with President Robinson about what she hopes to accomplish regarding climate change, the recently appointed UN Envoy responded that the European Union urgently needs to adopt its proposal to reduce member state emissions by 40% over the next 15 years – “that would be leadership”.

Leading the People's Climate March through Times Square
Leading the People’s Climate March through Times Square

Leadership, Indeed: The Elders

If you don’t know who Ms. Robinson is, I suppose you could consider her as the Irish counterpart to one of the United States’ own former presidents, Jimmy Carter. They both are members of the late Nelson Mandela’s independent group of Elder statesmen and women. Carter, Robinson and their esteemed colleagues, including Desmond Tutu, stride to increase peace and human rights around the world.

Although, not often seen as a human rights issue, climate change is on The Elders’ agenda. As Robinson views it, it is affecting the poorest among us and so for their sake and the “sake of all,” we need to make changes.

We need to operate in the present tense to aid the future tense – #NowNotTomorrow – as Elder, Kofi Annan, laments,

“We all talk about climate change. I have a sense that people don’t take it seriously.”

Hence the need for today’s march lies in the bed of nonchalance.

The March was planned pointedly for Sunday, September 21st to apply pressure on the heads of state and other influential figures who have accepted Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon’s invitation to the UN’s Climate Summit in NYC on Tuesday.

Fortunately, some are taking it seriously – and they will not go quietly. 310,000 plus folks rallied in New York City today and thousands more made their voices heard in 2,646 events among 156 nations.

Stay tuned for more articles and photos from the March at

“Climate Justice; NOW NOW NOW”
Communities United: “No War! No Warming!”
People’s Climate March Security Marshalls Hold Hands
IMG_1204.JPG “Climate Justice vs. Wall Street”
“Climate Change Affects All of Us/El Cambio Climático Nos Afecta a Todos”
“The World’s Marching Together”: Cape Town, South Africa
Earth Vigil: Meditators Near Columbus Circle
Earth Vigil: Meditation Near Columbus Circle

Did you know we only have 40 or so years left of topsoil to grow our food? Click here to learn more about the beauty of dirt & mud.

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