The Climate Train Leaves Denver’s Union Station


DENVER-The sold out Climate Train left Sacramento on Monday morning and arrived in Denver for a Whistle Stop Rally tonight.  Boarding in Denver were around 40 Coloradans who are attending what is predicted by organizers to be the largest climate gathering in history.  Participants say that they are raising their voices prior to the United Nations Climate Summit that is taking place in New York City next week.  Over 200 supporters rallied at the newly remodeled Union Station to meet other marchers who had boarded in Sacramento.

IMG_8664Over 120 heads of state and government have confirmed attendance at the one day UN climate summit scheduled to take place next.  This number includes more leaders than attended the 2009 UN Climate Summit in Copenhagan, making it the largest gathering in history focusing on climate change.

Climate justice activists are turning out prior to the meeting to take to the streets and to push leaders to reach agreements on climate justice issues.   They call for representatives to listen to the ideas of those marching.  UN Secretary­ General Ban Ki-­Moon is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution.  He has promised that each country will have equal time to present to the summit-one element that has been missing from yearly climate summits abroad where larger countries have traditionally dominated the discussion.


The largest climate summit also means the largest gathering of climate justice activists.  Over 100,000 people have confirmed to group organizing the event-that they will march in New York City on Sunday.

UN Secretary Ban Ki- Moon said that he hopes the summit will “put forth a clear vision of placing the world on a trajectory to keep temperature rise within 2 degrees Centigrade” and to confirm support for a meeting in Paris next year intended to reach an agreement on how to achieve that vision.    Leaders are expected to confirm their commitment to deliver a first draft of that agreement in December in Lima, Peru.



Organizer Micah Parkin held rally participants outside of Union Station before the Climate Train arrived, and speakers such as Katie Falkenberg, a board member spoke,  “We’re at a time when it’s more important than ever to get active.  Never has there been a successful movement without a massive mobilization of everyday citizens.  We’re at a crucial tipping point in our earth’s history.  We’ve already done an incredible amount of damage and we’re on track do to even more.  Yet our leaders are completely unwillilng to act.  But we know the science and we have the numbers-not just the facts, but the people, the numbers of people.  From this point our power will only multiply.  I believe we have the power to rewrite our future-one that we choose, not one that is chosen for us by corporate power and political might.”





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“Who knows which four countries are not sending their leaders to New York?” asked Kids Against Fracking leader Emma Bray of the crowd.  “The leaders of China, India, Canada, and Australia are not going.  It is so good to see adults here who have not gone over to the dark side, the side that chooses profit for the justification for everything.  There are people in this state who are willing to put harmful industrial activities right next to people’s homes and schools.  When people understand what is happening, here, we will ban fracking and all the other horrible industries going around.  We can do this despite all the nonstop advertising from gas and oil industry.  Im going to New York City to march because the climate crisis is not just a disaster for the planet, it’s threatening to be the biggest human rights crisis of our time, so get on board!”IMG_8732



Isaac Rivera is a graduate student at the University of Colorado, Boulder, ” It’s about the history of the same ole, same old stories since the beginning of time.  It’s about capitalism.  It’s about a brutal system that has ravished the planet and people.  Everything has been built on the backs of slaves.  Even to today.  We’re seeing it in the racialized other.  Communities of color that have again and again been at the front of an eco disaster.  And now we’re starting to feel it here.  I’m speaking for those who can’t speak.   In Africa that are experiencing climate change as we speak.  For the Marshall Islands that are facing their extinction as we speak.  It’s time right now to collectively come together to evolve our mindset, to evolve our consciousness.  This is the beginning of the resistance.


CU Fossil Free divestment campaign student leader Frankie Naverette stood at the front of the crowd to talk about the movement to persuade leaders at the University of Colorado to divest from the fossil fuel industry, ” We’re working together to divest the whole CU consortium. As extreme weather events continue to ravage our cities, threaten our resources, and disproportionately affect those already most vulnerable, I ask you this:  who will save us from this global issue.  How many indigenous peoples have lost their water rights to Peabody Coal in Arizona?  How many low-income folks are forced to drink contaminated water with no chance of reprimands due to fracking, mining, tar sands, or any other extraction industry.  Let us not forget that these people have been facing these issues long before the words climate change were ever uttered.  And this, what we’re doing here today is climate justice.  We do so by asking upon the University of Colorado to remove investments from the fossil fuel industry, an act that begins to dissolve this mega industry, move towards renewables, and restore power to students [to] whom the University should and will listen to.  We use a model of community organizing and escalatory tactics very similar to the civil right movement.  We are Fossil Free CU.  We act here in our community leveraging our power as students to create direct change and return power to people where it belongs.  We act in solidarity with over 300 universities and hundreds of passionate community members across the country and now the world.  This is no longer purely an environmental movement.  This is an intersectional movement where each and every single person on this planet has a stake in the game.  Those of us who exist in societies built around the fossil fuel industry such as the United States and those with the most privilege have the greatest responsibility to act.

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The Climate Train left Denver and is scheduled to pick up more climate justice activists in Omaha and Chicago before arriving in New York on Thursday.  A Climate Bus is also scheduled to leave for New York this week and will carry more Coloradans.

The Nation Report will bring you coverage from on location of Sunday’s march as well as the climate justice events that are also taking place.

Refufia Gaintan/The Nation Report

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The Climate Train left Denver and is scheduled to pick up more climate justice activists in Omaha and Chicago before arriving in New York on Thursday.  The Climate Bus is taking additional Coloradans who will be marching as well.

A Climate Bus is also scheduled to leave for New York this week and will carry more Coloradans.

KGNU will bring you coverage of Sunday’s march as well as the climate justice events that are also taking place on next week’s morning magazine.

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