Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh 350
Pittsburgh 350 launch
On Thursday, Pope Francis, in an address
to all people of the earth wrote that “the earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”
The Pope’s words had been anticipated and local environmentalist group Pittsburgh 350
, a chapter of the national group 350.org
, organized a rally and procession for this Sunday in advance of the edict to go green from his Holiness. With a major climate summit to be held in Paris
later this year, Pittsburgh 350 felt that an event coinciding with the Pope’s declaration was opportune.
“It gives us a moral basis for strong actions in Paris in December. That is our main focus at the moment,” Peter Wray of Pittsburgh 350’s steering committee says. “We want to provide support and encouragement for the U.S. to take a very strong role there.”
Pittsburgh 350 has partnered with over 30 other environmental, civic and faith groups to organize the events. Information on the event, including a list of participating organizations, can be found here
While there is a higher purpose involved, the events will dually serve to give locals the opportunity to march and express their concerns and listen to local leaders and academics give lectures on the importance of climate action.
In the morning, Pittsburgh 350 is leading a “Walk for Paris
.” While the walk isn’t nearly the 3,886 mile gap between Pittsburgh and Paris, it is still a quite long 6.5-mile march from the Shenango Coke Plant to the East Allegheny Commons, where a rally will be held.
City Councilor Dan Gilman will open the event by proclaiming June 21 as Climate Action Day. Several speakers will follow, and Mayor Bill Peduto will close the event with remarks.
The rally will be held rain or shine. If skies looks like they will rain on the parade, Wray says they'll move the rally indoors to a nearby church.