People's Climate March draws big crowd in Thunder Bay
Climate change is 'the most important issue in our world today,' says participant Susan Marrier
Dozens of families, seniors and teens marched from Hillcrest Park to Waverly Park in Thunder Bay on Sunday as part of the People's Climate March.
It's one of hundreds of walks taking place today around the world, including a mass march in New York City that is expected to attract upwards of 100,000 people.
"I think this is probably the most important issue in our world today," said Susan Marrier, who came out to show her support. "Nothing else matters if our planet dies."
'I had to put my body on the line'
"I don't think people really realize how grave this is. Governments certainly don't and they don't listen to us," Marrier added. "Maybe they'll listen to us if there are thousands of people who show up. I sure hope so. That's why I'm here I just felt I had to put my body on the line."
University student Courtney Mondoux came dressed in a polar bear hat, its ear flaps hanging down into 'paws.' Her masters research focuses on polar bears in Hudson Bay, and she said she wanted to give the creatures a 'voice' at the march.
"The polar bears can't come here and tell you that they need sea ice and that there's no other ways of conserving polar bears like there are other species," Mondoux said. "We can put up a game reserve for caribou maybe, we can't put up an ice reserve if we don't stop greenhouse gas emissions."
Seeking 'large-scale' policy change
Mondoux hopes the international rallies and marches, in advance of the United Nations Climate Summit on Tuesday, will spark discussion.
"Hopefully the conversation will spiral from there to large-scale policy initiatives," Mondoux said. "So not always seeing the environment and economy in contrast, but coming toward a unifying, sustainable plan to move forward, maybe less dependant on fossil fuels."
Most marchers were optimistic change would come from their actions.
"This means a lot to me," said Reggie Duncan. "I want to save the planet for generations to come. We all can make a difference."