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Science and the Environment
Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

MSU Students to Attend Climate Rally in New York

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Diane Greene Lent via Flickr
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People's Climate used with permission

Next week’s United Nations Climate Summit in New York City will be preceded by one of the largest protests of its kind. As KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann reports, one of the environmental groups that will be represented is based in Springfield.

I caught up with Missouri State University junior Andrew Clubb while he was en route to New York City by train. Clubb is one of five members of Students for a Sustainable Future (SSF) that is attending this Sunday’s People’s Climate March.

“We represent the student body as a student organization.  We have a two-fold mission to educate and motivate students, faculty and the community in regards of their everyday lifestyle and how it affects the planet,” Clubb says.

The agriculture major says this will be his first time in New York, and although he is not a “big city” guy he is looking forward to participating with thousands of other demonstrators.  Clubb says as part of a younger generation he is invigorated by the opportunity to learn, share and be a part of a crucial moment in history.

“There are going to be 1,400 hundred organizations coming.  And 152 other countries are doing actions of solidarity, so it’s going to be monumental,” says Clubb.

The march will begin at New York City’s Central Park and follow a two mile route downtown. It takes place two days before the United Nations summit on climate change where international leaders from all over the world, including President Obama, are expected to attend.

SSF President Emma Donovan says the organization thought it was important to lend their support and show that Missouri State students are very passionate about climate justice. 

“We think that a lot of important movements in the past, like the Civil Rights Movement for example, involved people taking to the streets.  And so we feel that it’s very, very important for people to gather together in one place to show how much they care and how much they want change,” says Donovan.

Donovan says SSF is awaiting approval for funding for the trip by the Student Organization Funding Allocation Council (SOFAC) at MSU.  SOFAC is in charge of reviewing funding proposals for possible allocation to student organizations as part of the Student Involvement Fee.

Donovan says each student traveling is paying his/her own way for now because they feel it is important to participate in this unique opportunity and bring back knowledge to share with the local community.

“I just hope to bring a lot of that enthusiasm back and many things we learned just from interacting with so many different groups,” says Donovan.

Organizers of the event anticipate 100,000 participants this weekend. Besides environmental groups, organizations representing various businesses, unions, faiths, social justice, and education are expected to attend.