Climate change marches touch down in Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Hundreds of thousands of protesters joined nationwide demonstrations calling for adoption of global environmental controls. This comes as world leaders head to paris for the opening Monday of the United Nations climate summit. In the United States, groups in New York held signs and marched around city hall, calling for leaders to invest more in renewable energy and other climate-conscious efforts.

One rally was right here in Austin.

“Every time you go to the store and buy that crap that we don’t need, we are complacent,” said Richard Franklin. He says personal decisions matter in the battle against climate change, and that the stakes are high.

“This is for them. At the end of the day, if you don’t realize who we’re doing this for. it’s for them. We’re supposed to leave the world better for these kids,” he said, pointing to a group of young kids at the protest.

On this dreary day, a few hundred came to march on to Congress Avenue. Dale Bulla has solar panels on his house, drives an electric car, and collects rain water for his yard.

“Everybody can do it. I’m a retired school teacher, you know how much retirement money we make. So I’ve done this to save money but it also helps the planet.” said Bulla.

Many marchers say they don’t expect much from the state capitol but want their personal choices supported by Austin city hall. Avik Kathuria wants the city to pay for rebates and tax incentives to use reusable fuel and punish companies that pollute.

“It’s a pretty easy thing to do, and it’s not being done as of now,” said Kathuria.

People today were united, but on the issue of if humans cause climate change, we’re still very much divided. A recent Gallop / Yale University poll shows that nearly 30 percent of Americans think climate change is from strictly natural causes.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler, City Council Member Leslie Pool and Travis County Commissioner Brigid Shea are getting ready to head to Paris to attend the Climate Change Conference.

The United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris, begins Monday, Nov. 30. The mayor said he will be in Paris Dec. 3 through the 7. Pool noted that she is going to the conference Dec. 1 through the 8 in her role as chair of the Council Open Space, Environment and Sustainability Committee.

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