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Hundreds From Appalachia Converge on New York for Massive Climate March

PHOTO: Photo courtesy of People's Climate March.
PHOTO: Photo courtesy of People's Climate March.
September 19, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - It is timed to coincide with a meeting of world leaders at the United Nations. And this Sunday's People's Climate March, including many from West Virginia, is intended to send them a message on climate change. Peter Iwanowicz, executive director with Environmental Advocates of New York, says the march will be the largest climate action in history. A major goal is to get those meeting at the United Nations to talk about climate change and to start taking action on the issue.

"World leaders have been wringing their hands and trying to figure out what to do about this climate crisis," says Iwanowicz. "It's time for the people to show up and be a part of this as well, that's why we have the People's Climate March this Sunday in New York City."

Iwaonowicz says people are even coming by the trainload from the West Coast, and he will be there and bringing his entire family. In all, some 1,400 business, union-and-faith groups are joining the effort. The People's Climate March gets started at 11:30 a.m. at Columbus Circle.

Steve Hamilton is helping organize some of the groups from West Virginia. He says Appalachians are going to be given a prominent place early in the march because they live in an area that has been sacrificed for the energy industry.

"People who live though the consequences, indigenous people, the victims of hurricane Sandy will be featured, as well as representatives from Appalachia," says Hamilton.

About 100 - 150 people from the state are expected at the event.

"We have one bus," says Hamilton. "We got the largest bus possible. Other buses are filled. We have a caravan coming from Doddridge County, a caravan coming from Wheeling."

Many in the state's coal industry dispute the science behind climate change, and some who agree it's a man-made problem, say the industry is being unfairly singled out.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - WV