Thousands March In Washington, D.C. Heat To Demand Trump Act On Climate Change

WASHINGTON — As more than 100,000 protesters took to the National Mall Saturday to demand the Trump administration quit cozying up to fossil fuel companies and take action against climate change, D.C. experienced sweltering heat that tied a record for April 29.

The unseasonal heat ― which hit 91 degrees, tying a record high for April 29, set in 1974 ― served as an exclamation point on the demonstration’s message: that America and the planet don’t have time for the antics of President Donald Trump, who has falsely called climate change “bullshit” and a “hoax.”

The People’s Climate March, which falls on Trump’s 100th day in office, includes a main event in Washington and more than 300 marches across the U.S. and around the world, including Boston and San Francisco. 

Neil Gundel, 57, of Hartford, Connecticut, came to the march because he felt it was important to stand up to the Trump administration on behalf of future generations. He described Trump’s first 100 days in office as “almost like a satire.”

“It’s looking like they are trying to accelerate climate change as fast as they can,” Gundel said. “I think it’s going to hit this generation more than they know.”

Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a co-sponsor of the event, said in a blog post Friday that Trump has launched the “worst assault in history” against commonsense environmental protections during his first 100 days.

“A hundred days of hazard and harm are a hundred days too many,” Suh wrote. “We won’t stand by and watch him surrender our children to the growing dangers of climate change.”

Trump has moved quickly to unravel Obama-era policies meant to reduce the United States’ carbon footprint and fight climate change. He has proposed deep budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and other scientific agencies, and has signed executive orders that aim to increase fossil fuel production. He has also vowed to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, the landmark climate accord in which nearly 200 countries committed to slashing carbon emissions, although many in his inner circle have urged him not to do so.

Trump on Friday signed an executive order aimed at opening protected areas of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans to oil and gas development.

Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said Trump’s order would “only make our call louder on Saturday.”

Also on Friday, the EPA announced “website updates” that involved the removal of several pages, including those related to climate change. It said the changes “reflect the agency’s new direction under President Donald Trump and Administrator Scott Pruitt.” The changes went into effect Friday night.

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