In what was billed as the largest climate rally in U.S. history, thousands of people marched past the White House on Sunday to urge President Obama to reject a controversial pipeline and take other steps to fight climate change.
Organizers, including the Sierra Club, estimated that more than 35,000 people from 30-plus states — some dressed as polar bears — endured frigid temperatures to join the “Forward on Climate” rally, although the crowd size could not be confirmed. Their immediate target is Obama’s final decision, expected soon, on the Keystone XL oil pipeline that would carry tar sands from Canada through several U.S. states.
“This movement’s been building a long time. One of the things that’s built it is everybody’s desire to give the president the support he needs to block this Keystone pipeline,” Bill McKibben, founder of the environmental activist group, 350.org, said as protesters gathered on the National Mall.