Weekly newspaper of Three Rivers, California, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks

Local activists took to Sierra Drive in Three Rivers on Saturday, April 29, as part of a nationwide Climate March.

Climate activists march in Three Rivers

Sarah Elliott


At the end of April, Donald Trump marked 100 days as president. Coinciding with that benchmark on Saturday, April 29, hundreds of protests in communities nationwide were held to push back on Trump’s proposals to reverse climate action.
In Three Rivers, a dozen protestors walked along Sierra Drive from Eggers Drive to North Fork Drive with signs and noisemakers in solidarity with the Peoples Climate Mobilization in Washington, D.C. This was the first anti-Trump march to take place in Three Rivers.
Local residents who have joined a growing resistance movement have, in the recent past, driven to Visalia, Fresno, and/or Bakersfield, as well as farther abroad, to take part in opposition events.
The Climate March is under the auspices of the Peoples Climate Movement, a project of dozens of organizations working together to solve the climate crisis. It started with the historic Peoples Climate March on the eve of the UN Climate Summit in September 2014 when 400,000 people marched through the streets of New York City demanding climate action.
That march had a positive impact, helping drive forward the Paris Climate Agreement and convincing then-President Obama to make climate action (including rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline) a priority during his last two years in office.
In contrast, during the first week of Trump’s presidency, he advanced the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, put a gag order on the Environmental Protection Agency, restricted access to reproductive healthcare around the world, put a ban on immigration from seven countries, took steps toward building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and is, as of this week, considering whether the U.S. will remain in the Paris Climate Agreement.
These actions have been controversial. In Three Rivers and the nearby Sierra Nevada, climate change is a visible threat as millions of trees from the oaks and manzanitas in the foothills to pines and firs in the conifer belt are dead or dying due to a prolonged drought and residual insect infestation. And as predicted, the snow level is moving progressively higher, which is affecting vegetation and the migration patterns and habitat of wildlife.
The People’s Climate March was part of a larger strategy to push back on Trump’s agenda of climate denial and fossil fuel expansion while advocating for a clean-energy economy. It also showed support for climate scientists, researchers, and engineers working on forwarding renewable energy.