The Largest Environmental Action in the History of the United States. {Photos}

Via Lynn Hasselberger
on Feb 18, 2013
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My son & I before the march. NO KXL in lipstick. (Note: No, that's not real fur.) Photo taken (and lipstick provided) by Laura Sabransky
My son & I before the march. NO KXL in lipstick. (Note: No, that’s not real fur.) Photo taken (and lipstick provided) by Laura Sabransky

Yesterday, an estimated 40,000 people gathered in Washington D.C. for the Forward On Climate rally.

Some say the numbers exaggerated. Nonetheless, organizers are calling it the largest environmental action in the history of the U.S.

My almost-12-year-old son and I found out Friday that we were going to be part of it.

The purpose of the rally was to demand that President Obama kill the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline (watch the mindblowing video here) and support his promise to, “…respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.”

It took 11 or so hours on a cramped bus to get there (two Sierra Club buses from Chicago transported 200 of us for a mere $100 each). We left Saturday night, arrived Sunday morning and the rally started at noon that same day.

The bone-chilling weather (19 degree wind chill at the start) invigorated me and, I think, everyone else.

I ran in place to keep warm while founder Bill McKibben and others pumped up the growing sea of people, a memorable kick-off to our march around the mall.

My son and I had the opportunity to whale on an enormous drum that provided the background beat to  the chants that pushed us forward.

Hey, Obama, we don’t want no climate drama!

We hopped back on the bus Sunday night. An hour into the trip, I regretted trading our back-of-the-bus seats with extra leg room for cramped seats with a much desired phone jack. My son slept, head on my shoulder (used intermittently as my pillow), the entire 11-hour ride back.

We arrived back to Chicago Monday morning.

It was one of the longest and shortest trips I’ve taken in my lifetime. It also ranked up there as one of the best. We met some amazing people—including Ellen Gunter, who has written for elephant in the past and made it possible for me to attend the rally—and my commitment to the environmental movement is stronger than ever.

Below are some photos by activist/photographer Jenna Pope (used with her permission), who I connected with today on facebook after my new friend (and soon-to-be elephant contributor) Laura shared one of Jenna’s photos:














Here’s another photo, courtesy our friends at Moms Clean Air Force (MCAF):

Statue of Liberty float at climate rally
MCAF Senior Director, Dominique Browning and MCAF Managing Editor, Ronnie Citron-Fink with friend.

Help President Obama Make Climate Change a Priority by signing this Moms Clean Air Force petition.

Even more photos…

Photo: Laura Sabransky
Photo: Laura Sabransky

Photo: Laura Sabransky
Photo: Laura Sabransky

Climate change
Beating the drum for climate change action
Keystone Tarsands Pipeline

Keep checking back for more photos!

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About Lynn Hasselberger

Lynn Hasselberger is co-founder of GDGD Radio; The Green Divas Managing Editor; and Producer of The Green Divas Radio Show. She's also a mom, writer and award-winning cat-herder who lives in Chicagoland. Sunrises, running, yoga, lead-free chocolate and comedy are just a few of her fave things. In her rare moments of spare time, she blogs at and A treehugger and social media addict, you'll most likely find Lynn on twitter (@LynnHasselbrgr @GreenDivaLynn & @myEARTH360), instagram and facebook. She hopes to make the world a better place, have more fun, re-develop her math skills and overcome her fear of public speaking. Like her writing? Subscribe to her posts.


16 Responses to “The Largest Environmental Action in the History of the United States. {Photos}”

  1. Ronnie says:

    Great round-up, Lynn. Such an incredible day. Now let's make sure Washington moves forward!

  2. Lynn says:

    Wonderful Lynn, you have captured the beautifully and respectfully. It was a peaceful and strong feeling there and brought hope and heart to stopping the XL Pipeline from happening. May Obama take a stand to not bring it across the border ever.

  3. Thanks, Ronnie! Appreciate the photo from Moms Clean Air force and all that your organization does. Funny that someone responded to me via twitter that this was a parade of communism. What?! Cheers!

  4. Thanks, Lynn. There was a positive energy at the rally and I hope it makes a difference! Cheers!

  5. Robin says:

    thanks Lynn, after reading this post, I think perhaps you are someone I need to connect with…
    I am a yoga teacher and health coach
    in chicago burbs, but own land in michigan where I had hoped to create a sustainable community, yoga-retreat center, organic farm, center for health/wellness. now i am getting word about possible fracking! I am looking for people more knowledgeable than me to help guide me, as I don't know where to begin in terms of fighting this!! any way we can connect

  6. Jeff Green says:

    Its an interesting experience riding a bus to Washington DC and back. I had 59 other roommates on the 12 hour ride overnight. Sleep quality is low and the price is right for out there and back at $100. I was wondering what the fuel usage per passenger on the bus full of environmentalists.
    some assumptions
    bus holds 60 passengers
    700 miles each way
    280 gallons diesel fuel at 5 miles per gallon
    that would be 4.67 gallons diesel fuel per passenger

    Sierra cllub organized the trip and we did in the least carbon fashion. I was part of something really big and yet I was just one person. This thing is big and we need to do more.

  7. Judith says:

    Another great article, Lynn. And great pictures. I was there too! Amazing, life-changing.

  8. Linda V. Lewis says:

    Bravo! And I loved the photos! You could really get a sense of the coming together of so many environmentally active groups–new and old: Moms Clean Air Force, indigenous native Americans, Occupy revived, and good old Sierra Club, etc.–all vs the XL Pipeline! Hooray! Let's go solar! If it's possible in Canada, it's gotta be possible in the USA!

  9. Oh no, Robin! That's so terrible about the fracking. Ugh!!! Please feel free to email me at [email protected] … I can put you in touch with some people at the Chicago Sierra Club and, if you're into writing, you might consider blogging about this and submitting your story to elephant once you have a clearer path on how you're going to move forward and how others can help.

  10. 4.67 gallons ain't bad! And sleep quality was definitely low. Think I'm still catching up! It was a pleasure to be one of your roommates, Jeff! Thanks for leaving a comment. Please connect with me on facebook as there are probably a million Jeff Greens out there so I can't find you.

  11. Thanks, Judith! Thanks for being part of it!

  12. It was so wonderful and exciting to be part of such a large group of people who share my concern about the environment. The age range spanned generations too… some carrying swaddled babies. Of course, Fox News made fun of all of us for being out there in frigid weather when we were marching about climate change (i.e., global warming?). Wish Obama had been there waving to us from the WH lawn instead of teeing off with Tiger Woods in warm Miami.

  13. […] View more photos from the Forward for Climate rally here, here and here. […]

  14. […] truth is that we’re all an interconnected part of a whole. What we do to others and the environment, we do to ourselves. All of our thoughts and our actions have subtle effects, like ripples on a […]