New Paltz march on Sandy anniversary highlights climate change impacts

SUNY New Paltz students rallied last Saturday to fight climate change.

Students, environmental organizations and community members marked the five-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy with a march on Saturday, Oct. 30. The storm, which hit the northeast with such power that it took lives, destroyed homes and transit infrastructure, flooded subways and greatly impacted people from the NYC-metro area to the Hudson Valley.

The students and community members marched from the SUNY New Paltz campus with signs and chants to raise public awareness and to demand that our elected officials take immediate climate action. The march ended at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Region 3 office, where the group rallied and heard from special guest speakers, including NYS Assemblymember Kevin Cahill’s office.


Laurie Wheelock, Assemblyman Cahill’s Legislative Director and Counsel, spoke on bills that the Assemblyman has introduced that are meant to help mitigate the effects of climate change. “The fifth anniversary of Superstorm Sandy is a fitting opportunity to pause and reflect on the devastation to our region.  Unfortunately the people of Puerto Rico, Texas and Florida will be doing this same reflection in the years to come.  Despite multiple communities living through the real-life effects of climate change there still remain those who outright deny the science or refuse to recognize human involvement.”

“The science is in, the debate is over,” said Brian Obach, director of environmental studies at SUNY New Paltz . “Climate change is affecting us right now.  It has already killed thousands of people and caused damage in the billions.  Scores of species are being driven to extinction.  The destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy five years ago was just the beginning.  Those who continue to block measures to address climate change bear responsibility for the ongoing havoc.  They are guilty of crimes against humanity and history will judge them harshly.”