In an effort to create solidarity with the People’s Climate March on Washington, D.C., some Grayson County residents made their way around the Grayson County Courthouse on Saturday.
About 15 people attended the Indivisible Sherman march, which was a reprise of the 2014 People’s Climate March.
“The national organizers of that march thought it would be a good idea to do another march on the 100th day of the Trump presidency to kind of highlight the same issues,” march organizer Lindy Olson said. “We are concerned as a group. There are 375 marches in the country and around the world. We want to assert that climate change is real. We want that policy wise and the government in general to recognize.”
Olson said that these marches are educational opportunities for people in this area and around the country.
“This is also an outreach opportunity,” she said. “Some people do not know that there are other people that feel the same way in the community about these and other issues. They feel like they are not in the majority, so they must be alone. We are doing these things so that others can find some sense of community.”
Bob and Suzanne Cecil joined the march because they feel the same way as Olson.
“I was involved in Chicago with women’s liberation in the 50s and 60s,” Suzanne Cecil said. “These types of marches are instrumental to progression in society.”
She said saving the environment one step at a time is important to her.
“When people drive by, this will become their focus,” she said. “It may just be in an instant, but if we are here a lot or in different places, it will come to the forefront of people’s minds.”
Just the simple thought about the environment can save millions of lives, Bob Cecil said.
“Climate change has the potential to kill millions, and it is that simple,” he said.
People are not the only ones that are impacted by climate change, Paul Pucul said.
“It will be detrimental to the fishing industry,” he said. “As the climate continues to get warmer because of these greenhouse gasses that we are responsible for, we are going to see more and more acidic waters. We will not be able to produce vegetables and things like that. That includes, but is not limited to, hops and barley which we use in beer.”
Pucul makes his own beer.
“We do not want the prices of the ingredients to make the price of beer go up,” he said. “I do not want my friends to have to go out of business because our resources are thinning and the prices are going up.”
While beer making is a niche market, Pucul said, agriculture is big in Texoma.
“It can affect us in Grayson County directly,” he said. “I would like to see people understand that there is a connection between the jobs market and the climate. It is not as black and white as if you deregulate things. People think if you regulate things, it hurts jobs and when you deregulate things it helps jobs. We need to find a good middle path.”
Olson, Pucul and the Cecils agreed that this march will not bring policy change. They are each fighting a smaller battle.
“If we want to reference back to the things that happened 20, 30 and even 40 years ago, things have changed,” Olson said. “People in agriculture and people in the oil industry are losing jobs. Clean energy and clean resources are going to be the new economic standard. We as a region, as a community, need to prepare for that so that our children have economic opportunities that generations ago had.”