Environmentalists mark Earth Day by holding climate rally in DC

On the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, US environmentalists joined artists and politicians in hopes of swaying climate change legislation and mobilizing public opinion over the threats faced by the environment.

As the US Senate, the US government and the Obama administration see all the international efforts and people involved, we are hoping that would sway them as well,” said Ahmed Khan, an International Program Director.

The rally also featured an education and interaction section about the latest green technologies and incentives

What you see here today – we have representatives from the national solar boards, from the national wind and energy producers,” Khan explained. “And what they're doing is educating the public about wind energy sustainable resources.”

We have been building hybrids for the last six years,” said Jas Dillon, Ford engineer.

The Home Tree Initiative is one of many projects promoted at the climate rally. Its intention is to highlight the international deforestation crisis worldwide and to encourage participants to plant trees.

20th Century Fox was involved in the rally as well, with the blockbuster hit Avatar featured in the day-long event. Its director, James Cameron, was not only a guest speaker, but also the driving force behind a global tree-planting campaign to give life to 1 million trees in 15 countries by the end of the year.

Shame on you big business,” exclaimed one of the rally’s participants. “I am disappointed for many years about the way you treated the environment.”

The climate rally is part of a broader push to pass legislation that would overhaul US environmental policies. However, there were mixed thoughts at the rally on whether Congress could indeed deliver. When asked whether they thought such legislation would be effective, many hesitated to answer in the affirmative.