17 photos of people who know just how high the stakes of climate change are.

While world leaders were traveling to Paris to attempt to finally agree on what to do about climate change, people all over the world got together to hold their feet to the fire.

The ostensible goal of the COP21 conference in France is to produce a legally binding agreement that will help reduce emissions and slow down global warming. But climate change is already here, and the usual conference scenario — lots of important people talking a lot while getting little done — ain't gonna cut it anymore.

That's why this weekend, hundreds of thousands of people around the world gathered to send a message to their leaders:


Less talking, more doing.

1. Bogota, Colombia

A protestor holds up a heart-shaped sign that asks world leaders, "Are you ready for extinction?"

Photo by Guillermo Legaria/Getty Images.

Hopefully, she's exaggerating for rhetorical effect.

Hopefully.

2. New York

Everyone's favorite Science Guy, the one and only Bill Nye joined the crowd.

Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill Nye the Science Guy. Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images.

"The climate is changing. It's our fault, and we have to get to work on this now," Nye reportedly said at the rally, according to the New York Daily News. When even the best-case scenarios include scary outcomes like more flooding, bigger and badder droughts, and massive crop die-offs, it's hard to disagree with the (science) guy.

3. Sao Paulo

Photo by Nelson Almeida/Getty Images.

Hulk would very much like to smash climate change.

If only, Hulk. If only.

4. Oslo, Norway

Though Norwegian glaciers bravely held on until the late-1990s, they're now retreating just like in most of the rest of the world.


Photo by AFP/Getty Images.

Unless a comprehensive, binding climate agreement with teeth gets signed in Paris this year, the glaciers of Norway will likely be forever remembered as having peaked right around the time Smash Mouth did.

5. Santiago, Chile

Her sign reads: "People in charge: This is my Earth, and it's also yours and your children's. Don't destroy it."

Photo by Martin Bernetti/Getty Images.

Good — if dire — advice, Chile.

6. London

At the London rally, Welsh singer Charlotte Church performed a new song she wrote about confronting Earth's impending climate crisis.

Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images.

The song is still untitled as of publication, but might I suggest, "Wake Up and Do Something, You Dolts?"

Has a nice ring to it, is all I'm saying.

7. Amsterdam

A Dutch man with a killer beard carries a sign that reads, "This road is a dead end" — and not only because it appears he's about to smash into a giant scale replica of the Eiffel Tower.

Photo by Bart Maat/Getty Images.

He's referring to this road. The one the Earth appears to be on. Turn around much, Team Paris?

8. Frankfurt, Germany

Frank Rumpenhorst/Getty Images.

Should the worst-case climate scenario come to pass (a temperature increase in excess of two degrees Celsius, a world-altering mega-sea level rise of 20 feet or more, and millions of displaced people around the globe) figuring out how to fit bugs with World War I-era gas masks will be the least of our problems.

9. Mexico City

Photo by Yuri Cortez/Getty Images.

This mask: precisely 150% less scary than the effects of a sea level rise that conforms to even the most conservative estimates.

10. Nantes, France

A few days before the climate talks were set to begin, folks all across France got together to protest a ban on large gatherings that was imposed after the Paris attacks.

Photo by Jean-Sebastien Evrard/Getty Images.

Though some of the marches devolved into clashes with police, this one manifested as a nice, chill circle.

11. Johannesburg

In South Africa, thousands marched to draw attention to the connection between climate change and worsening poverty.

Photo by Mujahid Safodien/Getty Images.

According to a World Bank report, rising global temperatures could help lead 100 million more people down the path to extreme poverty, unable to afford even the most basic spooky skeleton mask.

12. Dhaka, Bangladesh

Photo by Munir Uz Zaman/Getty Images.

World leaders planning to bulls*** their way through the climate meetings should think twice before messing with these women or their brighly-colored flowers.

13. Montevideo, Uruguay

As a result of climate change, Uruguay has been contending with increased rainfall and more intense storms.

Photo by Miguel Rojo/Getty Images.

Thankfully, these protestors chose one of the decreasing number of bright, near-perfect sunny days to send a message over to France.

14. Ottawa, Ontario

Photo by Patrick Doyle/Getty Images.

A protester on Canada's Parliament Hill, modeling what many in coastal cities around the world will be forced to wear just to say afloat if too many glaciers melt.

15. Vienna

Photo by Joe Klamar/Getty Images.

According to a 2014 study published in Nature Climate Change, climate change could reduce the Antarctic penguin population by up to one-fifth, rendering it no longer possible to make it through "March of the Penguins," without bursting into tears for the wrong reasons instead of the right reasons.

16. Madrid

Photo by Gerard Julien/Getty Images.

Estimates released by the UN in 2011 clearly demonstrate that, if we really wanted to, we could be using renewable energy to meet 80% of the world's power needs within the next 40 years — and that still wouldn't be enough for these Spanish marchers demanding 100% renewable energy with their delightful yellow sun placards.

17. Geneva

"Hey world leaders, what's good?" — this polar bear. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/Getty Images.

If arctic sea ice continues to melt at current rates — up to 9% per decade — polar bears may be forced to move to major cities around the globe and march defiantly in parades. Which is why the world needs to act — now.

'Cause let's be honest, leaving aside all the grave consequences drastic climate change might wreak, that would be super weird.

True

Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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