For a brief moment yesterday, Times Square stood still. Even the world's most famous cluster of dazzling super signs, towering over Broadway, could not compete with the simple message that on this day, we all stand for elephants.
Its potential impact of this announcement could be critical to the fate of Africa's declining elephant populations, which have been targeted by ruthless criminal syndicates across sub-Saharan Africa to supply the international demand for ivory.
Californians are proud to have a bear adorn their state flag, but by helping stop the illegal trade in ivory through the enactment of this ban, the Golden State would be supporting a global effort to save another symbol of strength and determination.
Ivory and the trinkets made from it are in high demand globally. So much so that despite restrictions on illegal poaching and trafficking, elephants are still being killed at a tremendous rate of 35,000 per year.
As a wave of poaching by organized criminal syndicates has pushed the number of elephants killed in Africa today to a rate of some 35,000 per year, or 96 each day, many in New York and across the United States have been coming to the conclusion that something needs to be done.
Having survived the harsh conditions of the desert and peacefully and coexisting alongside the local populations for centuries, the current political instability and its consequences is yet another stress to this elephant population, already at the limit of its endurance.
Since the economic ascent of China does not look likely to falter anytime soon, there is only one way to save elephants from extinction by poaching: a complete and permanent global ban on the trade of ivory.