People’s Climate March

pcm-march-logo-badgeNew York City this week and next is the center of the Climate Activist universe.  I define activism broadly:  it means not only being in the streets and expressing discontent with the pace of change toward decarbonizing and denuclearizing our energy economies to save the climate system, but also doing the hard work of researching, litigating, legislating, organizing, writing, speaking, making movies, teaching, farming, financing, designing, planning, building, regulating, and working, day after day, to create the newer world that we need.  I celebrate everybody and all the energy and focus and commitment brought over the past 50 years of the modern environmental movement that has brought us forward.  The first environmental journalist, Phil Shabecoff, wrote a great book, A Fierce Green Fire, about the movement.  (They made a documentary last year too.)

The good folks at NYU’s Earth Matters and NYU Divest have been having a number of events around the big march on Sunday.  I went to one last night to hear Bill McKibben speak.  I revere Bill for his writing, his speaking, his organizing.  He was very kind to give my book a great endorsement.  But he irked me a bit last night calling environmentalism a “niche movement.”  I’ve been around it for 45 years, folks, and I can tell you that we have moved mountains!  I’ve written about it, I’ve taught it, I’ve worked in government and I’ve done my fair share of activism and so I know what I’m saying here.  I think Bill maybe knows too, but denigrating the environmental movement because we haven’t yet solved the climate crisis to his satisfaction is not what I’d call helpful.

Moving on, the PCM itself and the many events surrounding it are all a great way to learn about the issues and to make connections to build the movement and to have some fun.  The PCM is geared to make some key people listen.  Many world leaders are gathering at the UN next week for the Secretary-General’s Climate Summit.  The thinking is that the summit will further galvanize important world powers for the international negotiations on a new climate treaty.  The negotiations, we all hope, will culminate, successfully, in Paris next year.  Beyond the PCM-connected events, there will be many more as part of Climate Week NY°C.  I’m looking forward to going to and taking part in events connected to both the PCM and Climate Week.

It’s a big movement.  Maybe see you Sunday at the People’s Climate March.  In the meantime, here’s a great little video from the UN.

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2 thoughts on “People’s Climate March

  1. This should be our first step in the Climate March!

    “As environmental science has advanced, it has become apparent that the human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future: deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities, and the spread of disease.” Worldwatch Institute, “Is Meat Sustainable?”

    “If every American skipped one meal of chicken per week and substituted vegetables and grains… the carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking more than half a million cars off of U.S. roads.” Environmental Defense Fund

    “A 1% reduction in world-wide meat intake has the same benefit as a three trillion-dollar investment in solar energy.” ~ Chris Mentzel, CEO of Clean Energy

    There is one single industry destroying the planet more than any other. But no one wants to talk about it…

    Step by Step Guide: How to Transition to a Vegan Diet

    • JC – I couldn’t agree more. My book has an extensive discussion of the value of reducing meat consumption, I’ve written about this before at my old blog, and I did a presentation on the subject last fall at a Midwestern college, and I’m also, not incidentally, finishing up a book proposal at the moment. As Jonathan Foer said in Eating Animals, you’re not really an environmentalist if you’re not a vegetarian. Keep spreading the word. It’s a vital message.

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