Sunday, September 14, 2014

People's Climate March Update

"If you don't fight for what you want, then you deserve what you get." - Disruption

The People's Climate March is in one week.  The 50-minute film, Disruption, is a motivating force to inspire people to hit the streets.  If you can't make NYC on Sunday (busses leaving from Toronto might be full), then there are small events in most cities (info for Waterloo here and Toronto here).  Klein's book comes out on Tuesday - just in time for people to read it on that 12 hour bus ride!

Here's the movie, with my notes from the movie below - an amalgamation of the many ideas presented:

"DISRUPTION" - a film by KELLY NYKS & JARED P. SCOTT from Watch Disruption on Vimeo.

"The biggest successes happen when people leave their homes and get out into the streets."

Climate change isn't a new science - we've known about it for over 150 years.
In 1849 John Tyndall was the first to notice that we're adding too much carbon dioxide to the atmosphere as we evaporate coal mines into the air.  Then in 1958, Charles Keeling found a way to measure the CO2.  Way back in 1988 James Hansen, of NASA, clarified that climate change is happening right now, and it spurred on an act to decrease fossil fuel use, the creation of the IPCC, and widespread media interest, but then it all fell apart.  The summit in 1992 provoked only non-binding agreements, and Kyoto wasn't ratified and then was later abandoned by the U.S.  In 2009, at the Copenhagen 15 summit, there were riots as people came to the realization that no leader is coming to save us.

It's beyond clear at this point that releasing so much CO2 into the atmosphere is affecting weather systems worldwide.  We need to leave fossil fuels in the ground if we hope to survive, but the fossil fuel lobby has access to the political class.  It's a monopoly controlled by big carbon polluters.  Half the pentagon's budget is set aside to help oil producers.

There's an inequity issue here as well as the poorest areas suffer first and the worst.  The idea of "sacrifice zones" - that there are places we don't think matter as much - is inherently racist.

If we hit a feedback loop - a tipping point where greenhouse gases will dramatically increase exponentially - then things could be beyond hope.  There are three of concern: If the arctic ice caps melt, they'll no longer mirror back sunlight which will cause more melting and even less reflection.  If they melt, they'll also release methane which will increase the greenhouse gas effect, which will cause more melting.  And most frightening, ocean acidification (from excessive CO2 in the water) could kill the plankton which creates about four times as much oxygen for the world as rain forests.  If we hit a feedback loop, we're screwed.

Why don't we act?  We have a finite pool of worry, and tend to respond first to things that feel urgent.  We need the issue to become emotional to us instead of just factual in order to be provoked into action.    Instead of trying to scrape the bottom of the barrel (fracking), we need to show restraint.  Our reality is grave, but we can avoid slipping into depression about it by working to change the system.  A march is a tool to deepen the movement.

And my thoughts on this:

We need a march along the lines of the civil rights movement in which there were many small but public acts that moved people to march, and in which a few strong speakers rose up with a plan of action.  The OWS movement died out without a strong message of action carrying on beyond the days of protest.  And it's not enough to just keep fossil fuels in the ground, we need to manage resources much more stringently (trees and fish especially), protect large areas of wilderness to promote biodiversity and continue to re-wild parcels of land, keep toxins away from water sources, regulate toxins using the precautionary principle, eat less meat, prevent further population growth, and convince the world to buy fewer luxury items (tons of clothes, cars, bigger homes, tech toys....).  It's not impossible to do, but it will change our lifestyles.  We need strong voices to carry this message everywhere, clearly and loudly and continuously until the political will is found to actually make the changes necessary.


Anonymous said...

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

If Al Gore can do it, you can too! I did it 26 years ago and consider it one of the best decisions of my life.
Step by Step Guide: How to Transition to a Vegan Diet

Marie Snyder said...

Even if people can just cut their meat consumption in half and avoid factory farm produce, it would have a huge effect - both on the world and their own bodies.