Activism

Do people still care about climate change? #RiseForClimate says YES!

Written by Sven Eberlein

I was wondering if there was enough room left in the “finite pool of worry” for a good turnout for the #RiseForClimate action taking place yesterday, considering all the first responses and triage needed in this current toxic state of regressive politics, not just here in the U.S., but in many other places across the world.

Well, the verdict was pretty resounding: hundreds of thousands of people on 7 continents and in 95 countries showed up to display the growing strength and diversity of the climate movement and demand real climate action from their local leaders, with 900+ actions.

At our march here in San Francisco that was billed as the (unofficial kickoff) to the Global Climate Action Summit slated to take place this week in and around the City by the Bay, not only did over 30,000 people show up, but the atmosphere felt more energized and determined than ever. And I’ve been to a lot of these marches.

What I think is happening and could be seen in the different groups and themes represented is that we’ve moved beyond climate change as an isolated, remote, and abstract issue but one that directly impacts and is impacted by issues that affect people across the world in their daily lives: justice, economy, pollution, ‘natural’ disasters, and a host of other tangible problems that are perpetuated and accelerated by the causes as well as the effects of climate change.

Rather than further analyze what’s happening (I’ve been having a hard time with words since you know WhoZeeWhat started squatting in the people’s house) I’ll just share some impressions from the march. Instead of marching the whole way as we’ve doing for all the protests since November 2016 (Defend Democracy, Women’s March x 2, No Ban No Wall, Native Nations Rise, Tax March, Science March, No Hate SF, Families Belong Together, plus Resist on Ocean Beach, EPA Funeral, Youth v Gov, Twitter protest, National Walkout Day and prolly a few more), my demo buddies and I decided to station ourselves at 5th and Market to document the movement from beginning to end.

From the opening groups let by various American Indian tribes to the final climate parachute it took 45 minutes and there really weren’t many open spaces. Now that’s a lot of people to pass by. At the end we hopped on the parachute team and helped bring in the tail end to Civic Center, where the march culminated in a massive and spectacular mosaic of people-powered mural art. I left feeling that there’s not only a blue wave coming, but a green one.

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About the author

Sven Eberlein

6 Comments

    • Thanks Wim. I think the support for climate action runs very deep and wide. This was just one day and one action but we all need to keep doing what we can in our own ways to bring about the sea change we need.

  • The photos do the talking! I second Wim’s sentiment.

    I want to share with you an eye-opening, dissertation that brought America’s current unrest right to the heart of the matter. I am one of those people who prefer to watch boring congressional action instead of relying upon the news snippets. As a result, I watched (too many) hours of the Brett Kavanaugh (supreme court nominee) confirmation hearings. Gratefully, I walked away with the benefit of hearing Senator Ben Sasse of Nevada give a civics lesson every American should heed.

    Sasse on Kavanaugh Hearing: “We Can And We Should Do Better Than This”
    https://youtu.be/IlAHS6pT5A4

    The gist of why I am sharing this starts at about four minutes.

    Sasse is a Nebraska farmer. I would expect him to care for the land. However, the League of Conservation voters scores him a zero. He has voted negatively on every environmental piece of legislation. Yet, I wonder how he would vote if he was considering strong legislation. Sasse gave the protestors at this hearing great respect. He even called out their concerns verbatim at one point. In short, he listened and heard.

    “The people are cut out of the process,” said Sasse. Thank you for reminding us that we REFUSE to be cut out. Let us demand that our legislators to their jobs!

    • Thanks for sharing that video, Ruth. I do think we need everyone on board in this fight, or at least as many as possible, if we are to get through this unprecedented challenge. However, with Republicans these days, I prefer to look at how they vote rather than what they say. He has a great opportunity to walk his talk by rejecting the nomination of Kavanaugh, whose record as a hyper partisan political operative in the white house and then his voting record as a federal judge are about as hostile to environmental progress as can be. And that’s not mention all the other issues where he falls on the wrong side of history, representing a small, regressive minority of Americans. If Sasse votes to confirm Kavanaugh, his words won’t do much to inspire me.

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