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Monday, February 18, 2013

Wit's End: A Decorous Rally Protests Keystone XL

by Gail Zawacki of Wit's End blog, February 17, 2013

I left the evermore dun and drab landscape around Wit's End for the "biggest climate change rally ever" in Washington, DC, carpooling to today's event with my friends Roger and Susan.  Of course on the way we passed by countless sights like this, dismal scenes of trees in varying states of decay.
But we went for a purpose, so I won't dwell on that now.  Here we are, marching from the Washington Monument to the White House, in a photo courtesy of our kind host who has let us couchsurf at his Georgetown condo -- thanks for a cozy place to stay, and the pictures, Shaw Thacher!
The irrepressibly exuberant Occupier contingent added some raucous and joyous rambunctious anarchy to the otherwise staid restraint that prevailed.
At 30,000 or more, perhaps a real unified movement [readers, that is Gail in the leopard print] has finally been born.  People came from all over the US and Canada carrying signs protesting mountaintop removal, tarsands, and fracking... plus plenty of broader environmental, anti-ecocide sentiments were expressed.
It's interesting that the passion fueling the historic increase in turnout results from disparate localized actions coming together with a common interest.  The initial and prevailing instigation for many of them was a concern for clean water and air being ruined from the pollution deriving from extractive industries -- and only tangentially climate destabilization from CO2 emissions.  Of course, they are inextricably entwined.  Let's hope the leaders of the major sponsors like the Sierra Club, who are the recipients of most of the available funding, take note of that and shift an emphasis away from glamorous insider politicking and towards organizing on the ground...oh, and noting that climate change is inevitably the bastard child of industrial civilization and capitalistic corruption -- a system that requires impossible endless growth and consumption.
Where it goes from here is anyone's guess -- as is whether it is too late to make any fundamental difference in the ultimate outcome.  I think it is somewhat ironic that isn't proposing any policies that could conceivably return atmospheric levels of CO2 to 350 ppm, the stated goal embedded in their own name -- not to mention which, 350 is likely not low enough to avert catastrophe thanks to exponentially amplifying feedbacks already underway.  I won't write anything else tonight though, because my fingers are still frozen!

1 comment:

Dale Lanan said...

The best speech I heard in Denver at the rally was by a preacher who spoke of choosing issues that support Life not Death...
He said the Bible spoke of that choice. He said it didn't say choose some for Life and some for Death.. Barack's all of the above energy plan is the choice not laid out in black and white. We need to make one last grand effort to keep Earth alive. Plain and simple and there is no second chance, no excuse.. No sorrow so great as eternal regret we will have if we fail to act now with clear eyed determination together. We need to Be the Change. We need to keep ice on the Arctic and return Jet stream flow to normal along with taking direct action to stop Methane really fast or it's too late. We deserve the right to try.