Front-line communities, at least, were at the head of the big 2014 climate march, and they were the ones who called for the next day’s sit-in at Wall Street. The climate movement is learning. The crisis it faces is not singular, but plural—not a single story everyone should be paying attention to, but a collection of stories that we all can be gathering, hearing, honoring and living out. Until then, the movement will remain small and boutique because it won’t realize how large it really is.
By Nathan Schneider - P2P Foundation
You’ve heard it before: Things have to get worse before they can get better. It’s a doctrine many of us learn first from our parents, as children, when they’re trying to teach us the unintuitive notion of delayed gratification. Tighten your belt, build character, learn your lesson the hard way. You’ll be rewarded in the end.
Then you grow up, and you read the newspaper. You live through its contents. You’re told to learn the same lesson again, but this time they call it economics, or creative disruption, or homeland security. This is the way of things; this is reality. “Things have to get worse before they can get better,” the politicians say.
To scratch this kind of talk is to reveal an old heresy beneath the veneer of common sense. And the need has never been more urgent to refute it.
When I and several hundred thousand people demanding action on climate change marched through Midtown Manhattan on September 21, 2014, apocalypse was on our lips. We were marching to save the world—to change everything, as the propaganda beckoning us to participate had said. Wave after wave of marchers paraded through the city, carrying hand-painted banners and giant puppets, hopeful and joyful despite the likelihood of more political inaction to follow.
After a few hours in the streets, we could hear each other’s tired voices wondering what it might take for real change to happen. Things would have to get worse in certain places—drier droughts in California, maybe, or more catastrophic hurricanes in New York City. A few thousand of us, dressed in blue, made that point visible the next day by clogging up traffic near Wall Street, likening ourselves to a flood of rising seawater. READ MORE