Sunday, September 21, 2014

People's Climate March Occupies New York City Streets.

Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez,
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman,
& State Senator Liz Kruger at Sunday's
People's Climate March.
Photo Credit: Office of the AG
Today's multinational People's Climate March was, by all accounts, a raging success. Well attended by both state and local legislators, the crowd was estimated at roughly 400,000. Spurred on by the environmental/climate change organizing nonprofit 350.org, anticipatory signage had been widely visible for weeks in advance in subway cars, on bust stops, and the only place where one of the stylized displays likely belonged but never made it was onto one of the stories tall jumbo screens in Times Square, right along the parade path.

What is uniquely interesting regarding this year's march is the fact that big business, in stark contrast to previous years, seems to be getting directly on board the bandwagon. Indeed, they have funded some of their own weighty brass instruments playing in all their oom-pa-pa glory directly in the face of every single climate science denier - legislative, religious, think tank, or Koch Associate.

Multilingual signage from
The People's Climate March.
Copyright 350.org 2014 
The collective of Keurig, Coca-Cola, and Heinz (along with others) respectively released major statements this year indicating in no uncertain terms that climate change threatens their respective bottom lines. Price Waterhouse Coopers, LLP - the globally known accounting firm - in an historic move released the estimate in its 'Low Carbon Economy Index' report that we are 20 years away from total system collapse. Not to be solely the harbingers of the current power structure's paradigmatic, perfunctory passage into the past, they also laid out clear pathways to a sustainable energy future. All possibilities are entirely functional and market ready now.

It turns out that, in the end, all of the dilettantes and dismissed detectives of the day of our denouement were correct: Viewing the Amazon, the Canadian Boreal Forest, or any other old growth forest as "overburden" to be removed in search of limited resource fuel that is itself a pollutant will inevitably overburden us with unimaginable lasting effects. Not even the entirety of the world's billionaires combined can afford a second planet. Likewise, we ought to have done this conversion long ago.

  The face of the matter is this: we have designs, strategic plans, available funds, space, popular support and acceptance, intellectual capacity, and either readily available or constructible infrastructure to create new world-wide power supplies. What we ought to be doing between now and 2016 is using every tool at our disposal, citizen collectives, micro-grids, vehicle upgrades, alternative fuels, public transportation...to signal market shifts - wholesale - away from fossil fuels. Vote with your dollars and respond with 'the fierce urgency of now.' Even Mayor De Blasio, in a recognition of the imperative of defining survivability in the 21st Century, ordered energy efficiency targets for buildings across the city. We finally arrived at the point where the 'future generations' for whom the resolution of such issues has been deferred is now us. We are the ones for whom we have been waiting, let us not be found wanting.


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