Recently, a reporter from a major New York City newspaper contacted me. She wanted some comments for an article she is writing. New York media has a huge market with an international reach and being contacted by this newspaper isn’t a “common” thing for me. I decided I would use the opportunity to ask the reporter a lot of questions. At the top of my list was whether she or her colleagues would be reporting on the Peoples Climate Movement, Washington, DC march on April 29th. Her first response was: “Well, there are a lot of marches these days, we can’t cover them all…..”
There ARE so many marches these days, marches for jobs, for tax reform, for healthcare, for immigrant rights, for women’s rights, for science and more – all of these marches are demanding and standing up for the truth; a rarified commodity it…. On April 29th, in Washington DC and around the country we will be marching to demand climate action, something that will determine our success over all the other critical issues of the day. If we aren’t successful in slowing the urgency of the climate crisis, everything else fails, and falls by the wayside.
Think for a moment about how amazing, important and incredible it is, that in the United States we are free to march, to express our opinions and to have our voices heard, even when they don’t necessarily agree with the opinions of those in charge. We need to be on guard, as these rights to express our views and to protest, are in fact being threatened in many states across the country, but that discussion is for another time.I want to share with you #WhyIMarch, my personal call to action, and why I do have climate hope. I will be in the streets of New York City for Earth Day to March for Science. On April 29th I will be in Washington DC helping to “surround the White House” at the Peoples Climate Movement. Does it matter? I get asked this all the time. Sometimes, I too question this. But that’s when I’m tired, frustrated or disappointed.
From experience, I can tell you that being in the streets of your city, your town, your campus or your neighborhood, with others who feel strongly about a cause – like you do – is incredibly empowering. It is a privilege and right we must protect at all costs. Does the world change direction because 400,000 people march for the climate in the streets of New York City, or because millions of pink “pussy hats” take over the streets and cities of the United States? I do believe it does. I believe the world is watching, and while we may not see changes the next day, or the day after that, each march and every step of resistance fortifies and builds up resolve; for those marching and those watching.
We are at crossroads in our history. As Rachel Carson said: “We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost’s familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less traveled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.”Why I march: For my children, their future and their now.
My personal call to action: Tell the truth, actions speak louder than words, don’t be afraid.
Why I have climate hope: Looking into my children’s eyes, hope and a bright future is what I see shining back at me. But, I know it won’t happen unless we all stay wide awake and take action – each of us to our thresholds and beyond.
I hope to meet and greet you in the streets these next few days, weeks, months and years. Reach out to me, let me know why you march. Our struggle for climate justice and climate action is a struggle that will be with us for all our lives, so we need to pace ourselves. But, that being said, the crisis is urgent and it is now. What we do today does and will impact the depth of the crisis our children will have to deal with. So we must speak out, act out and NOT be afraid.
Happy Earth Day, Earth Week, Earth Month and Earth Year.
With thanks and gratitude,