The Widdershins

Activist Monday: Climate Change Activists Storm The Big Apple

Posted on: September 22, 2014

CREDIT: Timothy A. Clary via Getty Images, 9-21-14

Good Monday, Widdershins! We had quite an exciting weekend in Noo Yawk, as over 300,000 people took to the streets to highlight the most important issue of our modern world: Climate Change.

Early reports from event organizers are hailing the turnout as the largest climate march in history, far bigger than the Forward on Climate rally held in Washington, D.C., last year. High-profile environmentalists including Bill McKibben, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jane Goodall and Vandana Shiva marched alongside policymakers such as Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and former Vice President Al Gore were also there, and more than 550 buses carried in people from around the country.

The rally comes at an opportune time as 120 world leaders, including President Barack Obama, are expected to convene Tuesday at the United Nations in New York to discuss ways to tackle the growing threat of carbon pollution.

The White House has pledged to “show the world that the U.S. is leading on climate change, and to call on other leaders to step up to the plate,” John Podesta, who serves as a counselor to the president, told reporters on Thursday. However, a recent study found that the world spewed more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere last year than ever before, primarily driven by China, India and the United States. And the top leaders of China and India announced earlier this month that they won’t be attending Tuesday’s summit.

We talk about so many things here at TW, but I think we all understand, at some level, that climate change outweighs them all. After all, if our Mother Earth becomes unlivable, then we will be forced to concentrate on how to survive, not being able to focus on things like equal rights for women and LGBT, an end to war, or any other cause dear to our hearts.

I think one of the many disappointments supporters of Barack Obama have suffered, if they are honest with themselves, is his complete lack of commitment to weaning the United States off of its dependence on fossil fuels, natural gas and minerals. Instead, he adopted the Republican meme of “ending our dependence on foreign oil.” Clearly this course of action has only accelerated global warming, although it was first heralded as somehow different from his predecessor’s.

The initiatives signalled the new president’s first attempt to honour campaign promises to join the international fight against global warming and reduce US dependence on energy sources from restive regions of the world.

Mr Obama asked the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider whether to grant California a waiver to regulate car exhaust emissions blamed for contributing to global warming.

Former President George W Bush’s administration had blocked efforts by California and a dozen other states to impose their own limits on carbon dioxide gas emissions.

Mr Obama also ordered the transportation department to produce guidelines to ensure US vehicles reach average fuel efficiency of 35 miles per gallon by 2020.

Ugh! I read this, and am disgusted all over again by how incredibly corrupt and venal Obama is. Remember that when he put this policy forward, both the House and Senate were controlled by Democrats, AND he had an 80% approval rating. He could have done anything he wanted, and anyone of any moral character would have taken this opportunity to become the President who started turning climate change around. Instead, apparently, what he wanted was to give a big wet kiss to his oil and gas buddies. Mwah, boys! Go buy yourselves a Caribbean island! We’ll just turn up the AC when we start to sweat!

At this point Obama and Kerry are busily distracting us with more war, more terrah terrah terrah. But in reality, wars and terrorism are closely linked to our dependence on oil, and the eeeeevil foreign policies we have executed for the past 60-odd years because of it. Had Obama even had the courage of Jimmy Carter, who put solar panels on the White House and had a well-thought-out plan to switch us to alternative energy (click the link to read his speech in 1977 – you will be amazed), we could have been so much farther along by now, almost six years after his inauguration. Instead, we are still marching in the streets while Obama ponders the wisdom of the Keystone XL Pipeline. STILL!

I certainly hope that by the time 2017 rolls around, we will be inaugurating a President who truly understands the urgency of this issue, and puts it at the center of U.S. environmental policy. If this happens, it will, in great part, due to the men and women who have put their feet on the street, time and again, to make sure we don’t lose sight of this goal. I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

This is an open thread.


13 Responses to "Activist Monday: Climate Change Activists Storm The Big Apple"

The network coverage of this event was underwhelming.

Well, there is some good news on the environment front. We are making progress on the ozone issue.

Oh boy:

Good for Mary Landrieu on this one. Indeed: Get a life!

Clearly they do not understand Louisiana culture/

@5: Really! And I bet after that game that young man was hitting that keg a lot harder. 😉

Oh blessed be the autumnal equinox:

Temp: 64
Humidity: 59
Dewpoint: 50


Why don’t they leave that poor polar bear alone!!!

Stewart & Colbert talked about the protest. It looked like fun.

annie: if you look at the picture closely it kind of looks like either Superman or Spiderman’s legs, someone sitting on the ground. I guess they are waiting for the paddy wagon to come haul them to jail perhaps?

Fredster, yeah, I saw that. It looks like Hollywood, any day of the week.

I live in Hollywood, and I have never seen anyone in a polar bear suit. Maybe a flamingo or two.

Re network coverage…no surprise there. Remember how the Iraq war protests were .minimized?

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