The People’s Climate March held in Washington DC and in cities around the country and the world was believed to have attracted some 300,000 people. While that’s about the population of cities like Pittsburgh or St Paul, it’s a remarkably small number to have marched on an issue that is undoubtedly the most urgent and threatening issue facing our species – and most others as well.
Despite the election of a President determined to hasten our collective journey to the abyss, and a series of climate news – ice melts, severe weather, almost uncontrollable wildfires, coral reef destruction are just a few of the big hits -guaranteed to turn one’s hair white . over the past few years fewer people marched than in 2014 at the climate march in New York, and perhaps only a third the number that marched in the post inaugural Women’s march.
Why is that? Are people discouraged? Or focused on other issues that our President is raising alarms about? Or perhaps it’s simply because the organizers never bothered to suggest what precisely were people marching for?
A look at the official march website for the actions we’d like to see showed nothing on the home page. Only by turning to the History tab did one find a list of issues. And those issues were so generic, so general, so broadband as to be almost useless as a agenda to rally around. The only numerical issue listed was the demand for a $15 minimum wage. Can anyone even suggest why that admirable demand graced the website of climate march website?
I had the opportunity to ask one high level march organizer why no simple and memorable agenda was developed. I had hoped to have an aha moment as he described a clever political strategy that my linear mind hadn’t grasped. Alas he said that there was no real agenda because none could be agreed upon by the very broad based coalition organizing the march.
Is it any wonder why we are collectively making almost no progress on slowing down much less stopping or reversing climate change?