Being a Part of Something Big by Gia Machlin, September 17 2014, 0 Comments

I was born in the 60s and often think about how crazy that decade was. President Kennedy was killed when my mom was pregnant with me, our good family friend Andrew Goodman was killed in Mississippi right around my birth, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy were both killed when I was 4. It must have seemed like the world was falling apart. Yet the world changed in significant ways that decade and many people gained rights and freedoms that allowed them to achieve what they only dreamed of at that time. On Sunday, my family, colleagues, and coworkers will be part of something HUGE – something so big that it is reminiscent of the groundswell that was the Civil Rights movement: the People’s Climate March here in NYC.

When you think about it, our rights to a clean and sustainable world are being denied by a powerful establishment that is fighting for the status quo with their billions of dollars. On Saturday, we are taking to the streets and demanding our rights back! Climate Change affects us all in different ways. If you live in a coastal area, you’ve no doubt been touched by flooding from rising see levels. Our friends on the West Coast are experiencing unprecedented drought. In Nebraska, dirty tar sands from Keystone XL could toxify the prairies, while in Virginia, mountaintop removal mining is contaminating watersheds. In Asia and Africa, serious conflicts could occur due to the rising number of climate refugees. Much less serious, but closer to home and more relatable by many of us, we are losing our snow and beloved winter recreation activities. I could go on and on.

Indeed, it feels like the world is falling apart, just like it did in the 60s. And just like we did before, we are taking to the streets to demand action. You may think comparing a global environmental crisis to the lack of civil rights in the USA is peculiar, and I don’t disagree, but the upshot is the activism worked. We now have a president who, back when I was born, did not even have federally protected equal voting rights. Let’s make ourselves heard loud and clear, so that 50 years from now, we have a world that is better than it is now, where renewable energy is the norm, where the cost of environmental externalities must be accounted for by every government, and where we will say, I can’t believe they still drilled for oil when I was born.

Join us Sunday at the People’s Climate March.