Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Green Talk, Green Walk

In New York City, two days ago, an estimated 310,000 people marched, holding up signs and shouting slogans about how much they love the planet. Dubbed the People’s Planet March, if the organizers of the massive (and larger than expected) turnout are to be believed, then it is the largest climate march in history. Some estimates put the marchers at over 400,000. By comparison that’s around twice as many people, depending on who counted the crowds that listened to the great civil rights speech “I have a Dream” Martin Luther King, Jr. gave back in the sixties.

In recent months the New Greens, as they might be called, have been in the news a lot. Specifically because they seemed determined that no matter what he does on the Keystone XL Pipeline, he is going to hear about it. If refuses to allow it the Republicans in Washington are going to kick up a fuss, and his party is already having enough trouble with plenty of other fuss about plenty of other issues this fall. If he lets it pass…there were around 400,000 of them on Sunday, at that was just New York City.
A Climate Summit with many world leaders, with Barak Obama expected to make a showing, begins today. The march was just the warm up. The march itself, according to organizers, was only the largest of over 2,000 such marches happening all around the world.
America does not have a Green Party of any significance, like the United Kingdom, where they hold one out of over five hundred seats, but it does have vocal activists ready to shout out what they feel. One undying theme rang through all the reports, these people are anti-Keystone XL.
Yet, among the marches, the summits, and pictures of Bono, one is reminded of the Hippy Peace Movement of the 1960s. They were growing to unbelievable proportions. They were growing wildly and getting more and more vocal. Then along came Richard Nixon who promised to end to the war in in the far off steamy jungle, and the whole thing ended.
Although not entirely of course, the Green Movement, as it is now emerging is in large part about the pipeline. If that becomes all it is about, than a decision on that could easily trigger the entire thing falling apart.
One is reminded that the hippies were once the new big thing. But we haven’t seen any in a while.
Andrew C. Abbott

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