On March 24, 2018 I marched in Newark, NJ to raise attention to gun violence and the need for sensible gun laws. Many of our Climate Mamas and Papas marched in their cities and in our nation’s capital. On April 14th, people across the country will once again march for science; for reality, for our future and now.
There ARE so many marches these days, marches for jobs, teachers, equal pay, 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; sadly a rarified commodity these days.
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. 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, because millions of pink “pussy hats” take over the streets and cities of the United States or because high school students are taking the stage, front and center demanding we listen to their concerns and stand up for their rights? 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,