My inbox is full of reminders that this Friday, September 15, 2023, is the Global Climate Strike; marches and demonstrations are happening everywhere (here in Vancouver, starting 1PM Pacific at City Hall). But I’m not going. I’m too angry, angry enough to be stupid.
We’ve been marching and demonstrating and petitioning and getting arrested for decades and yet greenhouse gas emissions are not going down. Forests are burning, cities are sinking. This last summer, full of the hottest-days-on-record, will be one of the coolest that today’s children will ever experience. The deaths have started.
The way forward starts with something like The Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, which has received enthusiastic waves from Pacific nations, the European Union, and the state of California, and so far has had no effect.
You can yell all you want but nobody with any power is listening. People may cheer some of the better planks in the Biden Inflation Reduction Act, but everywhere I look, governments are still robotically approving every fossil-fuel extraction project that comes across their desk.
In Canada, our national police force has been enhanced with an attack-dog division specifically for busting up climate-justice activism.
Here’s the thing: That march is going to downtown Vancouver, infested with big glassy glossy storefronts for all the banks and “energy” companies. The Canadian banking sector’s annual profits are in excess of a thousand dollars per citizen of Canada per year, and includes some of the largest financiers of fossil-fuel extraction operations on the planet. I am so emotionally bent out of shape I might do something really stupid in that environment.
Maybe, millions of people marching all over the world this week will make a difference this time. I really hope so.
I sign the right petitions and donate money and am working on a publishing project (will blog soon). I would really like to find something else useful to do that would move the needle. I want it to be non-violent. Eventually, without effective action to stop the burning and drowning, the violence will start. I won’t help start it. But just now, I have to stay away from situations where it could happen.