Do you know who gets hope?
Al Gore does. Al Gore gets hope.
That’s right people, our favorite Eco-VP understands that the climate change movement, which is the environmental movement, needs a whopping dose of hope over doom.
On September 16-17 the Climate Reality Project hosts 24 Hours of Reality: 24 Reasons for Hope.
The 24 hours of streaming content brings us, in the words of the EcoChix, inspiring stories of sustainability in action to give us hope for humanity.
The group invites you to host a viewing party, so I am.
You can show any of the streaming segments about how business and government and individuals are, right this instant, creating the green economy. Then engage in a meaningful, hopeful conversation. The sky isn't falling, it's transforming and it's awesome.
To add a heaping dose of people-powered hopefulness to this bounty of Gore-generated hope this month, the #PeoplesClimate March on September 21st will be the “largest climate march in history,” which means the largest gathering of people advocating for a sustainable society.
The Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network, Environmental Defense Fund and over 1,000 organizations are mobilizing their own supporters to attend this March.
That’s right. Environmental organizations are working together on a singular initiative with a unified message. If that doesn’t prove that radical transformation is on the way, I don’t know what does.
I am going to tell you a secret though, about the March. I’m worried. Worried it might fall back on the eco-doom lexicon I dread. (Read the "We Are Doing It post below.)
I fear that the message of the March is going to sound like a whiney condemnation of the oil and coal industry, which is a tired and ineffective narrative. It’s a true narrative, their profit is at the cost of our people and our earth. But the other guys just say that they aren't sure about all this "scientific evidence" about warming and that regulating oil and coal means hurting America and our economy...then wave the flag and BAM! They have won the election and transformation slows.
I am worried that these stories of hope that Mr. Gore is hustling are not getting the attention they deserve. Why aren’t they part of the March? Why the disconnect of these two impressive initiatives?
Part of this worry comes from watching Disruption, the film that the People’s Climate March is promoting to energize their base.
Disruption is “an unflinching look at the devastating consequences of our inaction in the face of climate change” and is pretty much what you would think an eco-film about climate change would be. Hard core, terrifying facts: artic ice cap melt, CO2 on steroids, ocean acidification, catastrophic changes.
The film also takes a crack at the reason why we have failed to take action on the issue. We have more pressing needs, climate change is in the future, the issue is overwhelming, we tune out.
One speaker talks about two interlocked processing systems humans have: the analytical and the intuitive. The intuitive or emotional system is what moves us into action. The speaker asks, as if this is really a question, “how do we get something so based in science to move over into the side that makes us feel something?”
At about 40 minutes into the film an EcoChix finally comes on screen. Naomi Klien says that what we need is a vision for the post-carbon economy that is inspiring and exciting. That’s right. That is how you move people to action. EcoChix know that.
At the end, with stirring music building to a crescendo, I was teary-eyed as they asked “are you ready to march?” Totally. I am totally ready. I love to march. My social action began at an ati-aparthied march in the early 90's as a high school student. Now I am ready to be part of the mass of people standing in solidarity to “take the wheel of history” and demand action towards a green economy. Because as the film states, major social change only happens when people take to the streets.
But I can’t get to New York, so what else can I do? I scoured the website. Nothing.
I have to go to NYC to be a part of this momentous occasion? Really? No virtual March? Where is my iMarch app so that I can be part of the March wherever I am? Where is my local March? I could be missing this, but I looked. What I found was an opportunity to join a discussion in Pasadena about “How to Talk to Climate Deniers,” which inspired my next blog post: An open letter to climate deniers.
I want an event in Grand Park in LA, sponsored by the city and promoting Garcetti’s new increase in minimum wage campaign, because equity is part of the sustainability mantra and labor and business are critical to “climate” success.
And let’s talk about that word for a minute: “climate.” People’sClimate March. We are people marching for the climate? Hmmm. How…inspiring?
Of course I sit here in my ivory blogosphere and can’t come up with anything better.
What do we want?
Radical transformation of our economic structure to support a sustainable society.
When do we want it?
Yeah, that’s not going to fly.
The point is that the reason we are marching (yes, we…I am going to just establish myself as part of this March) is to show that there is a large and growing and diverse and active and vocal and voting force that is expecting and demanding our leaders to reject policies that continue to create climate-changing pollutants and support instead those policies that require and incentivize a transformation away from fossil fuels.
#iMARCH for a NEW economy.
See how the “new” is in green? Clever, right?
#iMarch for our SPECIES
#iMarch for SURVIVAL
#iMarch for TRANSFORMATION
#iMarch for an EVOLUTION in thought
#iMarch for the next CHAPTER in our TIMELINE
There are a million reasons to march but they aren't really for the climate, right? How about we ask the masses who are marching, virtually or in NYC, why they march. Turn the answers into social media buttons, just like the transgender people did. (I saw this great asset they did on Facebook but can't find it now.) Turning tweets into campaign slogans; the new brilliant social-change concept that you heard here first.
The #iMarch tweets become a living manifesto, like that list of things the guy nailed to the door of the church that launched a new religion.
Give out #iMarch buttons for a $2 donation at Starbucks. Write your #iMarch statement on a recycled-content paper that is posted up for all to see. Money goes to organizing and financing Marches across the country, letting us all take to our streets. Barristas wear #iMarch t-shirts on the 21st and coffee is free when you bring your own cup that day.
This March is a celebration of new ideas that will save, enhance, benefit and transform our society. #iMarch for this celebration, whether I am in New York or not.
In the meantime I will watch Gore’s stories of hope and know that transformation is already happening and the March is another needed push in the right direction of this gigantic, unwieldy, heavy, momentous wheel of history.
Why do you March?
A Bit About Me
I am Tenaya, a communications strategist and public speaker telling stories that connect, inspire...and laugh.