Wednesday, September 24, 2014

My Big Day at the People's Climate March, Sept. 21, 2014, New York City!

It's a heavy load.

  I've never been big on marches and demonstrations.

I've never had particularly 
good feelings about large groups of people smashed together in the same place.

 Who knows what small catalyst, what tiny insignificant thing it might take to transform a 
well-behaved crowd into a flaming frenzied murderous 

During the 60's, I didn't go to many marches. Just the word "march" - it seemed too militaristic
to me. Weren't we trying to stamp out militaristic behavior? Then why march?
I'm not saying I was right. 
But that's how I felt. 

On the other hand, I did lots of save-the-world stuff, like work for the early food co-ops that introduced organic farming into the zeitgeist, and then doing some work-your-fingers-to-the-bone-while-you-get-another-day-older-and-deeper-in-debt organic farming myself...

(picture by Helen Quinn)

...just so you know that I didn't just sit around on my duff making excuses for not marching.

Actually, I think there's a big element of misanthropy in my makeup.

And it shows the depth of my concern about the state of this very earth that I braved the crush 
of fellow marchers in the subway
Sunday morning
and trekked up to 59th Street to become part of the mashed-together throngs of 
pin-headed bottom feeders 

...of fellow comrades and heroic souls who are, like me, putting their feet
where their mouths are.

Maybe I should have read John Berger's piece, "The Nature of Mass Demonstrations"
 in the Autumn 1968 edition of
before today 
(when I saw it posted as a link on Jerry Saltz's Facebook page, posted by Gary Krimershmoys)
that says:

"The demonstrators interrupt the regular life of the streets they march through or of the open spaces they fill. They ‘cut off these areas, and, not yet having the power to occupy them permanently, they transform them into a temporary stage on which they dramatise the power they still lack."

"The demonstrators’ view of the city surrounding their stage also changes. By demonstrating, they manifest a greater freedom and independence – a greater creativity, even although the product is only symbolic – than they can ever achieve individually or collectively when pursuing their regular lives. In their regular pursuits they only modify circumstances; by demonstrating they symbolically oppose their very existence to circumstances."

"This creativity may be desperate in origin, and the price to be paid for it high, but it temporarily changes their outlook. They become corporately aware that it is they or those whom they represent who have built the city and who maintain it. They see it through different eyes. They see it as their product, confirming their potential instead of reducing it." (End of John Berger quote.)

I think in this case, though, we're talking about the entire earth rather than just the city.

(internet photo taken via drone)

Look, a military presence!

He is keeping his hands off our pussies.
But regarding Mother Earth, all bets are off.

On the other hand, the police are a pretty benign presence at this event,
with their tiny town cars and their helpful answers to where-am-I? and where-are-the-bathrooms? 
type of questions.

What's a little more creepy are the myriad of helicopters overhead.
Although I'm sure they're media related.
Not that there will be that much coverage on the national media.
We walk by the Fox News Building and lo and behold, there's nothing about the
event that's happening right outside their headquarters!
I think we're talking blinders here.

When I tell my mother about attending the Climate March,
 she, who is an avid (I won't say rabid) FOX-er, will say,
"What march? Oh...I think I might have seen something about that..."

Obviously FOX (Where the New Isn't) is busy hysterically obsessing and ranting about Obama rather
than addressing an earth-shaking event with up to 400,000 people happening right
outside their windows.

There's all ages here at the un-covered march of massive numbers of humans!

Old and young...

...and in-between...

People are carrying all kinds of signs,
addressing every kind of issue under the sun...

Some hold their messages high, and some low...

...but all are saying basically this:

Some signs are carefully hand-drawn...

...some more casual...

...and some more subtle.

Some are bigger and fancier...

...and some are not signs at all.

I love the birds.

Groups abound. Above, the League of Women Voters, below,
Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Speaking of social responsibility, we all take a moment to think about those who have
already been affected by climate change.

According to the Global Humanitariam Forum,
the per-year deaths are about equal to the number of people at this march.
Here's a quote from The Guardian:

"Climate change is already responsible for 300,000 deaths a year and is affecting 300m people, according to the first comprehensive study of the human impact of global warming.
It projects that increasingly severe heatwaves, floods, storms and forest fires will be responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths a year by 2030, making it the greatest humanitarian challenge the world faces.
Economic losses due to climate change today amount to more than $125bn a year — more than all the present world aid. The report comes from former UN secretary general Kofi Annan's thinktank, the Global Humanitarian Forum. By 2030, the report says, climate change could cost $600bn a year."

These predictions were written five years ago.
What's happened since then? More fires, more drought, more water problems, more melting
of the glaciers...
Here we are in front of TRUMP Tower.

So what words of wisdom have we gotten from Donald Trump, a man known for his wisdom, 
good taste, and profound sense of himself?
Well, um, the fact that we have cold days in winter means it's all a hoax.

This world made of steel was put up by the Trump-ers.
It takes on a new meaning today.

I imagine that Mr. Trump would disagree with the following:

In reality, most "capitalists"- whether they are cynically and publicly "in denial" or not,
know that climate change is upon us. They're not fools (well, Mr. Trump may be an exception)
they're pragmatists. And many are working the problem, figuring out how to make obscene profits
on global warming. The insurance companies know what's up,
and they're charging more and more if you live on the coastline,
and even refusing to cover some who are most threatened by storms and erosion.

And think of the oil companies looking to drill, baby, drill in the Arctic,
and all the companies salivating over new shipping lanes
that will open up when the ice melts.
There's lots of ways to make money on disaster.
Think of the killing to be made by those who manufacture and sell weapons and guns
when, say, refugees are fleeing the coasts and going inland
and the inlanders trying to protect life and property from the hordes.

On the other hand, it's naive to think that we're going to do away with capitalism.
And we shouldn't.
But we should figure out ways to divert it, get it away from destructive
dirty energy into cleaner alternatives, maybe by, hmmm, legal means?
Global policies?

Taking into account the worth of the earth and its life-sustaining environment,
and maybe human capital and quality of life?
I mean, who is this "shareholder" demigod who holds the reins and is whipping the life out of us?

Money talks, but if we don't get it saying something more than "profit at any expense"
we're up shit creek without a paddle, drowning in the garbage and the toxins.

Below, people take a break at the monument to USS Maine and those who died on it,
when it exploded in Havana Harbor in 1898, an event contributing to the Spanish American war.
Remember that war?

It kind of got eclipsed by all the "big" wars of the twentieth century.
So far the twenty-first century has had lots of little wars.
And according to predictions, climate change will contribute to even 
more destabilized populations and even more wars.
Maybe a "nuclear winter" event will happen and make our global warming fears moot.

Here's a young woman who, according to her strategically placed sign,
wishes to "Save Mother Earth's YONI."
Yoni is a Sanskrit word for womb or vagina,
related to the goddess Shakti or Devi, the Hindu Divine Mother.

She is not showing us her own yoni, however.
That might get her into, um, legal trouble...

Speaking of deities, below walks Dionysus.

On the south side of Central Park along 59th Street
is an Earth Vigil where one can meditate on
the issues at hand...

...and here is another meditator who is doing it for the trees,
and for the animals.
Every so often he lets out a wolf howl
that reverberates over the crowd.

They look like a sixties rock and roll band!

(internet photo)
Like, say, Traffic of "Dear Mr. Fantasy" fame.
Sing us a tune, something to make us all happy...

This Central Park pigeon is not concerned with the future.

The bike-cabbie is concerned with his future, which is not looking bright today.
Too many marchers, not enough riders.

This dude is concerned with his future, in which he will have something worth smoking.

And here is another young man also concerned with a dire future.

Whereas these two seem content to live in the present.

Here's a young woman who knows what's up.

We have a few superheroes,
and a few super anti-heroes.

I pass by a military outlet store which looks appropriately macabre.

And it's got the guns ready, just in case.

Hard for mere humans to compete with global forces as big and entrenched as Exxon
and McDonald's.

But we do our best, and hope that a few of us make it through.
Along with a few turtles and birds.

Well, enough of the negativity -
let's have some bird activity!

I can't get enough of these fabulous flyers.

They fly in front of the Clear Channel building,
home to the conservative media giant.

Here I've cloned out the Clear Channel logo using Photoshop.
Too bad it's not that easy in real life to get rid of the stranglehold
that huge mega-companies have on our health, our thinking, our earth, our future.


Richard Nixon was at the event, taking selfies.
Ironically, he was the president who proposed and signed into life
 the Environmental Protection Agency
that is so under fire and compromised by politics and underfunding today.

Here's a guy who is not looking at a happy future.

But hey, we've got help on the horizon, via "geo-engineering."
Like the potential plan to inject fine droplets of sulphuric acid into the atmosphere
to reflect the sun's rays.

"The overriding reason why Keith and other scientists are exploring solar geoengineering is simple and well documented, though often overlooked: the warming caused by atmospheric carbon dioxide buildup is for all practical purposes irreversible, because the climate change is directly related to the total cumulative emissions. Even if we halt carbon dioxide emissions entirely, the elevated concentrations of the gas in the atmosphere will persist for decades. And according to recent studies, the warming itself will continue largely unabated for at least 1,000 years. If we find in, say, 2030 or 2040 that climate change has become intolerable, cutting emissions alone won’t solve the problem."

So what do you think, Mother Nature?
Are you throwing up your hands in defeat?
Or opening them in an embrace of all your wacky, wayward children,
saying treat me right and all will be well?

Or is it too late already? Is it all for the birds,
the birds whose numbers are already in steep decline,
unlike we humans who continue to grow, and grow, and grow?

So if we continue to ignore all those dying canaries in the mines,
will this be what it comes to?

No comments:

Post a Comment