So 310,000 or so people marched in New York City yesterday, calling for action of some kind to address climate change. It was an officially sanctioned, widely-advertised, well-funded protest. To all who participated, awesome. If you've never been to a giant march before, it's bracing in a way that few things are. You are surrounded by people who believe the same as you, you learn that you are not alone, and you discover a few new things, like how to argue your views and that, however radical you thought you were, drum circles are fucking idiotic and put the fuckin' things away already. Tolerance only goes so far, and someone's gonna end up with a giant puppet up his ass.
Of course, the people who were there felt amazing about it. How could you not? And, of course, it was barely covered by the news networks. Maybe if a dozen fucknuts wearing colonial drag and open-carrying machine guns while riding on their Rascal scooters had been part of it, it would have been 24/7, motherfuckers, 24/7, with a goddamned countdown clock leading up to it. The most extensive coverage was from Al-Jazeera America, The Guardian, and Democracy Now, and two of those aren't even from this country originally.
The Rude Pundit will admit feeling more than a little cynical about the march. If it's the start of some sustained action, groovy. Certainly, today's "Flood Wall Street" protest and semi-occupation are a good deal more radical but those are still getting all the attention of a flea fart in a hurricane.
And that's because why bother, huh? Especially when the march is endorsed by, for example, the Climate Group, which counts as its members Duke Energy, known for coal ash and pollution, and, for everyone flooding Wall Street right now, Goldman Sachs. Yes, it does do some good for the environment, but it does so with the tacit approval of those it should be dismantling. It's like if Batman asked the Joker if it's ok if he takes down Mr. Freeze.
The other problem is that, for the most part, Americans fall into two camps: Don't give a fat monkey fuck about climate change or don't understand it, don't believe it, and won't lift a fucking finger to help. Change a chunk of minds there and we've got a chance. The Rude Pundit couldn't help but think that if everyone who spent money on signs
and plane and bus tickets and more had pooled that for ads in congressional campaigns
across the country, the effect might have been even greater.
You wanna do something about climate change other than take a nice walk on a pretty nice, if a bit humid, day? You better make sure that the House turns Democratic and then you better make sure that the Senate doesn't have more than 40 dumbfucks on global warming. If you don't vote climate denialists out, then fuck it, we're done here.
To go further, frankly, Chris Hedges is right when he said, as he did in August, "Play by the rules and we lose." Or as he said this past Saturday, "We will have to speak in the language of ... revolution. We will have to carry out acts of civil disobedience that seek to cripple the mechanisms of corporate power. The corporate elites, blinded by their lust for profit and foolish enough to believe they can protect themselves from climate change, will not veer from our path towards ecocide unless they are forced from power. And this means the beginning of a titanic clash between our corporate masters and ourselves."
But even that is dreaming. Right now, the corporate/government state is so entrenched in silencing real dissent, real revolutionary voices, that anyone who tried genuine radical action would immediately be punished. And everyone else will get so distracted when the iPhone 7, 8, 9, infinity comes out that they won't notice that they are wading through water or walking in deserts that used to be our cities to get to the Apple store first.
Frankly, the bigger news might be that the Rockefeller Brothers Fund plans to divest itself of anything fossil fuel-related, to the tune of $50 billion. That's real money, even by oil company standards, and it might be a sign that the way to attack the climate change problem is, as ever, to follow the (heaps of) money.