Something about this march has inspired a lot of ire across the internet, so before the negativity rolls in let me share my experience. I was hesitant to attend the march on Sunday, because I feel like protests like these are accomplishing less and less as time moves on. I was worried that people would feel they had 'done their duty' by showing up, and gone back to their day-to-day without changing anything. I've also constantly been cynical about the global warming movement, believing that we've done too much harm to reverse, that nothing we can do can slow the inexorable and extinction-level rise of global temperatures.
After arguing about it with my girlfriend, I came to a few important conclusions. First, cynicism is laziness in disguise. The problem was too big, too scary, too complex, for me to tackle, but at this point is impossible to deny. How can I acknowledge the problem without allowing any responsibility to fall to myself? Cynicism and negativity (which I've seen comment board after comment board filled with regarding this subject).
Another conclusion I came to was that our generation is going to be held accountable for any damage that climate change caused. We knew the danger, yet we allowed it to happen. I want to be able to tell the next generation, 'I tried.' I want to be able to show them pictures of the march and say, 'We were not filled with apathy, we fought, we tried.'
Plenty of people who recognize the issue of climate change have been deriding the march based on the presence of socialists, 'dirty hippies,' punks, gays, etc. Yeah, there were some whackos there. I saw some people with signs about chem trails, 9/11 truthers, religious nuts. When you have 400,000 people in one place, you're not going to agree with all of them. But I also talked to doctors, scientists, politicians, students, teachers. And I work at a bank.
Did we accomplish anything? Perhaps very little. But I could see the people there were galvanized by the event, their batteries were recharged, and they were full of hope. It generated discussion today. There are a lot of corporations throwing a lot of money around to prevent legislation regarding climate change. We can't challenge them on the money front, so numbers is one of the only tools we have left. If we can get enough people on our side, perhaps we can change the political climate (harr harr) through elections. I'd rather try, than sit at home and do nothing, and have to answer to future generations about my apathy.