First of all, you know I HATE that word, designation-“environmentalist” and second, more to the point, because, uhm, I care about the climate?
Thank you if you do pack a bag, buy a ticket, fill up with gas (or plug in?), pump carbon into the atmosphere for the worthiest cause of all but unless it’s regional or local, I’m not going because the best thing we can do to “stop” climate change (I feel it’s too late but hey planet, please prove me wrong) is STAY HOME.
In watching the news coverage of the events in D.C. this weekend, I am indeed heartened that the generations most represented are the ones we are currently screwing over, the Millennials and my generation, Gen X. (I straddle two generations and per my disdain for the Boomers, have claimed Gen X as my generation; I rejected the Boomer paradigm though maybe should have bought in if it wasn’t for those morning breakfasts with my dad and my tearful mom, neither college educated, who I watched get screwed over by the corporations they gave over two decades of their lives to. I made the decision to reject their Babbittian paradigm but being “self-employed” in a country dead-set on going third-world hasn’t been a blast either).
There they all are, with their signs and matching T-shirts, funny costumes–required thousand and thousands of pounds of carbon to create in order to tell everybody to stop using so much carbon but folks, I’m sorry, blame the scientist in me…
the earth doesn’t know the difference between “carbon for a good cause” and “bad carbon”, so as an ecologist, a clifer, I can’t do it.
Democracy or whatever the hell we have right now (last I checked a ‘precedent’ that caters to cronies for favors, skips the pesky citizens of his own country, and completely bypasses Congress is called a dictator or qualifies as authoritarian say like, I don’t know, Putin, or at its most extreme, Jong-un?)–democracy requires constant vigilance and all that get-off-your-phat-ass stuff and what I feel is and has been far more effective is acting locally which of course, saves the climate.
Who are your representatives in Congress? Find out and make them into your own little research project. Study their websites (if they function anyway; gotta’ love those “403 errors”); go to any public meetings (“town halls”) if they actually hold any. Participate in their online “events”. Call them (“sorry, the mailbox at this number is full” no kidding, this is what I got this week for my own representative in Northern CA). They are supposed to represent us so FIND OUT WHAT IN THE HELL THEY ARE DOING. YOU PAY THEIR SALARIES AND HEATH BENEFITS. Keep notes.
My representative is latching hard and fast onto the horrible Bush Jr. era “Healthy Forests Act” to start logging for “biofuels”, projects that have continuously failed in CA but who cares (four biofuel plants have been built, NONE of which are operating but the consultants made a killing building them). According to my sources, he met with the timber industry last week. This is really important information!
This is what I am doing–finding out what my “representatives” are doing then writing to the local paper about it (guest columns, opinion columns, letters to the editor, blog.). I am letting them know how I feel all the time in emails, letters, and phone calls (they still get mail I assume). They want to cut deals, nix environmental regulations while “grandpa” is busy quite frankly, doing the same thing, degrading our democracy, making a mockery of it, and disrespecting us. They are making a mockery of our country because all the country is to them right now is a great chance to cut some deals and make a lot of $$$$$$$$$. (Tillerson? Exxon-Russo pipeline? Anybody?). (Evolution-wise, biologically speaking, this is a textbook demonstration of primitive human primate behavior).
If there is a regional or local protest, go to it as long as it isn’t a waste of time (or of course, organize your own but read on). There was one last week in my town that walked through downtown on Saturday at 10 a.m. No one was there. It felt a little silly so some of us left–one has to be SEEN if one is going to publicly protest–the “protest” was organized by comfortable retired boomers who quite frankly are extremely well-off–so they do recreational activism but the rest of us have to protest or die. Figure out, truly, if participating will accomplish anything other than making you “feel” like you did something. Walking down empty streets on a Sat morning…well I have better more effective things to do.
If it is worth your time, the protest is on a street corner, visible, and yes, a few people may tell you, ironically, ignorantly, to “go back to Russia” (not kidding here) yes, it may feel a little uncomfortable, then go but the most important thing you can do right now to bring Grandpa Orange Hair up to speed is dog your representatives as many of them fully embrace abandoning democracy to feather their own nests, and of course, always remind them, YOU VOTE.