Today the slogan “I’m with her,” took on new meeting as thousands around the country marched for Climate Awareness, and the signs of the times proclaimed support for Mother Earth. Marches around the country included placards with slogans ranging from “There is no PLANet B,” to “I’m marching for her,” and “She Doesn’t Belong to Us, We Belong to Her.”
Although it was snowing in Denver, in many cities the temperature was unusually warm for a late April day, adding to the sense of global warming being all too real. Major news networks reported tens of thousands in Washington D.C., when previously only 10-12,000 had RSVP’ed. Meanwhile in Philadelphia, perhaps 1,000 – 2,000 were in the streets. In Philadelphia, there was more fever for the NFL picks as the City of Brotherly Love was the home base for this year’s event, again showing an American penchant for sports over politics. Still, tourist busses people on the sidewalks were taping the march, which brought the issue center stage even if people were more in town for draft picks and Liberty Bell sight seeing.
Scheduled to coincide with the 100th day of Trump in office, the marches could not and did not come close to the outpouring of the Women’s March the day after the inauguration, but again had a contingency of pink pussy hats in the crowd. Similar to previous marches, there were parents with young children fearful for the future facing their progeny, and granny’s both ambulatory and with walkers out and about to help protect the future.
As with any protest, one day of marches may help build momentum for change, but change never happens in a day. Environmental justice initiatives have a long, hard road ahead and include everything from showing support for the EPA to fighting for clean water and clean food. One sign also showing Mother Earth simply stated “Make It Clean Enough to Eat Off Of.”
If you missed today’s marches, there are many opportunities to stay involved in climate initiatives throughout the year. Here are a few suggestions:
- Check out the Granny Peace Brigade in Philadelphia. In many cities from NYC to San Francisco, the Gray Panthers of the 1970s are re-emerging. If you’re an aging protestor from the Vietnam Era, these groups may just be your cup of tea.
- Sign the EWG’s (Environmental Working Group’s) petition to stop the gutting of the EPA. Or, sign up for e-news from EWG for updates on everything from good sunscreens for the summer to contaminated food sources.
- Support any Climate or Wildlife fund of your choice from The World Wildlife Fund looking to effect global change to a local cause such as the Monarch Butterfly Monitoring Project in Cape May, NJ. Climate and wildlife are issues that can be fought locally to effect global change.
- Indulge in some great fiction with Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior.
- Learn more about Environmental Justice and the movement that seeks to make sure poor people have as much access to clean air and water as the rich. Consider water quality issues in Flint, MI and you’ll just be touching the tip of the iceberg.