Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Peoples Climate March

So, yesterday in New York City, there was a protest called the “Peoples Climate March.” Whenever I see anything with the word “Peoples” in front of it, I always think of 60’s radicals, those mythical kids from Berkeley who thought Mao was groovy…but that’s just me. No, these marchers were protesting global warming and demanding that something be done about it right away. Judging from the signs held aloft along the march route, the villains of climate change are, in no particular order, capitalism, the Tea Party, the Koch brothers, oil companies, the Republican Party, and the United States. In other words, the usual suspects. These are the same villains in practically any protest march featuring folks fond of the word “Peoples.”

I studied the pictures from the event carefully. More than once I saw Styrofoam cups that had been embossed with the slogan “The Arctic Affects Us All” courtesy of Greenpeace, proving that in the war to save the Earth, irony is the first casualty.

There was Leonardo Dicaprio, looking dapper in beard and beret, whisked to the event no doubt by his private jet. Much was made of the many interviews conducted with participants by skeptical reporters inquiring as to whether or not these climate crusaders would be willing to give up their energy-sucking smart phones and automobiles. No one was, and most resented the questions. Mr. Dicaprio seemed truly astonished when asked about his fleet of private yachts, as if that had nothing whatsoever to do with his demands that the rest of us turn away from our planet-killing consumer culture.

But, this is America. We are the protest champions of the world, and I for one take much pride in this fact. I don’t fault anyone for their passion. I also have no doubt that yesterday’s marchers are sincerely convinced of their cause and its righteousness. Still, whenever this whole climate change subject comes up, my unanswered question hangs in the air like acid rain…what would you have us do? The proposed solutions offered by the true believers would cost unfathomable sums of money, cause unprecedented economic upheaval, with little effect on the actual…planet. Even the rosiest scenarios offered by proponents of this radical recasting of civilization admit as much. Let’s spend 500 gazillion dollars, reshape the relationship between governments and the governed, and take away personal freedoms so we can possibly lower the planet’s temperature by 2 degrees in 100 years? Oh, and if you don’t agree with us, you’re a war criminal.

Have we human beings been good stewards of the Earth? No. Should we as individuals and collectively as governments do more to clean the water and air? Yes. Should we be trying to discover and then develop new forms of energy that might replace fossil fuels? Absolutely
Should we give in to the unhinged demands of the People’s Climate March types and dismantle our entire economy? Slow down, Sparky.