People's Climate March, NYC

People’s Climate March, NYC

Back around the spring of 2014 I started hearing media grumblings about how Earth Day was a bust. Since I don’t do the whole Earth Day, be a hippy for a day so you can feel good about yourself thing I didn’t really pay attention. Besides, there was ice cream. Ice cream’s important.

So, when I was on Twitter yesterday and noticed all these pictures making their way on to my feed with people marching down streets carrying signs and stuff, my little ears perked up. Okay, so I’m a bit slow on the uptake. This was The People’s Climate March.

Whenever you start adding “The People’s” to something, my radar begins to beep furiously. The People’s Republic, The People’s Church, The People’s Court…. I figure something entertaining is about to happen. After all, you only add “The People’s” to something when you’re trying to be uber serious.

Have you ever tried to have a really serious talk with a friend who has the giggles? They’re really trying hard to not laugh but that just makes things worse. I had the same reaction to this march. It’s not that I don’t take the destruction of the environment seriously, it’s just really hard to take seriously people who yell and scream about it when five minutes before they were driving their SUVs to the march.

As pictures came flooding in to my Twitter feed (amazingly, my Facebook page was blessedly left out of this nonsense), I began to notice something. The little things. Okay, when you have anxiety, everything becomes the little things but I noticed a few alarming things. Running shoes with rubber soles. Plastic water bottles. Paper signs that will get thrown away after the march is done. Polyester blend clothes and jackets. Let’s not forget the irony of tweeting the whole damn thing using a myriad of cell phones. Am I the only one laughing here?

Here are hundreds of thousands of people demanding changes while refusing to change. Give us alternative fuel but don’t take away our gas-powered fireplace. Give us alternative energy but don’t take away our Internet. Are any of these people aware of what goes into making one single cell phone? You like your Wi-Fi sure and will tweet all damn day but you don’t even bother to think about the cost to the environment. Just the amount of oil that goes into the plastic of one laptop is enough to warrant my laughter at you.

So let’s take a look at the average marcher’s day. They wake up, take a shower (as do the other members of the family), get a cup of coffee, get a bowl of cereal (usually laden with sugar) for the kids and maybe grab something quick to pop in the microwave. A quick check on the cell phone lets them know they did get that email but they’ll respond at work. Everyone up and at em, kids put on their runners with rubber soles and grab their polyester backpacks and dash into the SUV. Mom takes the kids to school and dad drives the Audi or some other luxury car to work. Mom takes the SUV to work. That’s just the morning.

The marchers that marched have no desire to change their lives that would create the kind of environmental change that they’re screaming about. The truth is that the oil companies they’re pointing their fingers to are already doing the bulk of research into reclaiming the environment. If you want real change, start at home.

Give up that SUV for three days a week. Having the kids take a bus to school won’t kill them and may even give them a sense of independence. Ease up on the sugar and palm oils. I’ve yelled about these before. Sugar is responsible for the destruction of rainforests and palm oil is destroying orangutan environments. Besides, they’re bad for you. Give up polyester blends and wear cottons more. Put solar paneling on your house. If you’re going to yell about the environment, stop being part of the problem.

The truth is that if everyone gave up using a car for just three days a week, we could have a lasting environmental impact. If everyone put up solar paneling, we could have a lasting environmental impact. However, all I hear from the neo-hippy types is how they don’t want to be inconvenienced. Give them a greener earth but don’t take away our toys.

I’ve seen pictures of the march after it was done and it looked like a three-day bender at a frat house. Cups, plastic bottles, take out containers, signs all littered the ground in city after city after city. I can’t help but feel that someone somewhere is missing the point.