First of all, I want to apologize for skipping Friday’s post. I was in the process of migrating across country, had accidentally sat on my computer, was under-slept, etc. I’m on track to post as normal this week.
I had anticipated having a lot to talk about, too. Wednesday was supposedly an International Day of Climate Action and I’d planned to attend a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire–I was in Keene, New Hampshire at the time, and Manchester was the closest event. Friday’s post would therefore have been my description of that rally.
We ended up not going. The basic problem was that we’d have to drive an hour and a half each way to get to the event and couldn’t find anyone willing to car-pool with us. How much sense does it make to use that much gas to get to a climate change rally, especially when no other environmentalists in the area seem to be going? Plus, we were tired, being in the middle of our fall migration down the Eastern Seaboard. We went back and forth on whether we should go and finally realized we had not gone. It was pitiful.
And apparently most people did exactly the same as us.
I don’t know anybody who attended an event, although I started trying to spread the word a few weeks prior. The organizers never responded to my offer to volunteer, nor did they respond to my mother’s offer. The Day of Action did not make the national news. When I went hunting for information I learned that Manchester’s rally was the biggest such gathering in the state’s history, but only because the state’s history is very poor–barely 100 people showed up. Even in New York, which should, at least, have mobilized thousands, only a hundred people came out–and I learned that from a brief notice way down the page on an activists’ website. You have to hunt for it. The organizer’s own website does not even appear to have been updated after the event–no “thank you for making this day a success!”
Because this was not a success. I am reluctant to chide other people for not doing something I didn’t do, either, but the fact of the matter is I didn’t attend because I wasn’t convinced doing so would really matter. It just didn’t seem like anyone else was going to show up or that the organizers were serious about getting anyone to show up. And I didn’t want to drive a hundred and thirty miles out of my way to go have a two-person protest that nobody would ever hear about. It is the job of event organizers to convince potential participants that showing up matters and they didn’t. So we didn’t.
We have to do better, people. Demonstrations that are big enough to make the national news are absolutely critical because they show political candidates that if they take climate change seriously as a threat then we, the electorate, will have their backs. If we fail to do that then they’ll ignore the issue and if the US Government does not get behind climate action this election cycle we may well simply be out of time.
There is another event planned in November. Let’s make sure to show up.