Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ART, People & Organizations: at the Peoples' Climate March (Sept. 21, 2014)

This post features photographs of some of the preparations taking place in the hours before the Peoples' Climate March began, of some participants whom I identified by (first) name, of some displays carried in the March that I think rise to the level of art, and of some of the many organizations which participated in the March.



PREPARATIONS:




Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, East 138th Street, Bronx, Carey and Morgan (from the Bronx)
The first five photographs document the early morning gathering of the contingent from the South Bronx at La Finca del Sur (located where the Grand Concourse begins at 138th Street). 

Carey (on the left) is the founder/owner of a high-end custom framing and art services business named Q Art Co.  She also is the Director of the Visual Arts Program at The Point, an organization dedicated to cultural revitalization and youth development of the Hunts Point section of the Bronx.

Morgan (on the right) has degrees in landscape design and also does research and writes a blog focusing on the African American heritage of the Bronx River region. His blog is called Bronx River Sankofa: "sankofa" coming from the Akan language of Ghana and meaning "to reach back and retrieve."




Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, East 138th Street, Bronx, Mychal (from the Bronx)
Mychal is a well-known community activist for the South Bronx with a focus on social and environmental justice.   He is a co-founder of South Bronx Unite and he was one of only 38 civil society delegates from 25 countries and the only delegate representing the East Coast selected to attend the United Nations Climate Summit that took place two days after the March.





Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, East 138th Street, Bronx, Morgan and Robert (from the Bronx)
Robert, wearing a hat and talking to Morgan, is a clinical social worker in the Bronx.

Tragically, Morgan Powell was found dead under somewhat mysterious conditions one week after the March. For more about this, please go to the very end of this post.





Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, East 138th Street, Bronx, Melissa (from the Bronx)
Melissa, a medical doctor committed to social justice, was born and raised in the Bronx.  In 2010, she and six other doctors left their American practices to treat the victims of the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti.  She also is active in South Bronx Unite as well as the Pastors for Peace, which delivers humanitarian aid to Latin America and the Caribbean (including Cuba).




Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, East 138th Street, Bronx, Boycott Fresh Direct Fists
The clenched fist, a generic symbol of resistance and unity, will be used by the Bronx contingent during the March as a call for the Boycott of Fresh Direct, which wants to move its operation to precious waterfront land in the South Bronx, into a flood zone, and with massive state and city subsidies (but no local input).






Peoples' Climate March, Earth Vigil, Central Park South ca. 7th Ave.



Peoples' Climate March, Earth Vigil with NYPD, Central Park South ca. 7th Ave.

I prefer the second of these photographs, with its contrast between the policeman standing guard and the group of meditators seated in lotus position behind him. Only, it doesn't show the Earth Vigil group very well.

I took these shots as I was walking west on 59th Street from the subway after leaving the Bronx contingent. The photos were taken approximately two hours before the March began. Six hours later, I noticed that they were still sitting here as the final groups of the March were making their way downtown.

The Earth Vigil is the initiative of the Rochester Zen Center, and they sat here at the south end of Central Park in silent meditation from 6:00 am until 6:00 pm. Their stated intention is to create a "direct intervention into the busy-ness that denies the urgency of our environmental crisis." It is their hope that, through meditation, they can "contribute to planetary healing and...mitigate and prevent climate change." 





Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, Columbus Circle at the Maine Monument, Sandy (from Manhattan)
Sandy was one of many trumpeters who were gathering at what would become the head of the March. I missed the March's beginning, so I have no documentation of the trumpeters or their role.





Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, Columbus Circle, Central Park West & 59th St., the first group



Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, Columbus Circle, Central Park West & 59th St., the first group, detail




Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, Central Park West, Map: assembly areas & march route
As this map reveals, the photographs above and the eight that follow document some of the first two groupings: Frontline of Crisis... and ...Build the Future.   I walked up Central Park West as far as 72nd Street; I then rushed back through Central Park in order to find a place on 59th Street from where I could photograph the March itself. By then, it had begun; I missed several of the first groups. 





Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, Central Park West, Organize/Survive Life Saver




Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, Central Park West, Umbrellas



Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, Central Park West, Banner: Rising People 



Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, Central Park West, Banner: Our City/Our Homes

These four photographs (above) most likely reference the issues affecting people in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

This fourth photograph (directly above) may also refer to the organization known as MRNY, Make the Road New York. Its concerns are the New York City housing crisis and the loss of affordable and subsidized housing in this City.  With the effects of climate change, of course, many more New Yorkers will find housing unaffordable in the future.





Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, Central Park West, Marcher Getting Made-up




Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, Central Park West, CultureStrike.org
CultureStrike began in 2010, intent upon countering anti-immigrant laws and attitudes through the promotion of a literature and art supportive of immigrant rights and justice. Its premise is that politics will follow cultural change.

Immigration and climate change are far from separate issues. Indeed, they are inextricably linked.  An article in Scientific American more than four years ago had predicted that climate change may lead to more mexican immigration into the United States. Moreover, as environmental degradation, rising sea-levels and extreme weather events take their toll, the connection between climate change and immigration will have world-wide ramifications.





Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, Central Park West, Ysobel




Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, Central Park West at 70th St.
As you can see by this photograph, at least thirty blocks of Central Park West contained over 300,000 individualsshoulder-to-shoulder: joyous, seething, pulsating.  Besides the size of the crowd, what amazed me after six hours of attending the event was that I never saw an angry or scowling face.  Everyone was energized and happy, even though they were demonstrating to save a world in dire straits and demonstrating against the frustrating idiocy of climate change skeptics

Here is a video taken by an anonymous drone of this same crowd, and here is a shorter (0:18) but even better one. 







PEOPLE:



Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, Central Park West, Tom (from West Virginia)



Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, Central Park West, Lyndia and Karen (from West Virginia)
The plight of bees and the environmental destruction caused by fracking are issues embraced by these gals from West Virginia. Karen, whose sign asks about one's backyard, is active in an organization called Host Farms; it connects landowners to scientists within the environmental community to facilitate study of the effects of fracking in the Marcellus shale.





Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, Central Park West, Justin and Michelle (from California)
Two california kids, from Los Angeles and Sacramento, came to the New York March with tee shirts promoting the health of the Arctic.  It so happens that climate change is more severe in the Arctic. This region is warming twice as fast as the global average. Scientists refer to it as the "Arctic amplification."







Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, Central Park West, Brit (from Bergen, Norway)
Brit was one of a large contingent of Norwegians dressed in red and white and sporting buttons identifying themselves as Beste Föreldrenes Klima Aksjon, or Norwegian Grandparents Climate Action. Formed in 2006 by concerned elders, many who once held influential positions in Norwegian society, their goal is to secure our planet for future generations.  This means ending our dependency on fossil fuels and hastening our conversion to greener energy sources.

As Mette Newth, one of its leaders, recently said, "It's a conservative campaign, not revolutionary at all. It's about conserving and protecting and preserving our planet from further desecration."






Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, Central Park West, Don (from Falmouth, MA)



Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, Central Park West, Chelsea (from Boston)



Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, Central Park West, Jane/Cynthia/Anneke on the bench (from Brooklyn)
Three friends now living in Brooklyn, seated together in the foreground, carry signs in support of Mother Earth and for renewable energy.





Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, Central Park West, Eliza (from Canberra, Australia)
Eliza has come to New York from Australia bearing a message for Australia's Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.  For those who are not familiar with PM Abbott, several years ago at an official dinner in Victoria for the Liberal Party, he called human-caused climate change "crap."   Today, he is still hedging his bets by claiming that planning for climate change, which remains "unknown" and may even be "benign," would be too costly for the Australian economy. At the same time, he has been putting together a conservative alliance to undermine any attempt by President Obama to enact a global carbon tax or other climate change policies.





Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, Central Park West, Rachel (from Manhattan) and Tasha (from Lexington, KY)
Wind power is one of our renewable energy sources that can substitute for fossil fuels and help to alleviate the threat of climate change.  So, why not promote what may be a "better" windmill. Bernie Migler promotes his design as a "powerful, quiet, bird-friendly windmill." 





Peoples' Climate March, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street, Fransiska (from Bali)
Bali, an island and province of Indonesia lying between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, is the most famous Indonesian island and a major tourist destination.  Predictions warn that Climate Change will wipe some Indonesian islands off the map, and that by 2050 Bali will have lost 8.6% of its land mass. It is also predicted that such popular Bali tourist areas as Kuta and Sanur will be swallowed by the rising seas.





Peoples' Climate March, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street, Alex (from Luisa, VA)
Throughout the March, Alex passed out literature on the Living Energy Farm in Luisa, Virginia. As its website states, its mission is to "promote lifestyles and technologies that are truly sustainable" and make those technologies accessible to all.  Wikipedia describes the Living Energy Farm as "a neo-Amish farm and educational center."





Peoples' Climate March, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street, John (from Vero Beach, FL)
The earth could use many thousands more "pipeline fighters" like John, who came up from Vero Beach, Florida.  The dirty and highly-toxic bitumen that Canada wants to pipe to our seaports for export must remain in the ground--un-mined--if we have any chance to stop global warming.

Scroll back to my blog post of March 5, 2014, titled "Keystone XL Pipeline: Thoughts from the 'NO KXL' Vigil, Union Square, NYC." However, the "KXL" on John's shirt is not the only pipeline that Big Oil wants to use, and the cumulative impact of several pipelines would be even more disastrous to our earth and our lives.








ART:



Peoples' Climate March, We Are All Migrants, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street




Peoples' Climate March, Bronx Boycotts Fresh Direct, Preparations, Central Park West




Peoples' Climate March, Butterfly, Preparations, Central Park West




Peoples' Climate March, Mother Earth, Preparations, Central Park West




Peoples' Climate March, Nido, Preparations, Central Park West




Peoples' Climate March, Nido, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
These last two images need some explanation. These gorgeous birds are flying around the tree trunk seen in the picture above them.  That trunk is Nido, the Spanish word for "nest," and we see a nest on the top of the cut-off trunk.  The axes embedded in it are labeled "Monsanto," "Christopher Columbus," "Banco Mundial" (World Bank), "Chevron," "US Military," "Nafta," and "Plan Columbia" (Plan Colombia).  The words between the bicycles say like birds we fly round the world in search of home

It's a particularly beautiful piece of street performance art. However, its message suggests that those axes, which have cut down the tree to build the nest, are the destroyers of democracy and human rights in countries around the world.  In this case, the reference is to Latin America...and among the many culprits are the World Bank;  Plan Colombia;  NAFTA;  Chevron;  US Military;  Monsanto.  As to Christopher Columbus, he begins the era of European colonization and brought illnesses like smallpox that eventually would kill around 90% of the Native American population, so he, too, gets an axe.






Peoples' Climate March, Dinosaur, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street




Peoples' Climate March, Dinosaur, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
I love this dinosaur sculpture in promotion of the end of the fossil fuel era. It, of course, references the commonly-held myth that linked oil deposits with dinosaurs.  Then, too, it is made of plastic, a petroleum product, and its blue-ridged neck is actually composed of the tops of Peak Motor Oil containers--so creating a word play on King Hubbert's concept of peak oil: the point when petroleum extraction reaches its maximum production. A playful and clever work of art.






Peoples' Climate March, Fish Collage, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
Also playful is this fish, a collage of cardboard containers of Tide detergent and other products.  It makes beautiful and gives a new and meaningful life to the detritus of our overly-acquisitive consumer culture.






Peoples' Climate March, Flood Wall Street, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
In this work, four panels create a narrative linking rising oceans to the industrial burning of fossil fuels which is supported by Wall Street greed and is rooted in Capitalism.







Peoples' Climate March, School of Fish, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
Fish swimming down 59th Street, very likely in search of cooler water, as Climate Change is driving them toward the poles.  In fact, it is predicted that, by 2050, the tropics will be fishless because of Climate Change.





Peoples' Climate March, Love Mother (Earth), On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
These two elegant, vertical, painted panels remind me a bit, at least in concept, of kakemono, Japanese vertical scrolls.





Peoples' Climate March, Our Future, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
Welcome to Our Future, collapsing, like a stack of kids alphabet blocks, as Climate Change destroys habitat, ecosystems and biodiversity.






Peoples' Climate March, Polar Bears, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
Large silhouettes of polar bears stand out well against the buildings and trees of the city.  As we all have been made aware, the polar bear depends upon sea ice for hunting, breeding and even for making dens. That sea ice is rapidly shrinking due to Climate Change.







Peoples' Climate March, Reindeer, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
Climate Change is also threatening reindeer with extinction by creating conditions that make the animals' main food, lichen and moss, inaccessible. 







Peoples' Climate March, Tar Sands, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street




Peoples' Climate March, Tar Sands, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street




Peoples' Climate March, Tar Sands, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
Mining the Tar Sands of Alberta has become the largest industrial project in the world as well as the dirtiest and most destructive. Its development puts greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, pollutes land, air and water with highly toxic chemicals, destroys wildlife and its habitat, obliterates forests, and is turning Canada into an ugly, one-trick, petro-state pony which "bullies other nations attempting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

This artistic depiction of the Tar Sands as a vast oil slick followed closely by an enormous death head and skeleton is a perfect metaphor for this misconceived Canadian, industrial project.





Peoples' Climate March, Young Artist & Parents, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street






Peoples' Climate March, Beehive Design Collective (Machias, ME), Plan Mesoamerica, Preparations, Central Park West sidewalk



Peoples' Climate March, Beehive Design Collective (Machias, ME), Plan Mesoamerica, detail, Preparations, Central Park West sidewalk



Peoples' Climate March, Beehive Design Collective (Machias, ME), Mesoamérica Resiste, Graham, Preparations, Central Park West sidewalk



Peoples' Climate March, Beehive Design Collective (Machias, ME), Mesoamérica Resiste, Preparations, Central Park West sidewalk



Peoples' Climate March, Beehive Design Collective (Machias, ME), The True Cost of Coal, Christine, Preparations, Central Park West sidewalk
These final five photographs show three different and enormous prints produced by the Beehive Design Collective. The Collective sees itself "as word-to-image translators of complex global stories."

For specific information on the first four images, Plan Mesoamérica and Mesoamérica Resiste, which deal with the globalization of Central America, click on this link.  For more information on the fifth and last image, The True Cost of Coal, which examines the destruction of Appalachia, click on this link.

Although the Collective, to my knowledge, was not in the actual March, its roots are in the global justice movement, and so they are definitely kindred spirits with the 300,000+ marchers.








ORGANIZATIONS:


The following are a tiny fragment of the many organizations that attended the March. My selections are purely opportunistic: simply what I happened to encounter and photograph. My apologies to the many important organizations and groups that I missed. For a full list of all the participating organizations in the Peoples' Climate March, click on this link.




Peoples' Climate March, Physicians for a National Health Program, Preparations, Central Park West sidewalk
Physicians for a National Health Program believes that high-quality health care is a right of all people and so it advocates for universal, comprehensive, single-payer national health insurance. I am with them, entirely, and hope that one day soon we in America will attain their goal.

They understand that Climate Change constitutes a significant health crisis.  Among the greater heath issues will be asthma in children, heat stroke, water-borne salmonella (as we experience heavier rainfalls and flooding), food insecurity due to extreme weather, and much more. So says Dr. Oliver Fein, chair of the New York Metro chapter of PNHP.







Peoples' Climate March, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Preparations, Central Park West
With a membership of 50,000 doctors, Physicians for Social Responsibility is the largest physician-led organization in the US, dedicated to countering nuclear proliferation, climate change and environmental toxins.

PSR calls climate change one of today's "biggest threats facing human health."  In a brief summary, it warns that "disease, injury and death can result from climate-induced natural disasters, heat-related illness, pest- and waterborne diseases, air and water pollution and damage to crops and drinking water sources." 






Peoples' Climate March, Goddard Riverside CC and Women Elders, Preparations, Central Park West
Goddard Riverside Community Center has an almost  sixty-year history of social service with roots going back to the settlement house movement of the late 19th century.

The Women Elders identify themselves as "women who have lived on this planet for more than 50 or 60 years...[who] have a deep concern about the trajectory of our planet’s resources for our remaining years but especially for younger, and future generations."  They urge that  "‘business as usual’ MUST STOP. The fossil fuel industry, and the economic expansion of industrialized nations are not more important than life on planet earth." Amen to that, I say.






Peoples' Climate March, Unitarian Universalists for Climate Change, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
Among the many religious organizations which came from a downtown gathering place to merge with the marchers gathered to the north of 59th Street were the Unitarian Universalists. Already, in 2006, they had put forth a "Statement of Conscience" in regard to the threat of global warming. Here is a part of that statement:

Life on this planet will be gravely affected unless we embrace new practices, ethics, and values to guide our lives on a warming planet. As Unitarian Universalists, how can our faith inform our actions to remedy and mitigate global warming/climate change? We declare by this Statement of Conscience that we will not acquiesce to the ongoing degradation and destruction of life that human actions are leaving to our children and grandchildren....As a people of faith, we commit to a renewed reverence for life and respect for the interdependent web of all existence.






Peoples' Climate March, Chuang Yen Monastery, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
The Chuang Yen Monastery is a Buddhist temple in Kent, New York, founded in 1975. The Buddhists' engagement with Climate Change is multi-faceted and deeply committed. However, here I merely offer a YouTube Sing for the Climate (2:06) by Buddhists Rock. 





Peoples' Climate March, Bahai Faith: One Country, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
The Bahá'í Faith has long stressed sustainable development and a respect for the natural world. For them, the "oneness of humanity" is a "fundamental spiritual and social truth....[that energizes our] global society."







Peoples' Climate March, AVAAZ, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
In its seven years of existence, Avaaz.org can boast some 30 million members, although they are not necessarily paying members. It acts as a form of clearinghouse for online protest, or what some call "clickactivism." Its founders claim that the name, Avaaz, means "voice" in several languages. One founder, Ricken Patel, described Avaaz as follows: "We have no ideology per se. Our mission is to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want. Idealists of the world unite!"

Nevertheless, as the green sign pictured above shows, by the time of the March, over 2 million people signed up on Avaaz.org to counter climate change and global warming.





Peoples' Climate March, Awid.org, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
Awid.org, the Association for Women's Rights in Development (not the Association of Women Industrial Designers) is an international organization of women working to make gender equality, sustainable development and women's rights a reality for the entire world. 






Peoples' Climate March, CLEO, Preparations, Central Park West
Up from Miami, Florida, Caroline, Nina, Lane and Lynn are members of the CLEO Institute (Climate Leadership Engagement Opportunities). In its web site, CLEO claims to promote conversations on climate change as a way to "bridge the divide between science and society, and create an informed and engaged citizenry on this urgent issue."

It's not surprising that this organization is based in Miami. As Gail Collins observed in a New York Times op-ed piece last month, "On Miami Beach....the ocean periodically starts bubbling up through local drainpipes. By the time it's over, the concept of 'going down to the water' has extended to stepping off the front porch."







Peoples' Climate March, DisruptDenial.com, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
DisruptDenial appears to be part of Forecast the Facts.org.  It reveals the hypocrisy of many corporations which boast about their "green" activities, yet support many candidates who are climate deniers.   This link lists 50 such corporations and allows one to Tweet a message to each one easily; among the offenders are Google, UPS, Microsoft, Altria, AT&T, Bank of America, Exxon, Goldman Sachs, etc., etc.






Peoples' Climate March, FoodNotFracking.org, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
"Dig It, Don't Drill It! Keep Our Food Unfracked" is the motto of FoodNotFracking.org.  One of its sites lists all of its coalition members; I counted 32.   That number, in a democracy, ought to easily overpower the oil lobby and insure that New York's temporary halt on fracking will become permanent.

But, is America still a democracy?   Recent studies suggest that, in many ways, we have become an oligarchy, and a BBC article in April of this year, shows no hesitations in concluding: "US is an oligarchy, not a democracy."  It quotes the authors of a major study on the subject as saying, "even when fairly large majorities of Americans favour policy change, they generally do not get it."

So, those 32 coalition members of FoodNotFracking.org had better not be complacent. Nor should the rest of us, especially those who wish to continue enjoying the wonderful produce to be had at the Union Square farmers' market (or the many smaller farmers' markets scattered among the city's boroughs). 

As FoodNotFracking.org writes, "as consumers, we have the power to influence growers, producers and policy makers. And we suggest you do just that."






Peoples' Climate March,  HumanImpactsInstitute.org, Preparations, Central Park West sidewalk
The Brooklyn-based HumanImpactsInstitute.org teaches that human beings are both dependent upon and responsible for our natural environment. In their words, "healthy communities, stable economies, and social equity cannot exist without environmental sustainability." 





Peoples' Climate March, Refugees International, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
Refugees International is totally independent of any government or of UN funding; it works around the globe to protect displaced people and to try to solve human displacement.  In 2009, it instituted a Center for the Study of Climate Displacement to study the relationship of climate change and displacement.  The Center has shown that, just in 2008, natural disasters displaced over 36 million people.  Climate Change also has led to "growing water scarcity, desertification, and decreased agricultural output...[thus] causing more people to migrate."






Peoples' Climate March, Rainforest Action Network, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
The Rainforest Action Network was founded in 1985 and is based in San Francisco.  Even as deforestation is one of its major challenges, one of its web sites has focused on Climate Change. Here it cites a study by the International Energy Agency which warns that "major action by 2017 may be the last real chance to reverse climate change before it’s too late." 





Peoples' Climate March, MoveToAmend.org, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
MoveToAmend.org is a response to the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling. Its petition states that "We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling and other related cases, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights."

It goes on to rightly observe that "corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires....[and that] they are not themselves members of “We the People” by whom and for whom our Constitution was established."


MoveToAmend.org claims a membership of hundreds of supporting organizations and several hundred of thousands of individuals. It connects itself to the issues of Climate Change in an article published last month, stating: "If we really want to get to the root of the problem and have real climate justice, we have to end corporate personhood."





Peoples' Climate March, Legalize Democracy, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
Legalize Democracy is a 30-minute documentary directed by Dennis Trainor, Jr., about MoveToAmend.org.  It's goal is to build "a vibrant democracy that is genuinely accountable to the people, not corporate interests...[by] calling for an amendment to the US Constitution to unequivocally state that inalienable rights belong to human beings only."

As I implied earlier in this post, were America a true democracy, we would have been much farther along in embracing and tackling the problems of Climate Change.





Peoples' Climate March, ILPS, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
ILPS stands for the International League of Peoples' Struggle (not International Loss Prevention Systems nor Information and Language Processing Systems).  It constitutes some 350 organizations from 40 countries intent upon promoting real democracy through countering (imperialist) controls from the outside.

In June of 2008, it formulated a "Primer: Introduction to the ILPS," which I urge everyone to read.  Of the hundreds of documents that I have read that deal with the global issues involving the intersection of the environment, international corporations, the communities and peoples of our world, and climate change, this "Primer" is by far the most informative and most important.

Its writing and analysis is so powerful and cogent that I was truly at a loss to select a few pithy sentences to quote. I would have ended up quoting the entire document. Thus, I urge you to find some time to read this complete document yourself.





Peoples' Climate March, Flood Wall St, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street
FloodWallStreet.net claims that "the economy of the 1% is destroying the planet, flooding our homes, and wrecking our communities."  

The "flooding" of Wall Street took place the day after the March. Protesters in blue, as if the ocean were overflowing Lower Manhattan, gathered in Bowling Green in the morning and then, ca. 3:30 pm moved towards Wall Street. It would seem that the NYPD were fairly lenient (in comparison to earlier OWS events), but eventually some 104 protesters were arrested that evening.





Peoples' Climate March, Consensus Project, On the March, Central Park West & 59th Street

"The debate is over," the maxim of TheConsensusProject.com, posits the scientific reality that global warming is real and is caused by man.   As its site states, "97% of published climate papers with a position on human-caused global warming agree: global warming is happening--and we are the cause."

A group of nine highly respected scientists, led by John Cook, published its findings last year after a thorough examination of 11,944 climate abstracts published between 1991 and 2011. Among those scientist-authors who took a position on AGW (anthropogenic global warming), "97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming." 

The debate may well be over, but for strictly venal, political reasons, we still have politicians who deny the existence of climate change and its connection to human activities.  The majority of these politicians are Republicans, as Randal Olsen reveals in a piece published last month. 

Another article actually lists all the deniers by name.  In it, I counted 117 members of our House of Representatives and 25 members of our Senate. 

Among the Climate Change Deniers in the House are such well-recognized names as Michele Bachmann (MN), Joe Barton (TX), John Boehner (OH), Paul Broun (GA), Louie Gohmert (TX), Trey Gowdy (SC), Darrell Issa (CA), Steve King (IA), Randy Neugebauer (TX), Dana Rohrabacher (CA), Paul Ryan (WI), James Sensenbrenner (WI), Lamar Smith (TX), Steve Stockman (TX), Joe Wilson (SC). 

Among the most recognizable names of Climate Change Deniers in the Senate are Kelly Ayotte (NH), Roy Blunt (MO), Tom Coburn (OK), John Cornyn (TX), Ted Cruz (TX), Chuck Grassley (IA), Orrin Hatch (UT), James Inhofe (OK), Mitch McConnell (KY), Rand Paul (KY), Marco Rubio (FL), Pat Toomey (PA, David Vitter (LA), Roger Wicker (MS).

Now, on October 1 of this year, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. argued that state Attorneys General could act on corporations that "sponsor climate lies" by imposing the "death penalty" (which is a form of charter revocation).

Even if our elected representatives have no "charter" to be revoked, as do corporations, I call on all Americans apply a similar action to every every climate change denier in the House and the Senate: VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE on November 4, two weeks from now. Our ability to continue living on this planet depends upon such radical action.





POSTSCRIPT, MORGAN POWELL IN MEMORIAM:



Peoples' Climate March, Preparations, East 138th Street, Bronx, Morgan Powell and Tyko Kihlstedt, photograph by Carey Clark


Carey Clark, who is pictured in the very first photograph of this post, sent me this shot that she took of me and Morgan, deep in discussion. It is Carey, also, who informed me of Morgan's untimely death.

The morning of the March was the very first time I had met Morgan. I quickly realized how deeply knowledgeable and dedicated he was to the Bronx and to its people, and I also sensed the uniqueness of his approach to this material. I eagerly anticipated having many future discussions with Morgan.

Alas, his body was found on September 29, 2014, floating in the Erie Basin in Brooklyn. I barely knew him; and so, I turn to another Bronx Resident, the New York Times writer and photographer, David Gonzalez, to give us a clearer and more thorough picture of Morgan Powell.