Tens of thousands of earth inhabitants converged upon the capital of the United State of America for the Forward on Climate march, Sunday, Feb. 17. Organized by the Sierra club, 350.org, and the Hip Hop Caucus, among others, the march had a two-fold purpose, intimately connected.
One, to support President Obama’s dramatic remarks addressing climate change in his State of the Union address. Two, specifically, to encourage him to prevent the Keystone XL pipeline from coming to fruition.
Speakers included 350.org’s Bill McKibben, Sierra Club’s Michael Brune, Van Jones and Rev. Lennox Yearwood.
It was a frigid day, fodder for the climate change deniers farting in their Barcaloungers at home.
For a slideshow of images from this event, go here.
For an account of this rally from the perspective of Katelyn Breden, a student at Butler University, go here.
The crowd, estimated by some at 35,000 and by others at 50,000, was fun and festive and festooned with costumes, drums and handmade signs. Whatever the numbers, it was the largest environmental demonstration in the history of our country. A short march took us by the White House, devoid of the Obama object of our protestation, who was, apparently, golfing in Florida with Tiger Woods.
Rallies were held across the country for those unable to make the trip to the nation’s capital. Thus the exact count of those who gathered will not be available for days.
The assembled were largely in agreement on this one central point: to say yes to the Keystone XL pipeline is to say yes to planetary destruction.
Keystone XL spells eco-disaster in numerous ways, through deforestation, through the costly extraction of oil from tar sands and — because our pipelines often break — the environment is at risk all along the 1700 mile way.
Mostly, KXL is a terrible idea because it accelerates our love affair with fossil fuels, which is a hate affair with nature. (See more, below.)
The march ended where it began, at the National Mall with the Washington Monument looming behind us, where we were treated to congratulatory remarks from McKibben, Brune and others. Appropriately, the entire shindig ended with a dance party — to stay warm and also to solidify our unity and commitment.
Why say no to Keystone?
• Extraction of oil from tar sands is costly and dirty
• Destruction of Canadian boreal forest and wetlands
• Pipeline fraught with possibilities of breakage; read a story from an Indiana engineer who knows what he’s talking about
• Number of jobs created greatly overstated by the fossil fuel industry
• Oil extracted will largely be shipped overseas anyway
• Keystone XL keeps the fossil fuel death party going
For more: 350.org, Sierra Club, NRDC, Climate Reality Project, Hip Hop Caucus, Public Citizen, etc.