On Sunday 29 November
2015 the People’s Climate March is set to take off from the Torrens Parade
Grounds in Adelaide – and all around the world.
My question to you
is, are you going to help make it the biggest climate rally ever? And if not,
I have many friends
who I know to be very concerned about climate change and who, like me, want the
Australian government to get serious about it. So why have they never been to a
rally thus far? They’ve signed petitions supporting renewable energy, they
might have solar panels on their roof, they might buy renewable energy from their
retailer, they might ‘like’ or even ‘share’ climate action posts on social
media. But they draw the line at a rally.
Perhaps they don’t
know that it’s like being at a party, or a live music event. Perhaps they don’t
know that the vibe is amazing and that the bigger the crowd, the more inspiring
it is. When you get a group of hundreds – or even thousands of people – in one
place with one intention, the resulting mood and energy is intoxicating. Even
On the flip side,
perhaps that’s why some people find the pursuit of money at any cost so
irresistible. A room full of investors and speculators must create a winners
energy that makes people blind, hopefully temporarily, to the people who can no
longer fish in their river or forage in their bushland or hunt on their
grasslands because fossil fuel extraction has stripped it all away or degraded
it to virtual death.
They don’t see the
crude oil drifting in clumps down a stream or lapping the shore of a beach,
clinging to the wings of sea birds. They don’t see the gas bubbling out of the
river they grew up frolicking in or the forest burning to install a monoculture
crop where once they made their living.
What kind of thinking
does it take to imagine that it’s ok to treat the earth like an infinite
machine of wonders?
Having seen ‘This
Changes Everything’ with over 100 other southern suburbs residents this week, I
can only agree with Naomi Klein, that the thinking is centuries old – and
devastatingly out of date.
When the tall ships
first began exploring the world beyond Europe and the Middle East, the world
must have seemed vast, its resources, limitless. But we know now that it is not
infinite. There are boundaries. And we have crossed them for too long.
The earth is not a
machine, it’s a holiday destination and we get to visit for a short time and we’re
expected to leave it in good order – or pay the price.
simply disappear. We know that now. We’ve pumped so much carbon into the
atmosphere that we’ve caused the entire planet’s temperature to rise and to
threaten life on earth itself.
And while we did
that, we took people’s clean land, water and air from them right across the
world – Canada, India, China, Australia, the UK, the US, the list is long and
exhaustive. On land, from beneath the ocean, where forests stood, where rivers
flowed, we have sought fossil fuels – oil, gas, coal, uranium. Nothing can stop
us. Except us.
So this weekend, I’m
busily coming up with slogans for posters and banners for the People’s Climate
March. I’m gathering my bells, whistles, and tambourine and working with others
on carpooling. I’m ready to sing and chant on the streets so every politician
on the planet can hear us as their delegates descend on Paris for the UN
Climate Summit. And I’ll be in good company.
We will join the
ranks of the hundreds of thousands of people in history who have stood up for
what was right: an end to Apartheid in South Africa, the right of Aboriginal
people to vote, women’s right to vote and so much more. Were they are
lamentable bunch? Do we berate them for their efforts or do we sing their
praises and thank them for their time, their energy and their stoicism.
So once again, all
around Australia, thousands of people will be calling for climate justice. In
Greece, India, China (yes, China), the US (where they just had their Keystone
win), in the UK (where fracking threatens farmland just as it does here in
Australia); people everywhere will be standing up to demand strong and real
measures to halt climate change.
And the buzz will be
I hope you will be
there to know what the buzz of being in a big crowd of people calling for right
action feels like; to be proud of yourself for standing up. Together we can
claim back the planet for the people, for life.
Palitja Moore, text 2015, and image (March in March, Adelaide), 2014