The main event of the People’s Climate March took place on Sunday in New York City, but demonstrations were held around the world. Orion contributor Kathleen Dean Moore sent us this note from a gathering in Eugene, Oregon. Photograph courtesy of Mark Watchman.
This is a bad day for pipelines and export terminals and tankers and coal trains.
This is a bad day for the Koch brothers, and Rex Tillerson of Exxon Mobil, and anyone else who would trade the life-supporting systems of the Earth for obscene profits.
This is a bad day for universities, holding on to their last investments in fossil fuels, insisting on their right to profit from death and extinction—even as their own scientists warn them, warn them that fossil fuels will carry us, smoking and stinking, to the end of life as we know it on this planet.
This is the last day for despair. It is the last day to say it’s too late, that there is nothing anyone can do. It is a day to awaken to the fact that we are not helpless at all, that we have the knowledge and the courage and the joyous communities it will take to make the great turning away from death and toward a reinvented life.
This is the last day for lies and excuses and delay. It is the last term in office for elected officials who will not or cannot protect the future. It is the last day that anyone can be silent about climate change.
And so, this is a great day for the hoofed and winged things. It’s a great day for small children of all species, a great day for ice and oceans, a great day for reliable rain.
This is a great day for justice, and the right of all beings to clean air and clean energy.
This is a great day for sanity and imagination. Imagine a world without wars for oil. Imagine a world without the din and dirt of internal combustion engines. Imagine democracy without the corrupting wealth of coal barons. Imagine a world powered as plants are powered—by the sun.
Today is the day when everything changes. In every struggle for justice, there is a turning point, a tipping point, when what was unimaginable becomes inevitable. It is the day when the people pour into the street to reclaim their futures and the future of all the glorious lives on Earth.
Life is not a commodity, to be bought and sold, wrecked and ransacked, for the profit of a few sullen and frightened men. The profusion of life is a sacred trust, a great and glorious gift, to be honored and protected, and passed along, intact and singing, to the next generations of all living things.
Kathleen Dean Moore’s newest book is Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril, which makes the moral case for halting climate change and honoring our obligations to future generations. Her most recent piece for Orion, “The Rules of the River,” appears in the September/October 2014 issue.