By: Chris Warren.
My seven year old nephew is quite a showman. He doesn’t take things too seriously and can come up with some very clever one-liners, just like his uncle. What’s best about his style is that he is funny when he does not intend to be. This trait is common in children and sometimes adults, except when adults do it, it’s seldom cute and charming. Few things are more pitiful than adults who want to be taken seriously then go about playing a fool in a way that makes you wish, really wish, they are not doing it on purpose. They ought to consider getting a job in the circus so they can at least be paid for acting like clowns.
On Sunday, September 21, 2014, New York City was host to the “People’s Climate March.” Yes, they had an impressive crowd. Yes, they have a legitimate cause, sort of. Yet, they are closer to being like my nutty young nephew than they’d like to admit.
It didn’t matter that the marchers left behind tons and tons of garbage and litter; left wing media outlets have gone through gyrations worthy of a side show contortionist to explain the mess away. It did not matter that two of their headline acts, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and internet inventor/ex-vice president Al Gore, live lifestyles that puke more carbon than most entire American neighborhoods (did they at least share a private jet to NYC?). It did not even matter that the New York transit system added a whole lot of extra energy-gulping busses and trains to accommodate the party.
As I have observed in this blog before here and here, liberals are weirdly obsessed with feelings and appearances over actual results. To them, hundreds of thousands of people walking around with signs is more desirable than the same number of people cleaning local parks, planting gardens, or calling their congressman. Why? Because cleaning, planting, and calling do not make a worldwide media event. The march was timed to coincide with a United Nations summit on climate change, which itself was a ridiculous circus that accomplished absolutely zero, unless agreeing to meet again next year counts as an “accomplishment”. U.N. press releases not unexpectedly omitted the detail that many of the biggest polluter countries did not think the summit was important enough to send representatives to. Think of it as a Big Top where the trapeze act, lion tamers, and elephants are taking the day off.
Huge crowds of Climate Marchers walking up the street did not even succeed in the superficial goal of making a lasting impression. Within twenty four hours it was a news cycle has-been. They walked around, chanted, made a few speeches, dumped their plastic water bottles and signs on the street for someone else to clean up, then left, secure in the self-indulgent belief that they are pioneering activists who made a real difference. A small minority of faithful will continue to work on environmental issues, but they were already doing that anyway. The other 97% were just there to party, feel good, and spread the smug on Facebook. Marchers: You won over no new soldiers to your cause, not even yourselves. A month from now almost no one will care about or remember the People’s Climate March.
Meanwhile in emerging countries around the globe, millions are living hand to mouth in abject poverty. They cook on open fires, assuming they can find something to cook, and get around on smoking, barely-running motor scooters. The climate movement, the one that claims a desire to lift up the poor, wants to take this away from them. Here in the United States, the average poor man barely scraping up enough cash to eat is being lectured that he’s better off paying more –much more, actually– for an organic, non-genetically modified version of his daily bread. The environmental movement is perfectly happy to restrict resources to those who have very little to begin with because the environmental movement’s acolytes are disproportionately wealthy and either either don’t realize or don’t care that the five bucks they blow on a pound of organic tomatoes is more than some people have to spend on food for an entire week.
On the day of the Climate March, other ordinary citizens all across America calmly went about their business recycling aluminum cans, tending their gardens, collecting rainwater, and doing meaningful volunteer work. Farmers went out to their fields and busted their asses to put food on all our tables just as they have every single day since the beginning of civilized man. For my part, I did some fine tuning on my solar panels. We had no party, no sanctimonious speeches, no manufactured “hey look at me!” moment. Any one of us did more good that day than all the efforts of the entire march. If anyone noticed us, it was by accident, and that’s the way we like it. True environmentalists are about doing, and walking through downtown Manhattan with a sign in one hand and a Starbuck’s cup in the other is not “doing” anything. Environmental problems will never be solved by people who have absolutely no intention of putting any effort into the cause beyond showing up for one event. The true agents of change were nowhere near Manhattan that day.
Almost every kid has given at least a passing thought to running away and joining the circus. All they know is that the circus is music, crazy acts, stunts, fun. They don’t see the hours of rehearsal and tending to animals that happens before and after every show. When the show is over, the spectators get to leave. That’s why for most of the marchers, the environmental movement will never be more than a form of entertainment. Everyone wants to be in the circus; no one wants to help put up the tent. My cute little nephew may get away with being a goof because of his age, but the march participants have to rise above second grade antics If they expect to see any progress on keeping the planet green. The People’s Climate March is proof that the environmental movement needs fewer clowns and more dung shovelers.