Living and Learning

Hold Onto Those Signs, Everyone

Even though I wanted to, I decided not to participate in the Climate Strike yesterday. I left this protest to stronger, healthier folks. I’m still recovering from the cold or flu that has kept me home feeling like a wet dishrag this week. The worst if the illness is over, but my head still feels as though it is full of cotton wool.

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Climate Strike Sydney Australia via CNN World

On Thursday, I thought I’d do some gardening, and I managed to do about forty-five minutes of weeding, but that exhausted my limited supply of energy. So, the thought of marching and/or standing around for three hours outside the Alberta Legislature Building on Friday seemed like a bad idea. I debated whether to take a lawn chair, but just the notion of packing that around on public transport made me sigh.

Hong Kong Climate Student Protests

Hong Kong Climate Student Protests via WBUR News

I also thought about writing a sign on the back of a piece of an Amazon cardboard box, but I couldn’t come up with anything clever to write. I blame that on the cotton wool. Also, it seemed to me that displaying my Amazon box would send a counter-productive message about the environment. If I really cared that much about the environment, I wouldn’t get my shopping delivered; I’d get it all by using Shanks’ Pony. So instead, my shanks and I stayed home and wrote this blog post.

The idea of people all over the world getting out to protest the universal failure to combat climate change is both inspiring and disheartening at the same time. I can’t understand why it is taking so long for our governments to acknowledge that all the fires, floods, hurricanes and the like are becoming worse and more frequent. It seems ridiculously obvious to the rest of us. Even some auto industries have got the message and are trying to turn things around, but the US government keeps on denying the problem of emissions.

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Climate Change Protest via Sky News

My news feed is full of clickbait about politicians trying to get re-elected in spite of all their shortcomings, while birds, bees, and butterflies are vanishing and people are literally drowning in tropical storms.  You’d think there would be more attention paid to the bigger picture, but keeping things in proportion isn’t the media’s strong suit. I get that.

So, Climate Strikers, I’m sorry I didn’t join you in person. I was there in spirit, though, and I applaud you all for coming out, making your voices heard, and displaying all your clever signs. You should probably hold on to those so that you can use them again. I’ve got a hunch it’s going to take more than a few rallies to get through to the people who don’t yet feel the problem. Next time, I will join you.

3 replies »

  1. I agree with you that the young people’s movement is inspiring — just as the tepid response is dispiriting. Maybe I’m cynical and jaded, but I don’t think most politicians will care until it (a) becomes an election issue, or (b) personally costs or makes them money. But don’t feel too bad about not having joined the protests. As much as the crowds may be impressive, what really matters is what each of us does, each and every day.

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