I was recently asked by an onlooker to the Oakland, CA sister march of the People’s Climate Movement, “how do you still have hope?” It is a curious question because I’m not quite sure that I do. In the midst of this planetary crisis of climate change and a government filled with depravity, it is difficult to retain hope knowing that the body, breath, and tears of Mother Nature have been poisoned by the greed of American capitalism. Nonetheless, the grassroots movements, rallies, marches, and even lawsuits against the federal government have been bold and brazen acts of persistence.
The April 29th resistance against climate change—and a Presidential administration that blatantly denies science and disrespects the very honor of the Earth—was groundbreaking in pushing for environmental policy and action in the United States.
The unity of so many passionate global citizens was breathtaking. In Oakland, CA specifically the presence was not primarily millennials but rather seniors who are actively fighting for a safer and cleaner future that simply does not pertain to them. I am touched by that level of kindness.
However, this march extended far past the liberal bubble of the Northern California Bay. Its presence was focused in Washington D.C., addressing the apathetic administration head-on. Pushing for policy and protesting the President’s anti-environmental executive orders—such as the most recent reversal of the Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan. By reversing this act, states will no longer be held accountable to decrease their use of dirty energy sources, and in turn, one can assume with confidence that the United States as a whole will no longer meet the Paris Agreement standards of carbon dioxide emissions. The ramifications of this fact are disastrous, along with the truth that there is far more damage being done in the White House than just this one executive order.
It is easy to get bogged down by the dark cloud of political despair in the context of the environmental movement. Too easy. But the People’s Climate March was a refusal to let that despair terminate the hope and persistence of the American people. Hope is vital to this resistance. It is the thread of the uprising and the band to Nature’s revolution. Although I am questioned, by myself and by others, how I could possibly still have hope in times like these; it is the compassionate souls and fiery activists that reassure me of the fact that I will never lose it.