There was a lot of hype surrounding the March for Science last Saturday, but another march this weekend received a lot less attention. If you didn't know about the People's Climate March that happened this Saturday, your resistance commitment might need a new infusion of resources and enthusiasm. Events like the Climate March are happening all the time in the Trump era, and they need as much support as possible to achieve their intended effects.
According to NPR, thousands showed up to march in Washington, D.C., on April 29 for the People's Climate March. Sister marches also popped up in cities across the country, including Chicago, New York, Miami, Houston, and Los Angeles.
Yet even one of the event's primary organizers isn't sure that the march will make any difference in the short term because of who's currently in office. "I don't think, truthfully, that there's any big hope that we're going to get significant climate action out of the Trump administration," Bill McKibben, the founder of climate change website 350.org, told NPR.
McKibben told NPR that the shift to clean power will eventually happen for economic reasons — wind and solar energy are cheaper than ever and on track to become cheaper than fossil fuels. However, the global climate needs more vigorous advocacy than the slow-moving forces the free market will allow.
The environment is supposedly one of the most uniting issues in American politics right now, yet that wasn't too clear based on the response to the Climate March. In a 2016 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, 74 percent of Americans said that the country should do whatever it can to protect the environment. But there's a clear and crucial logical step that can't be missed — each American is part of making sure the country as a whole takes action on climate change. Without citizens in the streets and online, protesting loudly and visibly, the climate status quo won't change.
The Climate March appears to have received significantly less coverage than some of the other marches in the months since the presidential election, but that something that can be addressed in your activism. Yes, the news can make you aware of some events that you should pay attention to, but you shouldn't let the news define the entire scope of issues that you care about. Activism takes hard work, and you'll probably have to dig through the Internet to make sure you're in the loop. New resources like the Resistance Calendar have popped up in the wake of Donald Trump's election, and following niche news sources like 350.org might also help you keep up with events like the Climate March.
Everyone has to be on high alert these days for chances to make a difference in American politics, and the People's Climate March was a perfect such opportunity. If you didn't hear about the march until just now, this is your time to recommit yourself to activism. The initial wave of national involvement may have died down after the election and inauguration, but there's still more than 180 weeks until the country gets to elect the next president, and a lot of work to be done between now and then.