Did you make it to one of the thousands of protest marches today for the Global Youth Climate Strike? Because it was definitely THE place to be on this historic day, 20 September 2019, planet Earth. According to The Guardian, protests took place in about 185 countries and all the continents in the world. Millions of people, from children to elders and everyone in-between, marched and demonstrated, gave speeches, made and carried signs, posters and banners, sang songs, danced, and generally supported one another in solidarity against what most perceive as the root problem—corporate greed, backed by the power elite in governments around the world.
As this article in today’s Guardian News clearly demonstrates, today’s Global Climate Strike was unprecedented in numbers of humans (at least several million) from all walks of life getting out of their schools, workplaces and homes, and taking it to the streets. Additionally, over 7000 websites showed their solidarity by displaying only a black screen or a screen saying they were on climate strike for the day. And there were lots of speeches in every major city from Australia to the United States, from the global north to south, and east to west. It was a spectacular day for humanity to show up in solidarity as one people who understand that we have just one precious planet that is in grave danger of being destroyed.
One charismatic young activist in London did a great job of energizing the crowd. He mentioned that there are “terrified billionaires” in the world now who we must all keep fighting, in order to stop them from utterly destroying what remains of our beautiful planet.
At the protest rally in my hometown of Denver, Colorado, I saw plenty of young people carrying signs that demanded the billionaires stop their evil ways so they can have a future. Some of these signs were heartbreaking, and yet the mood was festive. It is impossible to stay subdued in a crowd of thousands kids under the age of 25, with many under 18. As one of the speakers pointed out, youth activists may not yet be of legal voting age, but they soon will be. Activists gave speeches about social justice and how eco-justice goes hand in hand with racial inequity and poverty issues around the world.
I will admit, part of me relishes the image of billionaires who are afraid, perhaps even terrified, of losing their fortunes and futures because millions of young people, inspired by the fearless Greta Thunberg, have seen straight through their cunning and lies and are demanding change away from fossil fuels to a world that runs on clean and even free energy. Imagine, for just a moment, what such a world would be like! How would it look, smell, feel, sound and taste? What would the world in which we live be like if Nature, including all living creatures and plants, was given rights to exist and not be destroyed, trammeled and polluted for humanity’s selfish and greedy ends? If you are having a bit of trouble imagining it, you’re not alone. Many millions, probably billions, of humans are also having difficulty imagining a clean planet that will support all life with no problem, without extremely harsh weather conditions in the future. Sadly, there was a good chunk of trolls and haters who posted on Greta’s Twitter feed during today’s events. Tragically, there are plenty of people who do not want a clean, equitable and healthy future for humanity and Gaia. Why, one has to wonder? Why would anyone alive on Earth today NOT want all life on this incredible planet to improve, for all to become healthy, for the air, water, land and nature to once again be purified and restored to its natural state of health?
Today was an extraordinary day for Mama Gaia and for those of us who can imagine a clean and healthy future world. No matter what the naysayers and billionaires might think or do in days, weeks and years to come, I know that millions of us will continue to hold the vision of the more beautiful world we know is possible. I hope you will join us.