Climate demonstrations: 2005 and 2015

Ten years ago world leaders and world powers gathered in Montreal in ostensible hopes of hammering out an agreement to reduce emissions and reduce the harms of global warming.

Little or nothing came out of the meetings, in part because of the adamant refusal to deal with the issue on the part of the Bush/Cheney administration. That same administration aggressively promoted fracking with the “Halliburton Exemption,” which specifically exempted fracking from any regulation connected with the federal Clean Water Act..

Young people have the most to lose in a warming world, and young people at the meeting in Montreal in 2005 tried to demonstrate, John and Yoko style. singing a song with the refrain of

Give Youth A Chance

Though I think we all wanted to believe this would have a galvanizing effect, just as it did with Lennon, such did not appear to be the case, according to my version of accounts available at the time.

Believe it or not, earlier this week there were quite a few signs of hope from the United Nations-sponsored climate change conference in Montreal, despite U.S. foot-dragging. One of the most encouraging signs was a group of young people who came and camped out and demonstrated at the conference, promising a generational commitment towards a solution to the problem.

Re-awakening the call of a dreamer: if John Lennon were still here, he’d be here in Montreal.

So write Michelle Petrisor and Rosa Kouri, blogging for itsgettinghotinhere, a website built for the climate change conference in Montreal. On the date of his assassination, December 8th, they wrote that:

In his memory, youth at the United Nations Climate Negotiations staged a “bed-in” for the climate. Two blocks away from the original site of John’s protest, we briefly recreated the message of peace and compassion. Surrounded by flashing cameras, recorders, and reporters, flanked by escalators and men and women in business suits, we begin to sing John’s simple words. Youth two dozen strong, we laid white blankets and pillows on the floor. Delegates passing by began to sing along to “Give youth a chance” and “Imagine”…

That’s from 2005. From today, a completely different style of demonstration, including striking art works (TK) and impressively choreographed mass demonstrations (TK).

Even a friendly face showing a clever little sign to encourage faith in a sustainable tomorrow.

1.5-to-stay-alive

“1.5 to stay alive”

Yes, time for a new kind of demonstration.

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