Saturday, 26 September 2015

Huge, I mean HUGE rally for "Climate Justice" in Washington

I've absolutely no idea what "Climate Justice" means, I suspect most people don't, and I suspect many who claim to support it don't know either. Back in August, WaPo (The Washington Post) breathlessly told us that "For Pope Francis’s D.C. visit, environmental rally of up to 200K planned".
Several environmental groups are planning a major climate rally that will draw hundreds of thousands to the National Mall on Sept. 24, the day Pope Francis speaks to Congress and is expected to address the public afterwards. 
The permit for the gathering — which will make the moral case for reducing greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming — is for 200,000 people. The Moral Action on Climate Network, along with the Earth Day Network, League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club and other groups, have timed the rally on the Mall  the same day of the pope’s speech.  House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said the pope “has expressed an interest” in making an appearance on the Capitol’s West Front.
Wow - "hundreds of thousands" that must have been some sight last Thursday! Well no, apparently "Climate Justice" is such a burning issue on a nice, warm day in Washington that "hundreds" turned up, or so ThinkProgress estimated - "Pope’s Visit To D.C. Inspires Hundreds To Rally For Climate Justice".

Source: Think Progress

On Thursday morning — as Pope Francis prepared to make history by addressing Congress — hundreds of activists gathered on the National Mall. Holding signs, petitioning for signatures, and offering spirited remarks to an expectant crowd, the activists represented a spectrum of causes and religious denominations, from young evangelicals to Black Lives Matter leaders. And they all came together for a common purpose: to demand action on climate change. “We realize that climate change is the upstream issue, and that downstream, it affects all of us. It is a global an issue as you’ll ever want to encounter. If you’re concerned about immigration, then you realize climate change creates so many climate refugees. If you’re a person who is interested in protecting animals, then you realize that if we didn’t eat animals, we’d be reducing our carbon emissions by almost as much as the entire transportation sector,” Lise Van Susteren, head of Moral Action on Climate Justice, the organization responsible for the rally, told ThinkProgress. “Each group recognizes that we have so much common ground, and that if we put our energies together, that we can see some real differences.”

WaPo was a little more generous with an estimate of 2,000.
For pope-cheering climate rally, a modest crowd. 
The faith-based climate rally that took place Thursday in Washington drew a much smaller crowd than anticipated, though organizers say they still managed to convey their message. 
The Moral Action on Climate Justice network, which worked with the Earth Day Network, League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club. Friends of of the Earth and other groups to organize the event, originally asked the National Park Service for a permit for 50,000 attendees. But Park Service countered the permit should be closer to 200,000, organizers said, given the popularity of Pope Francis. 
In the end, according to several observers, the overall attendance was closer to 2,000. Think Progress — which is published by the liberal think tank Center for American Progress — estimated there were “hundreds of activists” on the Mall for the event, which started early Friday.
Apparently, erstwhile supporters were put off by "traffic".
According to Moral Action on Climate Justice’s head Lise Van Susteren, crowds were deterred by media reports and government warnings that downtown traffic would be snarled by road closures related to the pope’s visit.
“Everybody was saying it was going to be traffic armageddon,” she said in an interview Friday. “Traffic armageddon was the tornado.”
But Van Susteren said the fact that 100 journalists were credentialed for the event, and disparate groups including evangelical and Black Lives Matter activists came together on stage is what matters.
“It’s not how many people are on the ground, really. That’s like how many people come to my birthday, party,” she said. “The issue is people who do count are there.”
Silly me thought that it was precisely "how many people are on the ground" which mattered to the organisers and the press and media for a rally or public protest. Lise continued:
“The point is to bring in evangelicals” into the climate debate, Van Susteren added. “You’ve got to show it’s a big tent.”
Indeed, and the metaphorical "big tent" was almost empty. The article ends:
Van Susteren declined to disclose the total cost of the rally, which was shared among several environmental groups, but said the Park Service required organizers pay for a range of costs on the assumption that nearly 200,000 people would come. That included one portable toilet for every 300 people, multiple jumbotrons, security fees and insurance.
Now lemme see; estimated 200,000, one portaloo for every 300 attendees, which makes a total of 666 toilets. One for every three of the estimated 2,000 who turned up. Taking the piss is so easy and hygenic with so many portaloos on the ground.

Just one last soundbite from ThinkProgress by someone called "Moby", who's a Vegan (who woulda guessed?)
“Any other issue that’s important to anyone, be they progressive or conservative, pales in comparison to climate change. Nothing else that we care about can exist if the climate changes. If there’s no food and there are hurricanes with 250 mph winds, and if half the world’s population is displaced, and if political systems start to fail, everything else we care about just falls by the wayside,” he told ThinkProgress. “It’s almost like we have to fix climate change and then get back to all the other issues that we care about.”
"Nothing else that we care about can exist if the climate changes" - well no, it matters more than just a jot how much the climate changes, and in which direction. Don't these muppets realise the climate is always changing and has always changed? Into and out of ice-ages is a lotta change, and early humans managed to survive the last glacial, without apparently too much trouble. "If there's no food..." - then we'll all be dead. If there's no food, there won't be half the world's population to be displaced, and no political systems either. All dead, including of course the 198,000 "traffic refugees" who cared so much about "Climate Justice" they couldn't be bothered to turn up on a nice sunny day in Washington.

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