I am writing this a few days after the horrible tragedy in Orlando. I’m still very sad, and also frustrated, and fearful of the future of this country. My heart goes out to the victims of the Orlando massacre, their families and friends, and all who ache at the needless violence that seems to happen so often in our country. Orlando is a case in point of how many challenges we face these days: challenges of hatred and violence, an economy that doesn’t seem to benefit everyone and a rapidly changing climate that is already impacting people in various parts of the world and will impact all of us sooner or later. It all makes me sad, frustrated and fearful. I sometimes feel like I don’t know what to do, but there is something to do, in Philadelphia, next month, where we can join our voices and hands to create a better world NOW.
The Democratic National Convention meets in Philadelphia, PA this year, beginning on Monday, July 25, 2016. On the day before this convention, Sunday, July 24th, at Noon there will be a gathering of people at City Hall, to march from City Hall to Independence Hall, to send a message to the conventioneers, the country and the world. We can no longer act as if the lifestyles we enjoy are sustainable. They are NOT! In order to give humanity, and every other species on the planet, a reasonable chance to survive the irreversible climate change that is in place already, we must keep fossil fuels in the ground. We must immediately shift from non-renewable and polluting fuels to renewable sources of energy: wind, solar, geo-thermal, hydro, etc. This is what we are going to shout, mime, sing and chant during this march on July 24th.
There is so much that we can demand of our political leaders, but we MUST act to move our country and the world to pursue public policies that will make it more likely that the planet will remain inhabitable for our grandchildren and great grandchildren. We MUST and we CAN do something! What I encourage you to do is join us on July 24th in Philadelphia. Go to http://www.cleanenergymarch.org/ in order to learn more about this event. There is information on transportation options into Philly. There is lots of information about using social media to raise awareness. If you cannot come that day, you can talk about it on your Facebook page, through Twitter, etc. We hope to have 10,000 people at this march, calling on our leaders, particularly those in the Democratic party, to engage serious policy initiatives that rise to the level of the challenge they seek to address.
A friend of mine, Lori Braunstein, the founder of Sustainable Cherry Hill, has shared many times that she got into the environmental movement after watching Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. She wondered what she would say to her children and grandchildren should they ask what she did to address the threat of climate change. That is true of me as well. When the next generation, and the generation after that, look back on this time, what legacy do I want to leave? What do I want them to say about me, or about this generation, when given the opportunity to raise our voices loud and clear that we MUST change our ways? I hope they will say that we tried our best, that we did raise our voices, that we took to the streets, that we called people to account for their inaction and denial.
Will you join us? In the birthplace of this country, when our founders gathered and committed themselves to the idea that human beings can be responsible for themselves and each other and can build institutions that safeguard and promote human dignity and flourishing we will gather. We will gather on July 24th, and raise our voices loud and clear, that we need to enlarge that commitment, that we need to remember that our “democratic experiment” exists on a planet that has been exploited and damaged to such a degree that any “experiment” in social living may well become impossible. Raise your voice! Join us! March with us! The time to act is now!
Mark Doorley, Ph.D.
The Center for Environmental Transformation