Why the Peoples Climate March Means Hope


A quick look at the history of the environmental movement in order to understand why the Peoples Climate Movement means hope for progressive climate action.


Transcript Provided by YouTube:

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[Music]
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people’s climate March is this Saturday
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in Washington DC to anything like it’s
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2014 predecessor in New York City there
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are probably over 400,000 people lining
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the streets the 2014 climate March
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showed the world that people still very
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much care about environmental issues are
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committed to climate action that front
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lines Arjun alized communities a brief
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look at the history of environmental
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demonstrations will illuminate why this
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2017 people’s climate March and into
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2014 New York City counterpart points
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towards a hopeful future for a
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progressive climate action so let’s go
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back to the spring of nineteen seventy
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the first birthday to be exact a time
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when anti-war and civil-rights protests
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were dominating the nation’s attention
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gaylord nelson a senator from wisconsin
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organized a massive nationwide
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environmental teaching first Earth Day
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is important because it motivated
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millions of people across the United
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States and the world with a series of
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grassroots teachings and demonstrations
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but unlike contemporary movements like
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the people’s climate March the
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organizers of the first Earth Day
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obscured racial and class divisions in
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order to make environmentalism
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approachable for white middle and
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upper-class audiences for example at the
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University of Michigan’s five-day
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teaching environmental historian pad in
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Rome writes the campus black power
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organization threatened to boycott
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because the organizers were not devoting
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enough attention to the problems in the
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ghetto while members of the students for
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a Democratic Society mocked the not so
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liberal liberalism of the featured
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speakers despite this lack of
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intersectional organizing the first
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Earth Day inspired a whole generation of
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environmental activists and led to
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roughly 2 million new memberships for
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mainstream environmental organizations
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in the
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15 years after in 1970 but as crucial as
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the first birthday was in galvanizing
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contemporary environmental movement’s
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participants largely saw themselves as
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separate from the concerns of the civil
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rights anti-war and women’s liberation
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movements this however eventually
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changed with the smaller environmental
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initiatives of the 1980s and 90s and
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easier is the environmental movement
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began to splinter as a result of the
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more corporate centered outlook of
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larger environmental organizations a
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1990 study even revealed executives from
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exxon Monsanto and Union Carbide on the
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boards of seven major environmental
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groups while these bigger organizations
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became lag mired in corporate concerns
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and annual Earth Day events turned into
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what Fortune magazine called a veritable
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biz fest smaller environmental groups
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began to take a more local and
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democratized approach to environmental
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activism some groups like the indigenous
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environmental Network took into account
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marginalized communities and the idea of
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environmental justice while others like
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Earth first employed eco sabotage to
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hinder environmental degradation so as
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corporate activism began to affect the
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actions of mainstream organizations and
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events like Earth Day a new generation
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of grassroots environmentalist emerged
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and carved out a more progressive agenda
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one that sought to address the concerns
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of people other than the predominantly
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white men that ran the larger nonprofits
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if we jump ahead to the founding of the
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people’s climate movement in 2014 and
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the subsequent marches it organized the
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legacy of these progressive grassroots
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environmentalists lives on while the
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first Earth Day generated an initial
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push for environmental action the goals
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of the people’s climate movement
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demonstrate how environmentalism has
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developed since the 1970s people’s
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climate movement uses a decentralized
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structure with an emphasis on local
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organization and prioritizing leadership
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of frontline communities communities of
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color and low-income
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people’s climate March tomorrow marks an
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important step towards the future of
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progressive climate action the future
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which recognizes the success of the mass
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grassroots demonstrations in the first
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earth day while also understanding the
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importance of leadership from frontline
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communities and those often marginalized
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on mainstream environmentalism in this
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way the people’s climate movement and
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the marches it is organized demonstrate
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that the global community not only cares
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about individual solutions to
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environmental issues like climate change
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but also solutions on a systemic level
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I’ve put some links down in the
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description if you’re interested in
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going to the climate March and hopefully
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you are and as always if you like the
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video please consider subscribing or
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supporting me financially on patreon and
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I will see you next week bye


This post was previously published on YouTube.