Wandering around on Wall Street and other protest sites these past few days, you have a sense that we live in a country filled with people in search of a movement. Organic, powerful, urgent, spontaneous, cathartic, honest and fun are words protesters use to describe the nascent movement and their experience in it. Donald Trump may have inadvertently added to that vocabulary and helped send thousands more to the event by commenting on Fox News yesterday that it looked like a great place to get a date.
In other places around the planet, several attempts have been made by the environmental movement to launch a global and national climate movement, meeting with only modest success.
In contrast to the so-called Wall Street zombies, labeled as the result of dressing like Wall Street scions, their mouths stuffed with Monopoly money, our efforts have been hierarchical in nature; well-organized and decently funded efforts, but lacking spontaneity. Protests are staged and include planned arrests, with paid musical performances, and speeches from the rich and famous, driven by leaders who have a penchant for hyperboles about whose action was the largest, most effective, etc. — probably desperately hoping they can create something out of nothing.
And despite pronouncements to the contrary, the numbers of participants have been small, and these efforts, while well-intentioned, simply do not mark the beginning of a movement that will force global leaders to act on climate.