People’s Climate March Signs: Days 14-25

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For Days 14 through 25 of 28 brainstorming signs for the People’s Climate March, I tried to focus especially on the self-reinforcing cycles and feedback loops of climate change. The tendency of climate change to reinforce itself once it gets started is one of the most frightening things about this challenge. The biggest of these climate change feedback loops is pretty well known– increased heat melts the polar ice caps, without the reflective white of polar ice, more heat is absorbed, raising temperatures even further. At the same time, permafrost in polar regions also melts, releasing methane and CO2 that has been trapped for millennia into the atmosphere, and increasing greenhouse gas emissions, further accelerating the heat-trapping greenhouse effect. The possibility that incremental warming could lead to extensive and accelerating warming is something we need to look at realistically, because we are on the precipice of kicking this (and many other) feedback loops into overdrive. In California we are already seeing some of these feedback loops (specifically the one related to tree death due to climate change and drought) play out. I was so honored to hear that someone from Yosemite had taken a sign inspired by the tree feedback loop (above, and on the web if you an email subscriber) to the Yosemite March for Science. We need to raise awareness about the urgency of the moment we are in, and I think building and understanding of the feedback loops can play an important part in that.

Day 25 of 28 brainstorming signs for the #PeoplesClimateMarch #climatemarch #PCM #peoplesmarch. Today's theme: It's the economists, stupid. I forget where I first saw that… and I feel a little badly about repeating it, because in the last few years I've met some revolutionary economists who are a part of the solution. BUT, with some notable exceptions, it's hard not to see classical economics as an essential player in accelerating climate change. @PaulHawken sums this 'devil-may-care' attitude perfectly with ".we are stealing from the future, selling it in the present, and calling it GDP." We are beginning to entertain better measures than #GDP such as happiness/ per-capita resource use, but we need to move even faster. What we measure matters, and as long as a booming stock market continues to be the bellweather of economic success, our future is in big trouble. #externalities #gdp #economics #climateaction #crookedwalk

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Thanks to @zerowasterva for the inspiration for day 22 of 28 brainstorming signs for the #peoplesclimatemarch #peoplesclimate #climatemarch #pcm coming up this Saturday 4/29 in DC and globally. The secret about marches? They're actually pretty fun. Sometimes you stand around in the heat/cold for to long, sometimes your kid throws a fit, but in my short history of marching, I've found its uplifting to go out and see the many other people that care. #climateaction doesn't have to be all misery and sadness… There is a great tradition of fun, playfulness, performance and art in climate action– just check out the film "The Yes Men Are Revolting" on Amazon streaming for a flavor of the wacky stunts people pull. #stayengaged #staywoke #yesmen

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Day 21 of 28 brainstorming signs for the #peoplesclimatemarch #peoplesclimate #climatemarch #pcm. Today's theme: what are YOU doing to act in climate? Is there more you could be doing? Here's a photo of a coal-fired power plant I took when flying into #cincinnati this AM. We need both to fight the man that continues to let #blackcarbon be an acceptable byproduct of our power demands. We also need to #reduce those demands to begin with through simple acts of energy conservation. My motivation? I just imagine that the lights, the electric kettle, the ever-running #dvr box were pumping little smokestacks of their #co2 directly into my house. That usually motivates me to get up and turn off all the power strips. Let's make conservation the default. #flexyourpower #climateaction

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Day 20 of 28 brainstorming signs for the #peoplesclimatemarch #climatemarch #peoplesclimate #pcm. Today's theme: America is toxic… The things we do to keep our public spaces and properties "presentable" and "tidy," whether the routine use of residential pesticides and herbicides, or simply the act of mowing the lawn (think: diesel emissions combined with habitat elimination as the matrix of plants that might be in a meadow environment are decapitated before they an flower… ) Our 'maintenance' practices have outsized impacts on dying bee, bird and animal populations, not to mention serious consequences for our own health. While The use of many agricultural pesticides is heavily monitored, home/residential use typically is not. In one longitudinal study of the health of Salinas Valley farm workers, it was shown that residential toxins (flame retardants, pthalates- stuff all Americans are heavily exposed to) were more evident and carcinogenic in farm workers' bodies than their agricultural exposures. Time to re-think those #lawns #lawnmaintenance. #savethebees #foodnotlawns #rewilding #habitatrestoration @miraclegro

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For day 19 of 28 brainstorming signs for the #peoplesclimatemarch #climatemarch, returning to the topic of feedback loops. Last night I read an article describing the vastly increasing rates of tree death in Southern California, and I just can't get it out of my head. The article describes massive tree losses across species due to borer beetle, drought, and other diseases. I knew something was up, because there are astounding numbers of dead trees both in my hometown of #SanDiego and in my adopted home of #LosAngeles. Losing these trees couldn't come at a worse time for our communities as we brace for increased high heat days, we need #urbangreening more than ever. #climatechange #climateaction #feedbackloop #treepeople #treesaretheanswer

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Day 11 of 14 brainstorming signs for the #MarchForScience #ScienceMarch and day 18 of 28 brainstorming signs for the #PeoplesClimateMarch. Taking a little breather today to remind everyone to get out there! I went out at lunchtime yesterday with a sign promoting both marches, and walked around the insanely busy intersection near my house in Los Angeles for 45 minutes. As I waited to cross at each street corner, I started asking people "So, are you going to be marching this Saturday, or are you going to be marching next Saturday?" Assuming people cared, and wanted to be engaged turned out to be an effective tactic. My fellow lunch breakers and I had quite a number of of substantive discussions about the Administration's approach to both science and climate change as I walked around in a the intersection 10 times. I'm going to say that getting out there and talking with neighbors and strangers about these issues was one of the more faith-giving experiences I've had of late. #WeDoCare #YesWeCan #JustTransition. #whyImarch

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Day 15 of 28 brainstorming signs for the #peoplesclimatemarch, #climatemarch. Today's theme: urgency. The scientific community has been aware of the threat presented by #climatechange since the 70s. Corporations and the US military have been planning for the effects of climate change for 20 years, though some (ExxonMobil) have intentionally disguised their awareness from the public. Now the threat has arrived. Swift, intense action to reduce climate pollutants may still help us avoid the most dire outcomes, but many of climate changes destructive, self-reinforcing cycles have already ramped into overdrive, and the degree of global politically instability we now see is directly connected. In order to meet this moment, we need to organize with urgency and vision. This is #whyimarch. #peoplesclimatemarch #pcm

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