There are over 400 buses filled with marchers – destination NYC. I wish I was riding with them.
More than 1100 different groups and organizations across the country are coming to NYC – all to be part of the biggest mobilization of human beings on behalf of climate action in the history of the world. I’m honored to be part of one of those groups.
As the Organizer of the South Bay 350 Climate Action Group, I HAVE to be there. Not because it’s required but because I am drawn.
I am drawn by the heat as if it were a magnet.
The heat of record temperatures, month after month, year after year.The heat that has forever altered our water supply and turned drought into the new normal.
The heat that blazes the wildfire season all year long.
The heat warming our oceans, our land and our atmosphere to the point of no return.
The heat that is cooking our planet, melting the frozen places and evaporating the future for all who come after us.
I am drawn by the heat but I will be there to put the heat on others.
I am going to NYC because this is the last chance we have to reach the world’s leaders while they are all together in one place.
Will they ignore 100,000 people in the streets? Maybe. Would they ignore millions around the world? They already do.
I need to add my body to that New York front line and be in those streets with everyone else who knows they need to be there. I need to be there to see for myself just how many of us get us. How many know how very little time we have left to do something. How many are still willing to try.
CO2 levels are at 400 and climbing and here I am working full time for 350, and having to explain what that number means because it’s ancient history now.
I have to be there in NYC because we live in the Twilight Zone where the biggest threat to ever face the human race – far worse than any weapon, war, disease or disaster ever posed – is being treated like trivia and being dismissed by people too ignorant or frightened or malevolent to respond in time to save themselves or their children.
We may only have one chance in a million to change course while there is still time. I’ll take those odds.
We may have only a decade left to change EVERYTHING. I’ll take that decade.
I work locally here in the South Bay of Los Angeles every day trying to beat those odds and use that time, but on Sunday I need to represent my community as part of the much larger community. The community that has come together in a moment of flamboyant sanity.
I march for all of you I work with, who support our efforts, who are counting on us. But I especially march for my young friends and the generations who will never know a climate as well suited for civilization as we have enjoyed.
I march in frustration and anger and depressing disbelief, yet I also march in hope and optimism and the highest expectations.
My South Bay community includes Inglewood, Carson, Gardena, Hawthorne, Lomita, Lawndale and Torrance and all my brothers and sisters there who suffer from climate injustice. Those who get the least benefits from the fossil fuel economy and bear the worst impacts.
If there is no climate justice for them, then there is no climate justice for me.
Joe Galliani, Organizer, South Bay 350 Climate Action Group