London Climate Protest

OK I know I haven’t written in a while, but I’ve been busy getting up to good things to write ABOUT, so I hope you will excuse the three week lapse. On November 4th, my friend Leah, my roommates Mike, Alastair, Lizzie, and Polly, and my cousin Ben all went to London to participate in the 20,000 strong march against climate chaos. On the way to the march, we ran into an exhibition of ancient automobiles lined up along Regent St. (sponsored by the Daily Mail) The other side of my sign said, “cars are SOOOOO 20th century” so we shouted out, “cars are SOOOOO 19th century!” and “this is where all our problems began! car-free London now!”


Two days later, we were all back in Bristol, and I rounded up a couple of friends and headed down to Broadmead Shopping Mall to participate in the Plane Stupid Day of Action against short haul flights. We held up a sign in front of the Flight Centre travel agency that said, “cheap flights cost the Earth” and distributed flyers. It was the nicest ejection from a mall that I’ve ever had- the security guards even invited us to their house for tea. No kidding!


It was back to London on the 11th to see Lucinda Williams at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, a “kick ass chick” who is “too country for rock n’ roll stations and too rock n’ roll for country stations.” If you don’t know Lucinda, you should really check her out. What a crooner! I think I’m in love. I also have nothing but nice things to say about Ken Livingstone, who is planning to raise the congestion charge for SUV’s to £25! I’m sure it was because of that letter I wrote him last year asking him to do exactly that! Need a new transport advisor, Ken?


Last friday, James Hansen, the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies gave a free lecture at the University of Bristol about climate change, and in addition to confirming that we are rolling the atmospheric dice, he also announced that there will likely be hearings in the new Democratic Congress about the Bush Administration’s censorship of scientific findings about the seriousness of global warming. This is great news, as the seedy underbelly of Cheney’s energy “task force” (read, petrol companies) and the outrageous editing of scientific reports to suit oil industry profits may be daylighted.


Today, while up at UWE, I staffed a table for People and Planet helping to get the word out about the evils of the Bristol Airport Expansion- many people interested and motivated to oppose this evil development. If you live in Bristol, or even if you don’t, you can send a message to North Somerset Council on the SBAE website. Word on the street is that some direct action is being planned with regard to aviation in Bristol. Stay tuned….


The other day I thought about a good way to make people understand the seriousness of climate change. Imagine that all six billion people on the planet depended on a single pair of lungs to survive, and that about 2 billion of us were habitually chain smoking (read, western world, rich, mass fossil fuel consumers). The other 4 billion who were trying to lead healthy lifestyles (or couldn’t afford cigarettes) would be pretty angry at those 2 billion who were polluting our communal lungs. Right now we’re in this funny interim period where the doctors (scientists) have told the two billion smokers (oil addicts) we better quit smoking (driving, flying, etc.) or face lung cancer (climate chaos).


Just like the brave climate activists who attempted to place a large nicorette patch on Drax coal burning power plant last summer as part of climate camp, those 2 billion people need to quit their habit- and we’re not even insisting they do it cold turkey!


Speaking of turkey, Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I personally am thankful that America finally woke up and spoke up on Nov. 4th. 🙂

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