The impressive Women’s March that was organised on more than 600 cities is a clear signal that the new US President has pressed the alarm button for millions or even billions of people worldwide. The proper response to this alarm will be certainly discussed this week, in the Clean World Conference 2017 “Connecting Heroes”, where more than 200 environmental activists from 50 countries will be gathered. But let’s see the details of the Women’s March.
Unofficial estimates say more than 1 million people gathered only in Washington, as women stood in solidarity around the country against the Trump agenda. There are detailed articles about the marches in different cities, but I believe that Gloria Steinem, a famous feminist activist (see her speech at the event here), described the atmosphere in a perfect way speaking to The Guardian:
“This is the upside of the downside. This is an outpouring of energy and true democracy that I have never seen in my very long life. It is wide in age, it is deep in diversity and remember the constitution does not begin with ‘I the president’ it begins with ‘we the people’.”
Those demonstrations are certainly a hopeful sign that Trump’s policies will face a kind of global and local resistance. However, it is far from sure that it will be an actual consistent movement and not simply a cathartic moment, as brilliantly CNN’s Maeve Reston put it in the article “Cathartic Moment or Enduring Movement“.
For the time being, the only thing we can be sure is that the alarm is on. The US President’s Inauguration Speech (see the article “Trump’s inaugural speech: Is it Morning or Mourning in America?“) and his most corporate than ever cabinet confirm that the alarm will go on louder and louder, globally and locally.
In practice, Trump’s administration have removed all mentions of climate change from the White House website. They have been replaced by a new energy plan that makes no mention of global warming and commits only to helping reduce the prices paid by Americans for their energy.
Angela Davis, a famous human rights activist, responded by saying “We recognize that we are collective agents of history and that history cannot be deleted like web pages. We know that we gather this afternoon on indigenous land and we follow the lead of the first peoples who despite massive genocidal violence have never relinquished the struggle for land, water, culture, their people. We especially salute today the Standing Rock Sioux” (her full speech here).
If Trump succeeds to his plans about climate change, the world will stand begging for the most elementary climate change policies. In his recent article in Wired “It’s time to stand up for the Climate – and for Civilisation” Bill McKibben puts the right question.
“… the climate question has never been about progress per se; we know that eventually we’ll move to the sun and wind. The issue has always been about pace, and now Trump will add serious friction, quite likely shifting the trajectory of our path enough that we will never catch up with the physics of climate change. Other assaults on civilization and reason eventually wore themselves out—fascism, communism, imperialism. But there’s no way to wait out climate change, because this test has a timer on it. Melt enough ice caps and you live on a very different planet. Either we solve this soon or we don’t solve it. And if we don’t, then the cascading crises that follow (massive storms, waterlogged cities, floods of migrants) will batter our societies in new ways that we are ill prepared to handle, as the xenophobia of this election season showed”.
Stay tuned and be prepared for big time. Let’s hope that the women will remind everyone in the world the words of Miguel de Cervantes: “Never stand begging for that which you have the power to earn”.