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My Climate Change Rally Experience

February 20, 2013

By Liz B., Mercy Volunteer

DSCN6381Some of my peers and I, we look around us and we know that something has gone wrong. We can see that our “representatives” have stopped listening to us and that they’ve already laid our futures down on the roulette table. We think to ourselves, “This is madness,” but despite all of the warning signs we wonder if we’re not the crazy ones when everything around us screams, “It doesn’t matter! Get on with your lives!” There has to be something else we can do.

For me, such an opportunity came in the form of the Forward on Climate Rally in Washington, D.C., calling for President Obama to address climate change and, as a first step, reject the Keystone XL pipeline that proposes to carry higher carbon-emitting tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas.  Finally, after falling short of political activism so many times before, timing and convenience allowed me and a friend to attend the demonstration.Once we were dropped off at the Washington Monument we joined the 40,000+ other protesters around the stage, where leaders of 350.org, the Sierra Club, the Hip Hop Caucus and others within the movement spoke for the people, addressing the world and our president.

Throughout the day the word “march” struck an odd chord with me. It brings to mind a feeling of struggle, but other than the cold that pierced through to our feet as we stood listening at the stage, there wasn’t much strife or opposition involved with the day’s events. Many of us are still fortunate enough to have not yet been deeply affected by climate change. We still have the ability to alter the course of our future with simple actions like writing a letter and making a phone call, but it will not always be so easy. Super storms, pollution, and disease do not negotiate.

So as it turns out, we are not the crazy ones. There is something terribly wrong with the way things are going in our country and on our planet, and it’s not just me and my “paranoid” friends that think so. There are entire nations of people, young and old, who are crying out for a better world before it is too late. Despite the massive turnout of people this weekend, there is much more to be done.

As a Mercy Volunteer Corps volunteer I am thrilled to be part of a community of people who are doing everything they can to preserve the Earth. Through my associations with MVC I plan to continue to do whatever I can to establish my voice in the debate.  Not because I know I can make a difference, but because I would be giving up if I didn’t try, guilty of consent through silence.

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