Tuesday, January 29, 2013
350.org and the Sierra Club are organizing a “Forward on Climate” rally in DC on Sunday, February 17 (Presidents' Day Weekend). They hope it will be the largest climate rally in history. I hope so too because climate change really needs some popular mobilization. On the first day of my environmental law class this semester, I gave students a list of major federal environmental statutes to provide an overview of the field. We observed just how much of the legal development happened in the 1970s, and discussed why. The incredible surge of popular mobilization that occurred in the late 60s and early 70s is certainly a big part of the answer. Twenty million Americans participated in Earth Day in 1970, a full 10% of the country’s population. Just imagine 10% of today’s population today -- 31 million people -- demonstrating for action on climate change. It might even jolt today's Congress into serious action.
By the way, if you have time, check out this PBS documentary on the history of the environmental movement, Earth Days (2010, 113 mins., part of the American Experience series).
- Lesley McAllister