Sarah Rifaat via 350.org Flickr Creative CommonsIf you’re still looking for a good reason to venture out and take part in an International Day of Climate Action event on Saturday, try this on for size: the day of action won’t simply be a landmark moment for the global climate movement; it could very well turn out to be a landmark moment in human history. And that’s not an exaggeration.
The truth is, nothing like the International Day of Climate Action has ever happened before. As Bill McKibben just said, with over 4000 events taking place in almost every country in the world, this day will be the most widespread day of global action on any issue in history. That’s no joke, and for that reason I’d also argue that this will be the first truly global event in human history. Not even the Olympics or a world cup final could come close to matching the Day of Climate Action as great global events. Sure they might draw global TV audiences that would dwarf our numbers on this day, but the real measure of a global event lies not in its numbers but in its spirit. And on that score I’d say the Day of Action will beat any Opening Ceremony hands down.
Just consider the context. As the first truly global-scale crisis humanity has ever faced, climate change is forcing us to start perceiving ourselves for the first time as a global community, as a common people facing a common threat. It’s becoming increasingly clear – and especially in the light of the sputtering UN climate process – that solving the climate crisis will require a new brand of international cooperation that transcends the traditional model of individual nations negotiating their way toward a middle ground between their individual interests. What we need now more than ever is action not as a united nations but as a global community. We need action by people and for people, not just by nations and for nations. To transcend this crisis, we need the first truly global grassroots movement – a movement which by its very nature will lead us through a door to a new era of global consciousness, to a transformation not just of the way that we consume energy, but of the way that we perceive ourselves, and our relations and responsibilities to each other.
That’s what October 24 is all about. That’s what this day is the opening ceremony for. And as the first truly global-scale expression of this coming transformative global movement, I think it’s safe to say that the International Day of Climate Action could turn out to be a pretty historically significant moment. Moreover, those of us who participate in it won’t just be helping to usher in a new stage in the global climate movement; we’ll be helping to usher in a new era of human history.
Come snow or rain or heat or gloom, I’d say that’s definitely something to show up for. Do not miss out. Go to www.350.org now to find an action near you.