I’m marching to fight for a future that actually makes sense

We have to correct our course and respect Mother Earth before its too late.

Activists carry a banner in last year’s Climate march. From The South Bend Voice.

Thousands have converged today on the nation’s capital for the People’s Climate March. We’re here to let this shameful administration know that vast swathes of the American people want green energy, strong environmental protections, and science-based policies.

This is a troubling time for the environmental movement. The President doesn’t know what science is, and he’s surrounded by people who have a vested interest in denying reality to raise their bottom line. The result is policies that are based in political pandering to “Trump Voters” rather than scientific reality.

Sidenote: It’s important to remember that more people voted for Clinton than Trump. He didn't get more votes, he just got the right votes to win in this archaic electoral system. It’s also important to remember that the Electoral College failed to live up to it’s main purpose: keeping a charismatic imbecile from obtaining power by tapping into prejudices and populist outrage. It’s time we fixed this glaring flaw in our democracy, but that’s a subject for another article.

While we were in SFO waiting to depart for DC, I read through USA Today. In one of the countless articles about President Cheeto Puff, the author reminded me that POTUS just reauthorized construction on the Keystone pipeline. He extolled the virtues of petroleum, and even broke out the energy independence talking point.

I don’t consider a petroleum-based energy economy to be true energy independence. In the geopolitical sense, it does ostensibly mean that we don’t need to buy oil from disreputable foreign powers. In a very real sense, though, it means that we will be dependent on corrupt, destructive petroleum corporations for energy.

That’s not independence.

Petroleum companies want to kill the burgeoning renewable energy economy so that we’re completely dependent on them. Given that Rex Tillerson, former Exxon CEO and lifelong climate change denier, has the president’s ear, we will definitely see more destruction and oppression in the name of oil profits.

As long as we are dependent on an unaccountable corporation for our energy needs, we will not have energy independence. As long as the federal government continues to grant dirty energy companies massive tax breaks and exceptions to environmental protections, we will not have energy independence. As long as our waterways and indigenous communities are destroyed in the name of corporate profits, we will not have true energy independence.

True energy independence would free us from the catastrophes and anti-fact propaganda campaigns that are trademarks of the oil and coal industries. It would mean energy production that’s controlled by individuals and communities rather that money-grubbing petro-goblins. My goal is energy independence on an individual scale. If we achieve independence for every individual, only then we will have achieved it for the entire country.

I’m marching because I want the people in charge to acknowledge the fact that all the lost coal jobs can and should be replaced with green jobs. I want our lawmakers to look beyond next quarter’s profits and create a long-term green energy revolution that will keep society from crumbling into chaos when our oil runs out. I want justice to be served for the Standing Rock Sioux, whose livelihood was jeopardized by an unnecessary and immoral infrastructure project.

I live with the knowledge that I benefit every day from centuries of colonial atrocities. I was born and raised on stolen land, sheltered in the usurper’s shadow. It’s hard to imagine a way to make amends for America’s attempted genocide of indigenous people, but fighting in a this climate movement seems like a decent place to start.

Honestly, I just want for there to still be forests for my kids to play in. I want science classes to teach science, not religion. I want people to live in harmony with earth instead of living in defiance of it.

It’s not going to be easy, but it has to be done. We need to keep fighting until so-called energy “alternatives” are the only option. We have the technology and the desire to make renewable green energy sources the default option in our economy. We’ve just got to do it before it’s too late.