The youth-led global climate strike is drawing crowds across the world. Seattle marches start from the Amazon spheres and Cal Anderson Park, converging on City Hall at 1:30pm.

30 Replies to “Global climate strikes underway, rally at City Hall this afternoon”

    1. Daily reminder we could all start living in the woods and eating grass tomorrow but ~70% of the world’s carbon emissions would continue to be produced by a small group of international corporations.

      1. Unless we suddenly decide to become an anarcho-primativist society we’ll have to target pollution at it’s source. The only way to do that besides shutting them down completely is removing the profit motive and diverting funds towards alternatives, on a massive and global scale, the likes of which we’ve never seen before. Unfortunately I don’t have much faith in that ever happening. Banning straws and flying less is what the right-wingers call “virtue signaling”. Probably the best thing anyone can do to reduce pollution on this planet is to not have children (For that, I’m doing my part!)

        I’m not saying people should stop recycling and start polluting whatever they want but seriously, it’s probably too late.

      2. There’s not enough woods for 7.7 billion people, and humans can’t digest grass. Unless we evolve three more stomachs like cows have. If everybody went back to farms they’d use more energy than they do in cities, because the farms would in practice be like 21st-century exurbs. The rich won’t give up their SUVs or jet-setting, so anybody who can afford to drive from the farm will.

        Re “70% of the world’s carbon emissions will continue to be produced by a small group of international corporations”, maybe, and some of that is because they force their business model down our throats and corrupt the political system to block changes, but a lot of that production only exists because others are buying the products.

        In the last months of the 2008 bubble, gas reached at least $4.25 a gallon here (and maybe $5?) and $5.50 in a few places, but then after the crash it plummeted to $2. That wasn’t just because people stopped commuting; a lot of it was a drop in industrial use as factories went idle.

        Ultimately we need a government that puts the people and the climate first, and doesn’t allow well-connected corporations and ideologues to corrupt it. We also need more accurate analyses of what’s really effective at a society scale. There are troubling signs for instance that the switch from coal to natural gas is not decreasing emissions at all but actually increasing them, recycling plastic is not as effective as expected (or at least only a few kinds of clean plastic is), the switch to lower-energy lightbulbs is negated by the increasing number of electronic devices — especially “vampire devices” that use as much energy when off as when on (that touch-switch needs continuous power), etc. This requires more science and better public articulations, and a more effective government to support it.

      3. Mike Orr and Barman,
        In all seriousness, you’re both right. We’re kinda screwed at this point. Climate change is here, and we’re probably going to pass the tipping point. We’ve already set the wheels of mass migration, famine, and mass extinction into place, and we’re starting to see the very beginnings of what that looks like – and it ain’t pretty. I think that we’re seeing something that will be on the same lines of the Great Plague, except on a global scale that has never been experienced before. The idea that human population will decline is likely, in the midst of what will surely turn into mass imprisonment, slavery, and starvation. We’re seeing the imprisonment in the US, the slavery in the UAE & off the coasts of Thailand, and the starvation in the horn of Africa. This will only expand. At some point, human beings will start to see the benefit of the climate solutions being pitched for the better part of my lifetime. Solar, wind, and geothermal continue to become more cost effective, more young people are seeing the problems with fossil fuels, as well. I am skeptical but try to keep hope that in the coming generation, we’ll demand leaders who hold industry accountable in the same way they did with CFCs in the late 1980s. And I’m hopeful that if we see this wave of change in attitude, that there will be brilliant scientists who develop ways to roll back climate change.

    2. The award for the highest carbon footprint by someone standing in solidarity with the strikers goes to Governor Jay Inslee

      Who cares what his carbon footprint is. This isn’t like littering. We aren’t going to make a dent in the problem by “setting examples”. The only way to deal with this problem is with government action. It is also not caused by a handful of rich people (sorry). It is caused by lots and lots of people who make what an average American makes (which is still a lot by world standards, but that is beside the point).

      I suppose the one exception could be with meat. If suddenly everyone who cared about global warming stopped eating meat it might cause a movement, which in turn would make a big dent in the problem. But I doubt that is going to happen. With meat, like all the other aspects of the problem, the key is to keep working on alternatives, while making global-warming gas consumption more expensive.

    1. First of all it’s “voila” not wa la…

      Second of all you’re crazy if you think Iran is responsible for the attack.

    2. Barman, how do you know that the kid you didn’t have won’t be the one who could have saved everything had he, or she, been born?


      1. Mark my choice not to have children is almost entirely an extension of my lack of interest in women. The climate benefits are a tertiary bonus. Maybe we’ll adopt someday but I’ll never understand the compulsion to create new life, seems like of selfish to me. That said I’m glad my parents were selfish enough to have me!

      2. The urge to reproduce is built into all life forms on Earth. We wouldn’t be here if bacteria millions of years ago didn’t multiply. However, the decision to have children or not is up to every individual human, and we should respect their decision either way. The problem is not too many people; it’s unsustainable lifestyles by the world rich and the up-and-coming, and government policies that don’t prioritize the right direction. It’s just like we don’t have a world shortage of food; we just have an inequitable food-distribution problem.

        The world population is expected to increase from 7.7 billion to 10 billion and then stabilize. The birth rate has already fallen in most countries; it just takes twenty years for the exponential effects to catch up. Several European countries are already shrinking. The US population is being sustained by immigration but it will fall too. On a world scale, the effect of North American and European population is effectively zero because we’re so small. The major upcoming effects are what happens in India, China, and Africa. China’s population is 1.4 billion. India will soon exceed it. Africa’s population is 1.2 billion and is about to swell before its birth rate decreases. So we should set a good example, but what matters more is convincing up-and-coming Chinese and Indian not to be SUV drivers with detached estates and a fossil-fuel preference, and giving Africa renewable technology for free so cost isn’t a barrier.

      1. A bit of logic: Some of the largest oil operations in the world get bombed –> gas prices spike –> people drive less –> less co2 –> Green Party and Iran become unintended bedfellows.

        Personally, I could careless if the US bales the Saudis out.

  1. And les, another interesting point about Iran.

    Piece of personal transit experience I might’ve mentioned. Gothenburg, Sweden, fall 2013. Regional highway bus. Three of us aboard, the shaven-headed seven foot tall Turkish driver who could have served the sultan, me, and sitting beside me, a supervisor who like most of his people in Europe, called himself Persian instead of Iranian.

    As transit people do worldwide, talking shop, and comparing notes. My stop came up, but when I made to get up, my seat-mate gripped my shirt-sleeve and pleaded with me:

    “When you get back to America, you HAVE to tell everybody: In Persia, EVERYBODY LOVES AMERICANS!” Now? It’s lucky for us how many of the world’s people understand from their own experience how easily popular majorities can lose their right to govern.

    In 1953, we and the British the overthrew the the democratic government of Iran and installed a murdering, torturing dictator of our own liking. The rest is….yeah, after awhile History does get boring.

    In his book “1984”, George Orwell’s large, brotherly tyrant has the habit of, just to keep everybody on their toes as well as knees, suddenly changing enemies in the middle of a shooting war. Great scene where Party spokesperson gets handed a note mid-tirade that the permanent enemy is now East Asia instead of Eurasia. Ripped from NPR.

    Those Shiite militias helping us fight ISIS- aren’t they sort of like, well… Iranians? Seem also to remember that when George W. Bush declared our country’s own skies a free-fire zone while the World Trade Center burned, one jetliner was permitted to take its plane-load back to the country whose passport was in the pockets of the monsters who obliterated so much of New York City.

    Could be a personal thing, but would a lot rather have the people of Persia for allies than the chiefs of state upon whom our own Chief presently fawns like a cruelly overfed puppy. So regardless of party affiliation, here’s work order for all our parties, including the Greens.

    Whatever The Polls say, Constitution says We The People have to. End of story.

    Mark Dublin

  2. I have an honest question. CO2 levels are at their highest in 800,000 years. There were cars 800,000 years ago?

    1. My take is that going back at least a million years ice ages have been a cyclic phenomena based on natural heating and cooling which is based on the earths tilt and orbit. When the northern hemisphere gets less sun then an ice age results. During an ice age there is not much plant life, less ocean absorption and etc, and hence more CO2 exist. Its different this time in that we’re putting more emphasis on heating the planet without enough of an eventual offset to bring it back to an ice age.

    2. You honestly aren’t sure if there were cars 800,000 years ago? Do yourself a favor, take some night classes or something…

    3. Sam is trying to troll. That’s his shtick. Yes, dinosaurs had dinomobiles. They were fueled by, um, dead dinosaurs mining volcanoes.

      Think of volcano eruptions as natural traffic jams.

    4. CO2 levels were higher 800,000 years ago? You forgot the “at least” part. There is disagreement, but other answers include 2 million to 4.6 million years ago or 10-15 million years ago, if not longer.

  3. Nobody’s pointed out that the population growth rate in virtually every well heeled industrialized country is less than the rate of replacement. IIRC it’s ~1.7 for every 2 people in the US and Europe. There’s lots of reasons people in poor countries have lots of children but the primary driver is with a high mortality rate you need to have more kids to assure the survival of the race. Not that it’s as easy as snapping your fingers but raising the standard of living will limit population growth. Look at China that’s gone from penalizing anyone who had more than two children to promoting having larger families. Japan is quickly turning into the worlds largest senior center.

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