Following the day of action I was looking forward to reading about this world-wide rally in the newspapers but I was quickly disappointed to discover that it only got a short mention on page four of one of the major weekend papers. Likewise the major TV channels only dedicated a newsflash type of segment to this news.
After learning about this international action day coordinated by 350.org (see blog on 20th Oct) I decided to attend the local rally in the Dandenongs. Despite the best efforts of 350.org I believe that this climate change day was not getting enough attention in the main stream media. Most people would only have found out about it through alternative sources, such as the internet and perhaps from the banners and placards strategically placed by passionate environmentalists.
Nevertheless, a large number of grass root groups joined forces to take part in this campaign and it is believed that around 5,400 events in 180 countries took place all around the world. According to Bill McKibben, a writer and environmentalist who founded www.350.org:
“We had no idea we would get the overwhelming support, enthusiasm and engagement from all over the world that we’re seeing. It shows just how scared of global warming much of the planet really is, and how fed up at the inaction of our leaders.”
Let’s hope they will get the message before the Copenhagen Conference .
While back in the Dandenongs on Saturday the local chapter of 350.org managed to get around 150 people to take part. It was good to see the range of people who came to support this movement. There were the elderly, the mums with prams, school kids, quite a few young people and of course the more alternative types. Overall a good cross section of society was represented by this small group who marched up and down in the main street until arriving at the local MP’s office. Speeches included the discussion of Climate Change and our future.
The rally culminated in the passing of judgement on the current Labour Government’s policies on Global Warming. The list was long and the final verdict on all their policies so far was ‘GUILTY’. This list was mounted on the side of the MP’s office and the crowd continued to enjoy the day with a BBQ and live music. Local Councillor Samantha Dunn then handed out 350 native plants for the participants to take home and plant in their gardens to help reduce CO2 in the atmosphere.