The Moving Planet Parade

Framing climate change issues in better ways is key to ecological progress.

by Lee Samelson — Daily reader

This Saturday will feature the Moving Planet Parade, a set of events around the world designed to demand action on climate change, including an event on the lawn of the Capitol in St. Paul. Something to ask participants Saturday is, âÄúWhat image of the future brought you here?âÄù The event on Saturday is more than just our window of opportunity to prevent the worst of runaway global climate disruption. Somewhere along the path, our sense of personal responsibility for systemic change was catalyzed by imagining a positive, inspiring vision of a green economy and society.

The purpose of Moving Planet is for that vision to be broadly shared. It is about giving our future a destination that is so desirable that we are willing to sacrifice and risk a great deal in our commitment to attaining it.

Yet what all Moving Planet organizers can relate to is the pain of encountering rejection of our vision by the climate science contrarians who rely on widespread denial to maintain political domination.

Correspondingly, a main problem with the Kyoto Accord is that it envisioned the future in terms of limits. The Accord failed to address potential new industries, new jobs, new markets and new opportunities for creativity and innovation âÄî it sought to tackle change by shrinking and slowing the world as it was instead of reimagining it.

The solutions are feasible. How about connecting clean energy to efforts of economic development and ending extreme poverty? How about sustainable agriculture that anchors extra carbon into the soil?

When the issues are framed in this way, the naysayers and reactionaries cannot tag our broad, developing coalition as elitist, anti-business, anti-freedom, anti-progress, anti-investment, overrun by special interests or anti-jobs.

We will in truth be the polar opposite of these labels.