It's somewhat fitting that the winter that interrupted the momentum of the Occupy Wall Street movement was one of the warmest in recent memory. As the fourth-hottest on record, the exceptionally mild season served as palpable evidence that we're in the midst of global climate change.
And climate change is the ultimate 1% issue—polluting corporations, or rather, their shareholders and executives, are largely responsible for the continued spewing of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. Primarily, they're responsible for erecting and maintaining the political and economic barriers that prevent the mass deployment of clean energy and the transition away from fossil fuels needed to rein in those emissions.So as spring approaches, it should come as no surprise that Occupy aims to put climate in its sights. The New York City General Assembly, the movement's most notable decision-making body, has issued a call to 'Occupy Earth Day' during so-called Earth Month, beginning March 23rd and persisting through April.
Here's the call:
We are at a dangerous tipping point in history. The destruction of our planet and climate change are almost at a point of no return. Our mountains in Appalachia are blasted; our drinking water in the northeast threatened by fracking; our American heartland is charted for an oil pipeline; and our forests in the northwest targeted for further deforestation. Our climate and earth risk never returning to a balanced state.We've explored the Occupy movement's relationship to the climate and sustainability arena at length here, but OWS efforts have most often targeted banks and corporate greed for the economic injustice bred by each. And as Jeremy Brecher writes in the Nation, "An economy driven to enrich the 1 percent cannot meet the needs of the 99 percent for a secure, sustainable future."
At this crucial moment, a small group of polluting businesses financed by the 1% have hijacked our political system for their benefit. They’ve rigged the system by paying off politicians, who in turn give these companies taxpayer handouts to continue to destroy our planet and atmosphere.
While the a majority of American people call out for alternative energy sources, our government only responds the interests of these big polluters. The very corporations that lobby our government in order to pollute, publicly admit that climate change is an issue, but ignore it in favor of continued record profits for Wall Street.
Now, it looks like Occupy may take square aim at climate issues—and bring the fight directly to the doorstep of the fossil fuels industry.