Dear Casual Observer,
This is one for you. The person who's been sitting on the sidelines, waiting for the right moment to get in the game. Waiting for when your contribution will really count.
I get you. I know the feeling. There are plenty of issues I care about, or think I should care about, but don't ever do anything about.
I also get all the emails. I sometimes even open them (I rarely make a donation). I volunteer on political campaigns, but usually only the day before the election. I'm more comfortable tweeting than marching.
I know you. You've thought long and hard about it. And while you understand that social movements are a critical part of our democracy, and that an engaged citizenry is the only way to combat the vested power of special interests, and that the only thing really lacking when it comes to solving big challenges like climate change is the political will, you're still not 100% convinced that we can win this one.
Maybe we should be more radical. Or more conservative. Or just focus on lifestyle changes. Or say global warming instead of climate change. Or was it climate disruption? Or were we supposed to not talk about climate at all?
Maybe it won't really be that bad. Or maybe it really will be that bad (because it's sounding pretty bad), but there isn't anything we can do to solve it. We're small. We're powerless. You don't know any good chants. I'd prefer to get brunch.
But here's the thing: what if you knew that this was the big one? This was the tipping point. This was that once-and-a-while historic event that really shakes up the status quo and sets things on a new trajectory. The march where you look in the papers the next day and think, wow, I really wish I'd been there to be a part of history. What if your FOMO is right?
Like, if you knew, that this time, your participation would really make a difference, if I could guarantee it, would you come? I bet you would.
Too bad. There are no guarantees. There is no mathematical formula that states when X number of people care, Y changes overnight. In fact, the odds are stacked against us. Hope requires a leap of faith.
But I'm telling you, and this I can guarantee, I think this is the right time to take that leap. The People's Climate March on September 21 is shaping up to be the largest march for climate action in history. This could be a chance, maybe our best chance, to really shake things up.
I'm no veteran activist, but over the last few years at 350.org, we've been through a couple big mobilizations. Nothing felt quite like this one. The buzz, the energy, the excitement. This is something different.
I'm telling you, this isn't one to sit out. This the chance to go all in. Because we need you. The slogan is right: to change everything, we need everyone.
So, if you've got any hope left, if you're willing to take a risk, if you think maybe this time you can learn a few chants (don't worry, they're mostly call and response), then this is the moment for you. Join us on September 21, at 11:30am on Central Park West, for the People's Climate March.
See you there?