Dogs, dancing, and people power: I made it to the #EnergyExodus after all

Yesterday, I ended up finding the energy to make it to the concluding rally of the Energy Exodus. Due to some last-minute Facebook connecting, I even managed to find a ride.

And I’m so glad I did.

As David Roberts says in his brilliant essay, Hope and Fellowship (which deserves its own post):

When we ask for hope, then, I think we’re just asking for fellowship. The weight of climate change, like any weight, is easier to bear with others. And if there’s anything I’ve learned in these last 10 years, it’s that there are many, many others. They are out there, men and women of extraordinary imagination, courage, and perseverance, pouring themselves into this fight for a better future.

And that’s exactly what I got from the Energy Exodus. Hope, in the form of fellowship with everyone from children to grandmothers. Hope, in the form of dancing.

There was even a dog. Not a golden retriever, but still pretty cute.

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On golden retrievers, potential energy, and tired feet

Yesterday, I came across the above picture of the Energy Exodus, a six-day march for renewable energy currently taking place south of Boston–which I’d take part in, if I weren’t so exhausted from my current job situation. My friend Bethany of Granite Bunny posted it along with the comment, “This looks like fun, which means it’s probably the right thing to do.”

I couldn’t agree more. Especially since there’s a prominently featured golden retriever, and I am nothing if not a golden-lover. Any political action endorsed by a sweet, fluffy golden is something I can get behind. (Ok, that’s probably not technically true. But, fluffy!)

Everything about the march sounds amazing–like a cross between an Occupy encampment and an art festival. From the official event description:

This event is family-friendly and fun for all ages! While we have a serious purpose, the march will also include musical performances, art, community potlucks, discussions, faith and spiritual experiences, and lots of opportunities to get to know your fellow marchers and movement members as we walk the transition we want to see. Along the way we will rally, sing, learn, make new plans, and meet new friends.

I so, so wish I could be there.

And I can’t help but think of one of my favorite critiques of the climate movement, Melanie Jae Martin’s “Three Tactics for a Stronger Climate Movement,” and be grateful that the organizers of the Energy Exodus have apparently taken her words to heart:

Imagine if, when blockading a pipeline construction site, radicals invited the whole community to a festival on the site? Instead of a few people locking down, what if the community barricaded the area and held a dance party or a carnival, reclaiming it as a community space for direct democracy, food growing, and celebration? When resilience becomes a key characteristic of the space, joining together to defend it will become less scary and more joyful. People could use the space to construct their own cooperative forms of alternative energy, like community-owned wind power systems. As the movement nourishes the souls of participants more fully, its passion, energy, and numbers will grow, just as the round dance protests of the indigenous rights movement Idle No More have caught on like wildfire throughout the continent and beyond. And in the process, we’ll be forging the alternatives that are absolutely crucial for subverting corporate attacks on the land, air, and water.

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