People's Climate March

Our September Round-Up

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, photo by 5oulscape Flickr/creative commons

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City, photo by 5oulscape
Flickr/creative commons

This is our September round-up in case you missed some of our posts. If you like our unique mix of news and opinions, follow us on Twitter/VenusPlusX, and like our page, Facebook/VenusPlusX.

We kept up with many of our key issues with a discussion of how and why police bias is the chief cause of criminality in Culturally Inept Policing Schools Criminals; the psychology behind domestic violence in A Women’s Problem is a Men’s Issue; and the underlying ecology of progress in Everyone Needs Examples, Including Bad Examples. These followed our extensive take on the real legacy of the Michael Brown shooting.

We continued to monitor the Federal Communication Commission’s impending ruling which would destroy the inherent democracy built into the Internet by urging our visitors to participate in the Internet Slowdown Action earlier this month with Take Action On Wednesday For Net Neutrality, and outlined other things people can do in Today: Actions You Can Take To Assure Net Neutrality.

We asked you participate in the Fast Food Walkout with Support Tomorrow’s Walkouts To Raise Wages, and then cataloged the results in StrikeFastFood Protesters Walk Out, Get Arrested, Succeed.

We published Income Inequality Dampens Economic Growth for Rich and Poor Alike, a follow up to The Wealthy and Powerful Aid Social and Powerful Social and Economic Justice Activists and List of Organizations Working on Income Equality. And, we couldn’t overlook the Billions Wasted By Right-Wingnuts.

We covered the People’s Climate March, the next day’s Flood Wall Street sit-in, and the Climate Summit at the United Nations, with Climate March This Sunday Be Counted and Salutes and More Salutes and Stop, Hey, What’s That Sound?

The Global Poverty Project with aims to eradicate world poverty by 2030 and their Global Citizens Festival made a deep impression, We Are Here, We Are Here.

We commended actress and United Nations Ambassador Emma Watson’s succinct but bulls-eye redefinition of feminism for a new generation, in Salutes!

We riffed on lots of stories in the news, such as how recent research by Credit Suisse showed that profits go up in relation to the number of women in management and operations, in The Liberation of Women Will Change the World.

And, we continued to feature videos as part of our Sexual Freedom Project. Send us your video, write a poem, song, or an essay — or even create an original work of art — and express your thoughts. If we feature your contribution on the site, we will send you a free VenusPlusX t-shirt to thank you. This month: Gender Neutrality in Public Restrooms and Don’t Yuck Somebody’s Yum. (More videos.)

So stay tuned!


Stop, hey, what’s that sound?

(photo by Chris Boland) Stephen Stills / Crosby, Stills and Nash - Glastonbury - 2009 Flickr/creative commons

(photo by Chris Boland)
Stephen Stills / Crosby, Stills and Nash – Glastonbury – 2009
Flickr/creative commons

Stop, hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look. What’s goin’ down?
(“What It’s Worth” chorus, 1966, lyrics or listen)

This song was written in 1966 by Stephen Stills of Crosby, Sills, & Nash fame. They recorded it and performed it thousands of times although it was first performed by Buffalo Springfield that year. The song quickly became an anthem for all those working on numerous fronts of the global struggle for human rights (in the 60s that meant the end of war and environmental protection). This song is still ranked #63 on Rolling Stone’s list of the The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, by the way.

The song’s universal appeal was practically instant even though it was actually inspired by local Los Angeles rock fans protesting the imposition of a 10 PM curfew on the entertainment area on Sunset Boulevard, known as the Sunset Strip — you know, to keep the ruckus down. At the time, Buffalo Springfield and other bands were performing there at places like Whiskey A Go Go and Pandora’s Box. But its origins didn’t matter because it struck a chord, a truth, something that everyone on the planet could recognize.

There’s somethin’ happenin’ here
What it is ain’t exactly clear
There’s a man with a gun, over there
Tellin’ me I got to beware
(“What It’s Worth” first verse, 1966, lyrics or listen)

The young anti-war counter-cuture that emerged following the end of World War II embraced many Crosby, Sills, & Nash’s songs, but “What It’s Worth” was unique in that it so well described the educational challenges inherent in any struggle for any cause, from peace and the environment to immigration/voting/equality/human-rights, etc., even to lift an unjust curfew.

There’s battle lines bein’ drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speakin’ their minds, once again
Gettin’ so much resistance from behind
(“What It’s Worth” second verse, 1966, lyrics or listen)

Take for example our recent and highly successful People’s Climate March, with a follow-up Flood Wall Street sit-in quite publicly demanding corporate environmental responsibility. And, many of us are encouraged by this week’s Climate Summit at the United Nations and the specific commitments outlined by President Obama. Taken together, all three of these events can perhaps lift spirits but their impact in conveying the urgency of this issue will only be measured by how fast and how hard we work, redoubling our efforts to educate our family members, work mates, and community — everyone in our sphere of influence.

H M Cotterill Flickr/creative commons

H M Cotterill
Flickr/creative commons

As we pointed out last week with this photo, time is the only commodity that can’t be recycled, so we have to do everything today to make the world a better place. Once, having envisioned a perfected future, there exists an imperative, an obligation, to materialize that vision.

Protests, rallies, meetings, summits, pamphlets, posters, banners, and speeches will only take us so far. Surely these are useful in recruiting new allies to any cause, but what will really harness the power of all the people, or at least a healthy majority, to not budge until change comes about?

Capturing the planet-at-large will require the most creative explosion of public engagement and education that we have ever seen, an expression of non-violent civil disobedience on a global scale.

Central to this effort must be the fact that climate change is already upon us. Therefore, we must move away from the elemental proof or disapproval of its causes — a never ending battle with the naysayers, a red herring. We are long over that debate.

The destruction of ocean habitats, the rising sea levels, the increasing scarcity and privatization of water, and much more, are factual realities that we are being forced to reckon with, and this can only be done through worldwide harmony. The alternative is death. People arguing against protecting our environment are akin to those in some parts of this country who will not put out your house fire unless your taxes are up to date. They don’t look at the big picture, either on purpose or because they are incapable of normal cogitation.

One of the things everyone in the world does understand, however, is the power of money, what gets spent on what, and what are the expressed priorities at any given point. We have to encourage the growth of financial divestment coalitions already in existence among universities, pension funds, venture capitalists, foundations, and corporate boards of directors. We must draw them away from technologies that have no future such as fossil fuels, the meat industry, and the privatization of water resources, and away from state regimes that hurt their population. While we cringe when we see corporations use their newly assigned personal rights to take away the rights of others (limiting their female employees’s personal birth control choices, for example), we must also recognize that without people, without customers, there are no corporations. We hold a mighty power to shape corporations by using global non-violent civil disobedience to both raise awareness/educate and reap new commitments to the people’s issues by getting powerful entities to champion our cause.

We are beginning to see this happen, and our duty is to hurry along this process. Time is all we have.


 For more on how progress happens, click here.

Salutes and More Salutes


Naysayers who think that big marches don’t bring about real change fail to understand there is a pluralistic revolution already underway that will change the world whether they like it or not, divesting the world away from corporate rape of the world’s natural resources. (9/22/14)

People's Climate March New York City  September 21, 2014

People’s Climate March
New York City
September 21, 2014

People's Climate March New York City September 21, 2014 regram from @_sarahwilson_

People’s Climate March
New York City
September 21, 2014
regram from @_sarahwilson_

We have had time now to fully appreciate the impact of Sunday’s unprecedented People’s Climate March (400,000 souls in New York City, and millions in other American cities and in more than 160 countries), and to witness on Monday the hugely successful follow-up Flood Wall Street sit-in to demand corporate environmental responsibility. More than 3,000 protesters literally flooded Wall Street, without a city permit no less, shutting down a 10-block area despite police interference. All were trained in non-violent civil disobedience, volunteering to be arrested (100 were arrested and then all were released).

We had a big ruckus and showed ourselves to each other as a force ready and able to move forward on this uphill battle. And it is uphill, make no mistake, consider Exhibit A, if you will . . .

“I mean think about it, if your ice cube melts in your glass it doesn’t overflow, it’s displacement.”

This grade-school, startling, ignorant statement comes out of the US Congress, courtesy of Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) who sits, ironically and sadly, on our tax-payer funded House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. (Worth a watch: Jon Stewart skewering Stockman and similarly ignorant Republican brethren also serving on this committee.)

But, now for some good news.

This stupidity on display is a national embarrassment, yes, but it also gives us hope that we are closer, than ever before, to turning the corner of worldwide awareness of environmental issues. The more convincing the science, the more people stand up to share the voices and skills to educate others, and the more desperate the stupid climate-deniers become in putting their stumbling and bad thinking is on display to be widely ridiculed and more quickly repudiated by larger and larger numbers of people.

As we celebrate the sheer numbers of boots on the ground in the last 2 days, we are a witness to progress: the greatest number of people in history are today mobilized to do something to save our planet, whether in their own community or on the world stage.

But that’s not all, folks. Corporations are beginning to agree with us that non-renewable energy is a very, very bad idea. A fast-growing corporate divestment movement has now firmly attached itself to the cause, underscoring environmentalists’s demands with money. This is a very good thing, emblematic of true progress.


Information: How you can divest from the fuel economy.

More about the mechanics and built-in ecology of progress here.


Climate March This Sunday, Be Counted!

Takver Flickr/creative commons

Flickr/creative commons

. . . [T]he largest rally for an environmental cause in US history is happening this Sunday, September 21, in Manhattan. More than 100,000 people are planning to join a historic march for climate action two days before President Obama and world leaders attend a Climate Summit at the United Nations. (The Nation’s “The People’s Climate Weekend: A Guide)

There may only a few people left who haven’t heard about this weekend’s momentous People’s Climate March, taking place in New York City and other major cities across the world. If you haven’t signed up to participate directly or otherwise support this effort, there are numerous portals to sign in (here, here, and on Facebook, for example).

Organizers say it is impossible to predict how many people could show up. But 1,400 “partner organizations” have signed on, ranging from small groups to international coalitions. In addition, students have mobilized marchers at more than 300 college campuses, and more than 2,700 climate events in 158 countries are planned to coincide with the New York march, including rallies in Delhi, Jakarta, London, Melbourne and Rio de Janeiro. (New York Times)

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon this week announced he would be marching with us. Companies are joining the marchers as well. Patagonia is closing all four of its NYC locations so that employees can participate.

It happens that Naomi Klein’s much anticipated book, This Changes Everything, is also being launched this weekend. It is a must read for everyone, not just those deeply concerned about the environment but all those who wish to reverse once and for all the power brokers stranglehold that values profit over people.

Klein exposes the myths that are clouding the climate debate.

 We have been told the market will save us, when in fact the addiction to profit and growth is digging us in deeper every day. We have been told it’s impossible to get off fossil fuels when in fact we know exactly how to do it—it just requires breaking every rule in the “free-market” playbook: reining in corporate power, rebuilding local economies, and reclaiming our democracies.

We have also been told that humanity is too greedy and selfish to rise to this challenge. In fact, all around the world, the fight for the next economy and against reckless extraction is already succeeding in ways both surprising and inspiring.

Climate change, Klein argues, is a civilizational wake-up call, a powerful message delivered in the language of fires, floods, storms, and droughts. Confronting it is no longer about changing the light bulbs. It’s about changing the world—before the world changes so drastically that no one is safe. 

Either we leap—or we sink.

You can get live updates of events as they unfold this weekend by signing up here.

Also, there is a fresh call to action for an entire week in Washington, DC, starting on November 1, in part to demand that our country’s Federal Energy Regulation Commission stop letting big industry call the shots at everyone else’s expense. You can get started here.

Since its inception VenusPlusX has joined others for a complete remaking of our world starting with universal plurality so that all voices are heard and respected and finally drown out the greedy who reap profit from the pain of others, the singular obstacle to peace.

Show your support in some way this weekend, and consider this: Solidarity devoted to reclaiming our planet and nursing it back to its prior state of health can be the fulcrum that transforms our global economy and rescues our inherent human rights from those who wish to enslave us.

H M Cotterill Flickr/creative commons

H M Cotterill
Flickr/creative commons