E. Calvin Beisner / September 26, 2015

Having Fun at the ‘Moral Action on Climate Justice’ Rally on the National Mall

The Earth Day Network hosted what it touted as a major rally for action to stop “climate change” today (timed to coincide with Pope Francis’s visit with President Obama yesterday and his address to Congress) on the National Mall in Washington. Only it wasn’t. It was reported that organizers said beforehand they expected “up to 200,000 people” to attend. Well, I guess what they said was true. The number didn’t exceed 200,000. By my guess, it didn’t exceed 5,000 or 6,000, but I’m no expert at estimating crowds, so though by my naturally generous nature I thought to give them double that — 12,000 — I now find that their faithful allies at ClimateProgress gave them only “hundreds.” So I’ll let that suffice.

Editor’s note: This piece originally appeared Thursday, September 24, at The Cornwall Alliance.

The Earth Day Network hosted what it touted as a major rally for action to stop “climate change” today (timed to coincide with Pope Francis’s visit with President Obama yesterday and his address to Congress) on the National Mall in Washington. Only it wasn’t. It was reported that organizers said beforehand they expected “up to 200,000 people” to attend. Well, I guess what they said was true. The number didn’t exceed 200,000. By my guess, it didn’t exceed 5,000 or 6,000, but I’m no expert at estimating crowds, so though by my naturally generous nature I thought to give them double that — 12,000 — I now find that their faithful allies at ClimateProgress gave them only “hundreds.” So I’ll let that suffice.

It appeared, though, that a good many of the people there — especially the activists, those handing out literature or carrying signs — were interested primarily not in climate change but in other Green concerns. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) had quite a few there, as did OpposeCruelty.org, a group promoting veganism. There was a group advocating for preservation of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, one for preserving a forest in some location, several opposing natural gas fracking, one advocating for D.C. statehood, some opposing mountaintop removal coal mining, and campaigners for Socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (running on the Democratic ticket). All in all, I’d say the several million dollars it probably cost to organize and carry off the event were largely wasted — EXCEPT that the mainstream media will no doubt report it as a spectacular event. What else is new?

Being there was fun, and interesting. Ironically, one of the first people I saw on arriving was Richard Cizik, former VP for Governmental Affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals and founder of New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good. Cizik has made a name as a leading evangelical advocate for combating global warming. I walked up, shook hands, reminded him who I was (he had that puzzled look on his face of knowing he recognized me but not placing me), and gave him my literature handouts — much to his chagrin! Lots of folks gladly accepted copies of our “Open Letter to Pope Francis on Climate Change” and our single-sheet “Got Room for Second Thoughts on ‘Climate Change’?” handout. One climate activist took one look at the graph on the handout showing no global warming for the last 18 years and 8 months and immediately told me it [expletive deleted]. When I asked him how he knew that — well, he didn’t know how he knew it, but he knew it. When I pointed out that the satellite data sets showed it, he had no response. Another told me he was a climate scientist working in this field all the time, so I struck up a conversation with him, and it quickly became obvious that I knew a lot more of the science than he did, so I spent a while educating him, and we parted peaceably. A reporter and cameraman for Voice of America saw me handing out literature and asked to interview me, so we did that — after moving to a quieter place to get away from the earsplitting sounds from the loudspeakers. We’ll see if VOA actually broadcasts any of that.

To those who prayed for me, thank you. Please expand those prayers to include the overall work of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, particularly, at this time, our production and posting of a 35-part video series on YouTube and of a new documentary DVD, and for major embrace of our new “Petition: Forget ‘Climate Change’, Energy Empowers the Poor!” (a new title because some people misunderstood the old one — but the text remains the same).

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