by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
I have no opinion about “climate change” myself. If scientists say the “earth,” whatever that means, is getting warmer, I daresay they’re right. If I don’t know what a statement signifies in positive form, I can’t very well affirm its negation. Should we try to make things cooler again? Sure. I hate warm weather. How do we do it? I have no idea. Would limiting the production of iPhones and other specimens of planned obsolescence and buying nice second-hand clothes instead of trash made by Southeast Asian slaves help? Fine by me. I’m no expert. What I can say for certain is that the thousands of pro-reality enthusiasts who lined up to march from Capitol Hill to the White House and back down to the Washington Monument on Saturday know as little about this subject as I do. …
… All day the signs were an interesting grab bag: “CLIMATE, JOBS, JUSTICE”; “WE CAN’T DRINK OIL”; “REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE, RESIST”; “HONOR THE TREATIE [sic]”; “Don’t destroy the earth. I buy my tacos here.” One pair of old ladies in pink t-shirts had written the words “PROTESTING FOR” above pasted-on photos of their beautiful grandchildren. I told them my daughters were in Michigan this week visiting their grandmothers and that I wished I could have brought them with me. …
… The march itself was slow and hot, record-breakingly so. No one seemed to like the fact that I was smoking, not even when I offered to share an interesting bit of scientific research I had found showing that despite very high rates of smoking, incidence of lung cancer in Japan is almost statistically insignificant. A very large man with a guitar brandished his instrument at me threateningly between exaggerated faux-coughs. I moved off the parade route, following along best I could on the sidewalk. By the time we got to the White House, there was still no sign of Leo. But there were plenty of lions. You should have heard us roaring.
“RESISTANCE IS HERE TO STAY! WELCOME TO YOUR HUNDREDTH DAY!” we shouted, our voices swollen with leonine confidence. We had the place surrounded.
By 3:00 it was time to regroup at the Mall to “share stories,” as the organizers put it, before we all decamped. But I couldn’t stick around. I needed to get my laptop out of the heat and find a charger for my dead phone. I also needed a beer and a safe space where I could enjoy organic plant matter harvested and stored according to traditional Cherokee methods without fear of reprisal, violent or otherwise. The most convenient thing about covering protests is the fact that the best bar in D.C. is only a few blocks from the place where most protests either begin or end. The Saturday afternoon staff knows me pretty well by now.