The People Speak in Paris: Climate Art and Action
I grew up attending environmental and peace rallies with my family.
So as the closed door negotiations of the Paris climate talks begin, I find myself particularly interested in how folks on the ground are creatively expressing the truth about what needs to happen in the talks.
Mass gatherings in Paris aren’t allowed, but people are finding many other ways to express the need for profound commitments and actions to address the climate change challenge.
Here are some examples that inspired me:
- Thousands of empty shoes are placed at Place de la Republique, standing in for people who had planned to demonstrate on Sunday.
- A haunting film – “Standing March” of hundreds of people turning to “watch” the climate talk in Paris is being projected at locations throughout Paris.
- Ice Watch – because “You stand in front of the ice, and then you can touch it … You’ll see children hugging it, even tasting it.”
- Chinese artist creates smog “bricks” to protest lack of improvement in China’s deadly air pollution (an issue that Chinese President Xi Jinping did not mention in his opening talk at Paris).
- And of course, rallies outside of Paris attended by hundreds of thousands of people call for strong climate action as the Paris events begin.
These actions remind us that the world is not just watching in Paris. So many of us across the globe are already taking a stand, making hard choices, and putting our passions into saving ourselves from climate change. And we expect something more than empty promises, more than just doing what is comfortable and safe and supports the status quo.
As negotiators begin the challenge of turning promises into real, actionable steps forward, we stand in solidarity with the passionate individual who have come to Paris to be heard – and all of those around the globe doing our part for the climate.