The Tipping Point

September 21, 2014

We won’t know for decades whether we have crossed critical thresholds, tipping points, in the climate system, but I think this much we can say – the Climate and Renewable Energy movement crossed a tipping point on September 21, 2014.

Elite media journalists, the kool kids of DC, true to current form, will be the last to know.
UPDATE: Monday morning talk shows largely ignored the climate march.

Shhhh. Be vewy, vewy, quiet… let’s see how long it takes them….

Media Matters:

Sunday news shows on NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and Fox failed to cover the People’s Climate March, a massive protest against climate change being held September 21 in New York City in conjunction with events in more than 150 countries worldwide.

Meet the PressFace the NationState of the Union, and Fox News Sunday ignored the event, which is being touted by participants as “the largest mobilization against climate change in the history of the planet.” The Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel briefly mentioned the march on ABC’s This Week while arguing that national security concerns surrounding climate change are not receiving adequate attention.



They’re calling it the largest mobilization against climate change in the history of the planet. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators of all ages and from around the world turned out for the massive People’s Climate March Sunday, filling the streets of midtown Manhattan with demands for global leaders take action to avert catastrophic climate change.

Crowds gathered with banners, flags and floats around Columbus Circle late Sunday morning as music and chants rang out at the start of the march. At exactly 12:58 p.m., demonstrators held a moment of silence in honor of the victims of climate change, followed by a cacophony of noise with drums, cheers and horns to sound the alarm to the crisis.


NYTimes environmental writer Justin Gillis tweets on the march.

Organizers estimate that as many as 310,000 demonstrators turned out for the march, though police won’t comment, telling msnbc they don’t release crowd numbers. The crowds were so massive that by mid-afternoon, organizers said they were asking people to disperse and cut the march short by nearly ten street blocks.

Vice News:

Overwhelming Manhattan’s seemingly unwhelmable Midtown neighborhood, demonstrators rallied together in support of Mother Earth two days ahead of the UN summit, where nations are expected to lay the groundwork for a future carbon emissions plan. Any potential binding agreement is not expected to be made until the Climate Change Conference in Paris late next year.

Organizers had expected around 100,000 people to attend but announced Sunday afternoon that more than 310,000 protesters had assembled. The impressive march, organized in conjunction with more than 2,800 events in 166 countries, couldn’t have come at a more demonstrative moment — just a week after national climate scientists reported searing temperatures over the summer months that broke all records since, well, records began.


51 Responses to “The Tipping Point”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    The Washington Post today saying not much at all. Below the fold and sort of a side issue in an article headlined with the Rockefellers divesting from fossil fuel.

    Disappointing. Perhaps they ‘ll redeem themselves with coverage of the climate summit.

    • omnologos Says:

      Funny how you guys always prefer retrenching to debate and discussion. The topic is: is this a tipping point? I am trying to figure out if it is, and what it is of.

      As I said, this appears an Avaaz tipping point. All the mainstream media have decided not to handle it, maybe because they do not know how to handle it. Why? Because it’s Avaaz and world socialism types, anticapitalists and friends, people who are not afraid of being called watermelons, even religious characters in full force saying that religion is the answer just as communism is according to others.

      This is not the same well-regulated bourgeois crowd that was out to speak climate in the past, the kind of people a mainstrem left-leaning journalist could identify with. There is still a lack of minorities though, and that could be a matter for further discussion if anybody has any brain cell active.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        The village idiot is here, seeking attention yet again.

        If Omnobrainsatall had watched the streaming video for three hours (as I did out of the corner of my eye, and often more closely during the interviews), he would not be making such dumb remarks. There were many “minorities” there, and many carried signs and banners in foreign languages. Except for one fry-brain with long blonde hair that wandered over from the far-out fringe of the Occupy movement, those interviewed spoke well. The crowd was surprisingly mainstream and with people of all ages present. There were many organized groups in color-coded T-shirts as expected (some from far away), but what surprised me was the large proportion that seemed to be people that apparently came in two’s and three’s—-just as if they had walked from the nearby neighborhoods or hopped a subway from other parts of the city. When you can get New Yorkers to turn out like that, you have perhaps reached a tipping point.

  2. anotheralionel Says:

    “Why? Because it’s Avaaz and world socialism types,…”

    Conspiracy ideation in full marching order from omno’.

    But then we all know that communism is the big bogy-man for omno, anything that smacks of more equitable sharing of Earth’s resources and protection of the environment, even if it be for the continuity of humanity, smacks of communism to him. So predictable.

    So late twentieth century omno, do try to catch up with what is trying to be achieved in the 21st.

    • omnologos Says:

      As I said nobody wants to discuss anything here. I have suggested a plausible explanation on the lack of enthusiasm in all mainstream outlets. If they see Avaaz being accompanied by communism dreamers, they find it difficult to report the whole thing.

      This has nothing to do with any conspiracy by communists to take over whatever.

      It’s more than discouraging to see there is not one active brain available, in the comments section of this blog.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        Lots of “active brains” here, including yours. Those of us who use them for rational thinking don’t want to waste them trying to deal with your irrationality.

  3. Reblogged this on Move for Change and the Brooklyn Culture Jam and commented:
    An article by Peter Sinclair, who writes on the Climate Denial Crock of the Week blog. Nobody who’s reporting on the People’s Climate March is saying there were less than a few hundred thousand people who turned out, and the median number reported is 300K. Don’t be surprised that the MSM outlets didn’t touch on it AT ALL on the Sunday news shows (per the article).

  4. Marchers showed up from “around the world”…

    presumably in kerosene-burning airliners.  Most of the rest probably came by gasoline- or diesel-burning vehicles.  Which raises the question:  what was the climate impact of this march?

    • MorinMoss Says:

      Once, I would have pointed out the same time but, to me, it no longer matters.
      The reason is that change on a grand scale is made by those who SHOW UP, whether its at the voting booth or the townhall.

      I would hope that the attempt is made to try to offset some of this but even it’s not, I’m glad that so many made the effort.
      And no matter what how they traveled, it would invite criticism or ridicule.

      Rowed boats across the Atlantic? “I wonder how many trees had to die for those savages to get here” or “Is that how we’re going to travel in the glorious green future? Count me out”
      Walked from South America? “Must be nice to have all that free time” or “Time to buy shares in Birkenstock”

    • dumboldguy Says:

      About 20 (TWENTY) pounds of CO2 released for every gallon of petroleum-based fuel burned. And perhaps 40 (FORTY) pounds of CO2 for every 10 pounds of coal burned in any coal powered means of transportation.

      • omnologos Says:

        Dog is right. ..demo emissions not important (as long as they don’t happen too often).

        Variety of people and reasons will make it for a challenging group to manage. World leaders should play a waiting game and see if it doesn’t evaporate

      • Even if coal was 100% carbon, you wouldn’t get 4x the CO2 out of it.  You should be able to do the stoichiometry as well as I can.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          Picky-picky. That was a PFTA number just for conversation’s sake.

          Coal ranges from just under 50% to 95+% Carbon by weight, so a better answer would be from ~18 to ~35+ pounds of CO2 for every 10 pounds burned.

          Just as you were hinting at your favorite carbon-free energy source, I was rather plainly taking another whack at COAL, my point being that it produces more CO2 than liquid petroleum based fuels or natural gas, to say nothing of giving off a lot of other nasty junk like mercury, SO2, ash, and sludge from any exhaust scrubbing the plant may do.

          I was throwing my two cents in to support you and Morin Moss in the idea that this event was “costly”. It isn’t only special events that burn up the carbon. Every time I get in the car, I ask myself “Why are all these people driving around? Where are they going?” Here in Northern VA and the DC Metro area it’s very nearly 24/7/365.

    • anotheralionel Says:

      What was the climate impact of that last soccer World Cup and all its attendant razzmatazz?

      Compared to that this climate march does not even register.

      Sports fixtures under floodlight should be a no-go. Besides I figure that football with its multi-million pounds transfer fees is a huge money laundering scheme and the selling of cheaply produced high price tag strip to fans is a fraud – unethical in so many dimensions.

      • What was the climate impact of that last soccer World Cup and all its attendant razzmatazz?

        “Don’t look at ME!  Look at ALL THOSE GUYS who weren’t even pretending to be concerned about the climate!  Don’t judge me, I’m entitled to be a hypocrite.”

        Sports fixtures under floodlight should be a no-go.

        I’m concerned about the carbon, and I can see how sports under floodlights could be a net positive.  You broadcast the games and power both floodlights and TV sets with nuclear power.  Most people stay home to watch the games instead of driving somewhere, so they’re using carbon-free electricity instead of petroleum.

  5. Gingerbaker Says:

    People gathering to protest inaction on lowering CO2 levels makes them a hypocrites?

    Now, if they actually had a CHOICE on how to get there, that might make sense. If they, for example, eschewed high-speed electric rail powered by renewable energy and instead drove to NYC in a coal-rolling diesel pick-up truck you might have a point.

    But all you are doing is helping to validate a republican talking point, usually reserved for Al Gore, and completely irrelevant, except for its ubiquity and duplicity. Why do that?

    • Thank you for showing how mere principles, like “think globally, act locally”, go out the window when any Green political gesture is involved.  (FWIW, I have defended Al Gore.  I’m sure he runs much of the operations of a substantial office out of his house.  The energy consumption is defensible so long as it’s proportionate… and so long as he works to make it as carbon-free as he can.  IOW, his actions are defensible so long as he e.g. supports the completion and start of Watts Bar #2.)

      This goes back to your chronic mental blind spot, which might be summed up with “compared to what?” (hat tip to Les McCann and Eddie Harris).  Was there anything that the marchers could have done WITHOUT emitting the carbon required to go to NYC?  Could they have had greater influence per pound by doing something else?

      You can’t consider this question.  Green political actions may not be questioned.

      • Gingerbaker Says:

        “Was there anything that the marchers could have done WITHOUT emitting the carbon required to go to NYC? “

        Who gives a shit? (Besides someone like you trying to demonstrate some bizarre kind of superiority)

        Collectively, they accounted for 0.000000000000010 % of the carbon burned in the world that day. Big f******g deal.

        Your question is the most stupid question out of a constellation of stupid questions,that can be asked, and, as I said, it is the exact question a shill for the fossil fuel industry would pose. And with a straight face. I’m not buyin’.

        Since half of your comments these days propound the impossibility of renewables to address AGW, I just gotta ask – who the F**k are you?

        • Who gives a shit? (Besides someone like you trying to demonstrate some bizarre kind of superiority)

          Whatever happened to “leading by example”?  Which I’m doing, BTW; my transport carbon footprint is around 1 tCO2/year.

          Your question is the most stupid question out of a constellation of stupid questions

          Not that you’re judging or shaming or anything.

          it is the exact question a shill for the fossil fuel industry would pose.

          Really, how do you know that?  Do you hobnob with fossil-fuel industry shills?

          Considering that I “shill” for the energy source that is Enemy #1 for both the coal and natural gas industries in the USA, your claim is risible.  Not that I laughed out loud, but I came close.

          Since half of your comments these days propound the impossibility of renewables to address AGW

          Care to show me an actual renewables success story?  One grid, formerly fossil (not hydro), over 5 GW, sub-100 gCO2/kWh?  Or are you still just blowing smoke?

          I just gotta ask – who the F**k are you?

          Start here for my longer pieces starting way back in 2004.

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