Yesterday K and I were at The Wave in London, the march against climate change. There’s a climate march in December every year, but this year put every other year’s to shame. The police initially said around 20,000 people (having been argued up from “five crusties and a dog on a string”), but apparently refused to contradict Stop Climate Chaos’ estimate of 50,000 attendees, which possibly included the 7,000 or so in the separate march in Glasgow.
The streets were packed and, despite the fact that the march route was longer than usual, in order to loop round and enclose parliament rather than pitch up on the square, the journey took far longer than before, with far more people per square metre than I could ever have imagined beforehand and far more packed than previous marches.
Has it made any difference? Well, the march made the front page of the BBC News website, which never happened before. The Guardian Eco Twitter account was providing immediate coverage and we got noticed by Mandelson (I felt his reptilian presence on Pall Mall) and support from Brown. MPs and celebrities everywhere: if any groups of people have their hand on the tiller of global politics, apart from the Murdoch clan, then it’s these.
Will it affect the Copenhagen COP15 talks more than the largely pointless hoo-hah over the Climategate emails? I don’t know. All I know is I feel like we’re catching the crest of a wave, one which 56 newspapers worldwide are also riding, and one which could break against all sorts of different shores by the end of 2009.
I wonder how many people get it, that if Copenhagen fails that could well be sort of… it; that it might not be it for your children, or your grandchildren, but that over 5000 years of civilization could come to an end somewhere in the 2100s at the latest. Pick a generation: are you happy if society and the rule of law collapses in their lifetime? Let’s cross our fingers, eh? Cross our fingers and ride the wave.