Yes Waves of Renewable Energy
(Photograph: John Lamparski/Getty Images)
For anyone who participated in the 400,000 strong #PeoplesClimateMarch on Autumn Equinox September 21, 2014, the euphoria of change came in waves of sound. Yes waves, chants for change. It was a day like no other in New York City, with almost double the number of expected participants sending a photo-friendly message to the world about climate change readiness. The level of good will and positivity in the crowd resonated throughout the entire city. We marched for a total of five hours.
Meanwhile, around the world thousands of marches coincided, with citizen journalists uploading their videos and photographs in real time, contributing the the indisputable euphoria of the collective effort for change. Due to the efforts of many organizations like 350.org, Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, World Wildlife Fund, and key celebrities like Mark Ruffalo, Yoko Ono and many others collaborating tirelessly for years on targeted messaging across multiple platforms using hashtags like #fossilfree and #NoKeystoneXL, a Global Climate Movement has come of age. And wild weather swings like Hurricane Sandy, the California drought, forest fires in Colorado have been part of the American wake-up call.
Since the march, President Obama has vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline; universities, foundations and businesses across the country have committed to divest their holdings from fossil fuel investments; New York’s Governor Cuomo has banned fracking; and solar and wind power gains have begun to disrupt the fossil fuel industry’s hold on the narrative about power. To coincide with the United Nations Climate Summit The People’s Climate March this Fall, the venerable Rockefeller Foundation announced plans to divest their $860 million philanthropic organization holdings from oil, gas and coal investments. Their huge influence is part of the tipping point.
One element of the success of the renewable energy movement has been the rising sophistication of websites like that of 350.org, which provides educational resources, opportunities for community building via mapping, event and media-sharing, as well as downloadable posters, videos and creative how-tos. And creative mapping projects like The Wind Map are helping people visualize the power of natural resources.
Innovations in renewable energy have come from unexpected corners in the Midwest, like this past summer’s highly successful IndieGoGo campaign for Solar Roadways, which hinged in large part on a hilarious video, viewed over 19 million times on YouTube:
We received donations from 165 countries, which is a clear indication that the world is ready for the paradigm shift Solar Roadways will become. We can’t tell you what that level of support and encouragement has meant to us.
Despite the enormous tax breaks and loopholes which continue to benefit the oil industries, and the monied influence of billionaires like the Koch brothers, alternative energy is finally seeing worldwide growth.
The amount of solar installed globally per year surged by almost sixfold between 2009 and 2014, with China leading the way last year, followed by the United States and Japan.–The New York Times
What are your thoughts on the renewable energy movement? Do you think we have finally reached the tipping point for innovation? Did you attend the People’s Climate March? What was your experience of it, virtual or otherwise?