The best demonstration I’ve seen so far on climate change occurred in the Maldives in October 2009, where the president of that island nation, Mohamed Nasheed, called a meeting of his cabinet in full scuba gear at the bottom of a lagoon in order to publicize the problems of climate change. He did this because his nation, which lies off the coast of India, is literally going to be underwater in the next 50 to 100 years due to rising sea levels. This is the sort of unique and creative demonstration that I personally feel makes a greater impact than a bunch of angry people marching through a public square with signs and banners. Even more “flashy” demonstrations, such as the polar bear ice sculpture that was carved in front of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate in December 2007, don’t quite have the same head-scratching impact as seeing a head of state try to conduct business underwater with plexiglass and grease pencils.
Personally I’m not a “grab a banner and march” type person, so I prefer more subtle but ubiquitous demonstrations, such as the one offered by the website I’m Tired, which is selling bracelets made from recycled materials proclaiming “I’m Tired of Global Warming,” a share of the proceeds of which go to various environmental nonprofits. Simple, yes, but this is the type of thing that everyone can do and it can make a difference–back in 2007 who didn’t know someone who wore one of Lance Armstrong’s yellow “Live Strong” bracelets to raise money for cancer? I’d rather see a million people do something small and simple about climate change than see 500 people get arrested in Copenhagen in a guerilla protest. That’s just me, though.
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