Why combine these 2 topics? Because Saturday was the International Day of Peace, and we can’t be at peace with nature if we aren’t at peace with ourselves and other people.
The theme for the day set by the refrain of one of Rev. Dan Schatz’s songs at the beginning: “I ain’t gonna be treated thisaway.” Who is the persona? People, Mother Nature? The generation of today’s children?
Longtime environment activist mayor Dianne Herrin welcomed the crowd and remarked how far Climate Action has come since Greta Thunberg was sitting on the sidewalk by herself in front of her Stockholm school.
Activist Jen Karsten challenged us not to be lulled into complacency, not to be satisfied with doing small things but to be bold.
Maurice M. Sampson II , Clean Water Action’s Eastern Pennsylvania Director, celebrated West Chester’s recent passage of an ordinance to ban single-use plastic bags and straws. Sometimes, he said, the “reasonable” case for deferring action must be rejected.
Representative Carolyn Comitta (PA House 156) introduced 12-year-old activist Isaac Harte, who spoke to how the young can model sustainability for their elders, by recycling, growing food, composting, taking public transportation….
For pipeline opponent Ginny Kerslake’s words, see here.
Senator Andy Dinniman (PA Senate 19) deplored the way decisions are made in Harrisburg, which for environment is worse today than when he started there in 2006. Powerful interests rule there; and “nothing except a united voice is going to change it…. You have the power to stand up to those corporations…. We do have the power to make American democracy work….”
Finally, former West Chester Mayor Jordan Norley paid tribute to what we have in common: Mother Earth. Every individual makes some impact on the planet; every generation feels the impact of what we do. And wrapping up the day’s themes: “In sustainability we find peace.”