Climate Strikers in Anchorage Miss the Forest for the Trees

Climate Strikers in Anchorage Miss the Forest for the Trees

September 25, 2019

Last Friday was planned, scripted and advertised as a day for millions of people across the globe to gather in solidarity with one another, declaring the world’s future bleak, unless radical demands were met.  “Let’s strike!” they said, “and declare an end to fossil fuels, unless we want to live on an uninhabitable world in the future.”

Even if the radical environmental and social agendas of the strikers were financially or technically feasible to implement in the timeframes called for, the results to world economic markets would be crippling.  Hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of current jobs would cease to exist.  Communities would see their economic stability crumble, as resource extraction industries were terminated.

Interestingly enough, the climate strikes across Alaska were tame, when compared to the radicals in Seattle, New York, Washington, D.C. and elsewhere.  What Alaska had that seemed to be lacking in those cities, however, was a complete misunderstanding of what the protestors were really protesting.

I attended the Anchorage youth strike for the first 15 minutes of the event.  What I saw was a group of 150 or so people – 75% or more adult, 25% or less youth – huddled in a group during a driving rainstorm. 

The participants held signs made from cardboard and paint or marker, wearing a lot (LOT) of GoreTex and micro-fleece, as well as various rubber/composite boots from XtraTuff, Ugg and other companies.  They held umbrellas, one with a ConocoPhillips logo, and massed under large synthetic canopy tents.  They proudly documented their civil disobedience using various cell phones and small handheld cameras, and boasted of all of the things they’d be doing to stop the “climate catastrophe”, using a microphone and speaker system.

I couldn’t help but chuckle at the eco-hypocrisy of this crowd.  Each and every product, prop or comfort device listed above has its nexus in either fossil fuel or mining components.  Every person there either ignored it, was unaware of it, or was defiant of it.  Because, after all, it isn’t about walking the talk, if the talk is somehow more important than the actions, right?