Friday, May 31, 2013

Don't frack California

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So having questioned climate change organizing, the least I could do was attend a little demonstration against fracking . This one was called by Credo Action for outside the old state building in San Francisco.

We don't want the Marcellus shale under our state exploited by greedy oil companies that don't give a damn about methane emissions, a poisoned water table, or the fact that this state is really a desert.

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This was spirited little affair -- pretty good turnout, maybe 100 people. The object is to put pressure on Jerry Brown. The Democratic-dominated legislature will probably pass some kind of moratorium, but will our ever so grown up Governor veto such a "time out"? Could happen unless he faces the kind of pressure that endangers his reelection. That's hard to muster when there is likely to be no plausible alternative.

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The event reminded me a lot of a little demo I helped some folks from Move-On put on years ago. No question, you can assemble a crowd through emails and social media exhortations. And no question, participating in this kind of thing deepens the commitment of the participants. This one was a little more targeted: we have to get the Governor on board. That's a concrete demand -- and not an easy project.

But I don't know if you can lay the foundation of a movement this way. In this state, you need a more diverse constituency. On the other hand, you certainly do need this constituency as part of your coalition. And perhaps you need repeated small, sometimes seemingly inconsequential, events to lay your foundation. We're engaged in finding out.

Thanks to the good folks who organized this one. It is never easy to get people moving.

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