Saturday, April 14, 2007

The New Coast Parade

Thanks to everyone who turned out this morning in the Old Port to march along Portland's New Coastline to demand comprehensive cuts in greenhouse gas pollution. Thanks especially to Sara, Harry, and Valerie, who pulled most of the weight to organize this event.

I counted about 200 people who passed me while I was parade marshalling at Middle and Market Streets. We also had a number of our state congressional delegation there, and today's event should make a strong case for making the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (currently under consideration in the Legislature) a high priority for them.

I was a little bit giddy from having so many people show up (I'd been needlessly fretting that no one would come), but I got the impression that a lot of other people had a good time, too. Even the people who were waiting in traffic for our parade to pass by were smiling.

You can see photos from the other 1500 events around the nation at

UPDATE: I nearly forgot: the old media were at this event in full force, and it looks like some of tonight's 6 o'clock news shows will boil down the crucial arguments for greenhouse gas legislation into a 2-second sound bite from yours truly. Here's the report from the WCSH 6 TV station:
Activists are urging the federal government to cut carbon dioxide emissions 80% by the year 2050.

"It's not too late, [it's] totally achievable," said activist Christian McNeil.
Note how the word "totally" constitutes 1/6 of my sound bite. Way to be articulate, dude.


Turboglacier said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the "new coastline" of the Old Port pretty much equivalent to the "old coastline" before we filled in the wharves south of Wharf Street to make Commercial Street... for the purpose of having a railroad run along the waterfront... to burn fossil fuels... to melt the ice caps and flood Commercial Street? I mean, it's all sad and scary, yet sort of karmic and poetic, no?

C Neal said...

All true. And for additional poetic irony, consider how they filled in Commercial Street in those heady days right after the Civil War: they burdened old sailing ships with rocks and sand until they sank between the wharves and filled in the inner harbor. Thus, the railroads (and later, the cars and trucks) for which Commercial Street was built trample over the obsolete corpses of wind-powered vessels.