“In front of the White House early Sunday afternoon, a young man deftly scaled a small leafless tree, to the shock and dismay of the older activists around him. One police officer suggested that he come down, which he eventually did — only to be yelled at by a woman who said he’d damaged not only the tree but the entire climate movement.
‘But you’re not letting us talk,’ he told her. ‘It’s just all about you.’
‘What’s going to happen when everyone marches and then everyone goes home? There needs to be something more than that,’ the tree-climber, Max, of Washington D.C., told me afterward.
This little altercation defined a tension I saw throughout the Forward on Climate rally Sunday: Climate change reformists and climate change radicals allied tentatively, uncomfortably, against a crazy warming world. When one calls for the largest climate rally in U.S. history, one cannot really control who shows up and what their protest tactics and goals might be. Reform, or revolt? Coax, or prod? Organic, pesticide-free carrot or sustainably harvested, renewable stick?”