Sunday, September 07, 2014
They seem to think they can stop the sea level from rising on a holiday island they frequent
'Queers for the Climate' Are Trying to Save Fire Island from Rising Seas
When it comes to climate change, everyone has something to lose. Californians are losing their water supply, hikers are losing vast swaths of forest, farmers are losing crops. The gay community is losing Fire Island.
That's the subject of a new tongue-in-cheek documentary produced by members of Queers for the Climate, which is pretty much the best new environmental group I've seen emerge in ages.
See, picture an 'environmentalist', and you'll likely whip up a caricature that looks something like this: A middle-aged straight white man, sporting either a rumpled safari hat and birding binocs or a tie-dyed tee and a tangled beard. That's a problem, since there's a whiff of truth to every stereotype, and while the American green movement is diversifying, it's still a pretty homogenous lot.
So when I got an email from a member of Queers for the Climate, my cynical brain perked right up. Joseph Huff-Hannon told me that the group is a newly formed coalition of LGBT activists who care about climate change, and who want to make environmental protests look more like Pride parades.
Huff-Hannon teamed up with the Yes Men's Andy Bichlbaum to make a documentary short about their trip to Fire Island, on which they tried to recruit gay men to the climate cause. Fire Island, they point out, is one of the East Coast's most endangered beaches—a recent report found it had a high likelihood of being swallowed by sea level rise. Queers for Climate members have also launched an #ItGetsWetter parody campaign, and are raising interest in the upcoming People's Climate March in New York City....
But I do think in general, even with Hurricane Sandy in NYC, even with major American cities like Miami literally already starting to slowly drown, most of us are conditioned to think about climate change as something happening “over there” or “out there.” But actually Fire Island homeowners (and visitors) have just as much stake as somebody living on the Maldives to try to help get ourselves out of this mess.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).