Friday, October 10, 2014

The climate changes in Salt Lake City

Not the normal reason for people to visit Salt Lake City, but our reason was to participate in the climate change rallies occurring around the world on the 21st September 2014. It was a drizzly day and I was worried that this would reduce numbers, but a fair good natured crowd turned up of around 300 to 400. This was above the expected numbers of 150 to 250. Signs were everywhere encouraging action to protect our climate, including a dog wearing a sign saying 'It's pawsible to stop climate change', a child carrying a sign saying 'invest in my future' and signs saying 'people over profits'.

People seemed to be from all walks of life and all ages, and a feeling of commitment pervaded the crowd. We were all here for one purpose, to preserve our planet for future generations. The speakers likewise came from all over, from politicians to a lady representing The Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons). Around the world similar rallies were taking place from smaller to the massive 400,000 strong rally in New York. While it gave me optimism to see bigger crowds than expected they should be 10 times the numbers.

Gone are the days of being shy about supporting the scientists' warnings; now it's time to shout. The scientists warned us in the 80s and 30+ years later CO2 emissions are still rising, with 2013 hitting a record 36 billion metric tons.
The climate has changed, people are already suffering, everybody will be affected. By how much and how quickly will depend on actions we take today. This is a hard issue for governments to tackle and they won't tackle it unless the people demand it.  Pressures from the well funded and powerful people with personal and profitable interests in delaying action are too great. This may lose me readers, but this issue affects every human being, parent and grandparent and I am all, and like I said, it is past the point of being shy. Further information and links on climate change are in my Blue Dot and Why I know I am right pages.

The main temple

Salt Lake City itself was a pleasant place to spend a few days planning. The city was founded in 1847 by the Mormons looking for a home to call their own after persecution from, well, just about everyone. Apparently telling every religious group that God told you they are all corrupt and you will be starting the only right religion, does not make you any friends. Surprised at the hostility they left to find their own home. Salt Lake City is still the headquarters for The Church of Latter Day Saints, so their temple was an obvious destination and we took one of their many free tours on offer. You cannot go into the main temple as that is reserved for the most faithful and properly prepared. The tour was interesting, the grounds and other buildings were beautiful and the people, well... a bit too enthusiastic.

We also found the city unexpectedly progressive with many alternative options for food. I found the only fully gluten free vegetarian restaurant that I've come across in nearly two years of travel and about 50 countries, and the place rocked. Full points and a big plug to Zest Kitchen and Bar. Unfortunately the great salt lake itself underwhelmed me but was still able to produce a lovely sunset.

Once we had finished planning the next few travel locations we headed off to continue our blitz of the US national parks.

Fountain, light, fire and sound show
found in downtown shopping mall

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