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Michael James Freedman

Dancing In the Streets

Dancing In the Streets

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It seems odd that we would just let the world burn.

We are living in a world which is burning, where entire cities are wiped off the map, where we acknowledge that due to man-made emissions, whole communities will be flooded on a regular basis. Millions of people will die from excessive heat. And yet, we aren’t rushing out to the streets like last summer’s BLM rallies. There are no marches demanding change. Nobody’s smashing SUV’s or blowing up pipelines. We’re all going about our regular lives, just hoping for change.

It’s because it doesn’t affect older people.

Part of the problem is that America is essentially a gerontocracy. Everyone who runs this country is old, and because young people don’t vote enough, policies don’t focus on their future. I made this painting because my generation is getting the benefit of all this carbon burning, but time is running out. We can dance in the streets now, but the water’s rising, so don’t expect our kids to be able to do the same.

Listen to the news like our hair’s on fire.

If you think about what’s happening as an actual emergency, what we’re doing is insane. We’re still building oil and gas pipelines, cruise ships can’t even bother to plug in when they dock in NYC, there’s no super tax on SUVs, we actually subsidize oil companies, China is still installing coal-fired power plants.

We’re dancing in the flooding streets, trying to eke out the last bit of fun. But think about it. This is an emergency.

We will soon all be underwater.

This is an original 24" x 18" gouache painting on watercolor paper.

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