Kodak Moment in a Sea of People

This past Saturday, PlentyTV went to Battery Park, Manhattan, to Step It Up for an 80% reduction in U.S. carbon emissions by 2050. We spoke with writer, environmental activist, and Step It Up leader Bill McKibben, and got in line with a blue-clad Sea Of People to form two huge waves along Pearl and Church Streets, right where lower Manhattan tidelines will be if oceans rise the predicted 10 feet. Step It Up included rallies in over 1,300 communities across the nation, and was the largest U.S. grassroots environmental protest since Earth Day 1970.

But enough of big, impressive numbers, and formidable stats. Allow us to share our favorite warm and fuzzy, Step It Up, Kodak moment. Get ready to make like a glacier and melt:

We’d been milling about in the post-Sea-of-People-crowd, keeping an eye out for a few more creative costumes to catch on camera, when a grade-school aged kid wearing a gigantic piece of unidentifiable headgear tottered across our path. We looked closer. The kid was too adorable, his hat made of Styrofoam cups messily painted blue, sticking out all over and twice the size of him. Like the champ he was, he’d stepped it up with the rest of us all afternoon, and now he and his mother were about to climb back down into the dark subway station to go home.

“Are you a sea creature?” we asked him, in our best, most annoyingly high-pitched kiddie voices.

“Um, no,” he replied, his unwieldy hat bobbing and catching the bright midday sun. Was it just us, or did he perhaps seem a bit disappointed in the two glaringly idiotic grownups who had just approached him? Sea creature?

“It’s more like a message about Styrofoam,” he continued, speaking very clearly and slowly, for our benefit, “because you can’t recycle it, so it ends up floating in the water for a long time.” 

This kid is going places!


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Hi - it's me, Nick, the kid with the styrofoam hat. I like your story about me - but just to let you know, I'm not pre-school - I'm 10!

Nick - problem fixed! Thanks again for the great message about Styrofoam!

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