Ready To Do Something, Yourself?


Earthlings Need You To Act:


Growing numbers of people are ready to throw down the gauntlet and create change.  Yet...there is still an information gap.  Where do we go?  What effective action can we take?

Here is a list, which I (Dana) have roughly organized in order from actions-which-are-easiest-to-do down through actions-which-require-greatest-sacrifice.  This is not intended to be a priority list...only you can know which actions are best suited to your gifts, tastes, or passions.

(Please help us compile this reference page for humanity's armies.  If you are aware of action which is calling for more soldiers, please post in our comment section, or send us a personal note or email)



   
Make minor changes in your life, and let others know you are doing it because of climate change.
This is sometimes known as "going green."  Reusing shopping bags, opting for energy efficient lightbulbs, etc.  It is one way that we can make a tiny mark on the giant tally-board of urgent necessary changes in our society.  The biggest reason to "go green" is if it brings you joy.  At the same time, it is important to recognize that it is not enough to "go green".  That is...even if every individual makes these same minor changes in their lifestyle...the climate crisis will still be marching toward us, full tilt.  Industry and policy must be changed.  As consumers, you have very little effect on these factors.  Stop thinking of yourself as a green consumer and think of yourself, instead, as an active and concerned global citizen.  It is important to remember that we no longer have enough time to hope that this "going green" strategy will actually create the dramatic changes which are now urgently called for.  Let this action be a supplement to your other action for climate change.



Print out and hang informational posters.   If you don't have your own design in mind, here is one suggestion: Climate Crisis is Real: End Climate Silence (they also have a spanish version)
Here is another:  Eyechart: There are four years left...
This looks like a great collection, too.  green patriot posters


Educate Yourself.  The more you know, the more you know how you want to respond.  The less you know, the more likely you are to find yourself, and your children and pets, in a situation which you would have wished to avert.  Climate Change is complicated, in many ways...and the road to understanding our predicament is not necessarily easy (Fox News won't teach you about it, and your Government might not either).  Exert your curiosity and discover who you would be if you really *understood* that you were in a life or death situation.  Unfortunately, ignorance does nothing to protect you.  Here is an online free, easy place to start:  Skeptical Science


Write letters of support to politicians and other agencies who are taking significant action to mitigate the climate crisis.  The more certain that they are of being socially supported in bold action, the more likely they are to continue to do it.  Here's an easy place to start:  Obama Climate Letter



Give financially to programs and groups which are spearheading change or standing against the climate adversaries.  One traditional definition of "tithing" is giving 10% of your possessions or worth to the common cause. Considering the vast financial resources of our opponents in this climate fight, 10% is a minimal amount to contribute toward averting the most serious disaster humanity has ever faced. Dig deeply into your pockets, be brave, and give joyfully. Here's one link: https://act.350.org/donate/2012/

Divest. If you own stocks in any fossil fuel companies, sell those suckers.  If your university does (most of them do), if your workplace does, if your loved ones do, promote divestment.  This is 350's current primary grass-roots effort to create major change starting now.  Go Fossil Free


Reorient your leisure priorities. Get rid of your television, or rigidly ration your use of it.  It usually makes a big difference for your psychology and buys you a *lot* more free time!  On the weekend, rather than driving to the movie theater or sporting event, bike there (it will be more of an adventure, and you will probably have more fun, too).  Planning a vacation somewhere?  You deserve a vacation--and make sure that it is as good for your conscience as it is for your body and mind.  If you're thinking of flying, take a train instead.  Or perhaps even smarter: find a local activity or sanctuary rather than traveling a great distance.  For that matter, consider carving out your vacation time for an activism campaign rather than for the martini and the lawn chair.  Get out and do something extraordinary...you may find this more rewarding than a weekend of inactivity.



Re-examine your financial priorities.  Many of us feel that we are stuck.  As an example:  we may have debt which we must repay before we have a hope of feeling free to live in ways that would really feel worth our while.  For many modern climate-concerned citizens, a realization awaits that it no longer makes sense to hold this repayment-of-debt as standing above our fundamental concerns about the cancerous dysfunction of our economy.  When we realize that repaying our debt is a matter of prioritizing our commitments to corporate profiting, rather than our commitment to the necessary recreating our society, including our economy, it often becomes sensible to consider setting aside debt-repayment as a priority.  Again, this is about the rise of our identity and sense of honor as a global citizen, no longer just a consumer trying to survive his economy.  This action feels very scary for some people.  If you are interested in learning more about how to give up on repayment of debts, start researching it.  Many people are now making this kind of choice and with a bit searching, there is an abundance of online support for the nitty gritty and logistics of this action.  I just did a very brief search online and this is one link I found that had some helpful information about not repaying debt:  http://debtprison.net/wordpress/47/can-you-go-to-jail-for-not-paying-your-debts/  (would appreciate other suggestions...please comment below).  We are not here on this planet at this time to surrender ourselves as slaves to corporate domination. 

Write indignant personal letters to "the powers that be".  Write serious letters outlining your indignation about our climate crisis.  Tell your fossil-fueled power company that they are killing your children.  Tell them that we, the people, will not allow it.  Write to your local government or industry a "shame on you" letter which lets them know that they are being monitored and that you expect them to shape up or shut down.  This action may involve more risk, legally (depending what you write!) or illegally, depending on how low your corporate enemy will go in defense of their own power or pursuit of a sense of "safety" (for instance, the corporations will sometimes send paid police or bullies to intimidate you at your home, we have discovered!  (*wave* from Dana at Pacing the Planet to the shameless climate crisis leaders:  the filthy rich CEOs at Peabody Coal!  A knowing "Howdy!" to you from my ill-fated children, also, of course!).

Volunteer in the Support Network for resistance movement. Find ways to support others who are taking risks trying to save our planet.  Example from the Deep Green Resistance website:  support system?


Make major changes in your life, and let it be known that you are doing it because of climate change.  It is time to not just think outside the box..but to actually step outside it.  An example:  If you work for a company which profits from the liberation of fossil fuel into the atmosphere, make a stink.  Tell your superiors what you have learned about the crisis that is as hand.  Let them know you are serious, and others in your workplace are concerned as well.  Tell them that you expect them to change their business model.  Organize a strike.  Get fired, even.  Accept the severance pay, or take unemployment, or just embrace a life as a poor person (as Jesus advised) and commit your day-to-day to your activism.  If you do take another job, prioritize that it be a job which contributes to the well being of our planet more than it subtracts.
Another example:  sell or scrap your car, and commit yourself to alternative means of transport.  People will be curious why you do not have a car.  Let them know you are making a personal sacrifice because you have decided it is the least you can do to rescue the planet. 
(These are only two random examples of the infinite variety of inspired sacrifice which one might undertake in one's own life.  (Have other examples or ideas?  Post them to our comments section...inspire us!)

Educate/Raise Awareness:  If you have dug deeply into the science and social/economic/political issues which are involved with climate change, you might be just the person to begin offering local presentations to groups of people (schools, churches, interest groups, community centers, etc.) who have questions to ask and who want to understand!  Another way to move in this direction is to join up with an climate-informational group (ahem:  Pacing the Planet!) or start your own awareness-raising campaign or action, like a man named Ken Ilgunas is doing:  walking a Pipe Dream

Volunteer with Leadership/Action Groups:   Deep Green Resistance is soliciting radical volunteers.  I'm also learning recently about Rising Tide of North America!  An awesome and inspiring >Climate-change-specific< network of activism.

Heckle.  example:  Heckling to end the political "climate silence"

Protest.  (I've had to move this farther down on the list because of the "police" nature of our "state"). Attend any and/or every protest that is relevant to this issue.  Because numbers are critical for effective protests.  And, you never know what else might evolve from engaging face to face, in real life, with others who are also awakened to the foremost crisis of our times;  you might meet the next love of your life, or at least, you will be networking for climate change action, and this is also crucial for the efficacy of our movement.  I will be 8 months pregnant, but we are driving our cart in the waste-vegetable-oil-fueled truck to Washington DC this February to join the crowd of tens of thousands of aghast Americans for this protest and action:  URGENT Keystone XL Pipeline DC Protest 
And though our right to protest is protected by our constitution, you can often expect to see armed cops "protecting" these financially powerful corporate entities:  the villains of our climate crisis.  Be psychologically prepared to be intimidated, disrespected, and to have your rights trampled, to be arrested, beaten, and falsely accused of illegal actions.  You are not alone, and we need you to stand strong.
An example; a recent protest: Citizens of the World vs. Peabody Coal

March.  Join us for the Great March for Climate Action!  A coast to coast march of a 1000 individuals from all walks of life who are setting aside their normal life, for a week or eight months to take this action.  Dates are from March 1st through November 1st, 2014.    Here's a video about the project.  And here's the website!



Direct Action.  Assist the Tar Sands Blockade As I type, they are summoning passionate earthlings into the head to head battle to impede TransCanada (and a hired police force).  http://tarsandsblockade.org/join-us/join-action/
Locally, You can do like this fellow is doing...to find your local office check here:  http://www.tarsandsblockade.org/local_action/

There have also risen up a number of other similar Tar Sands Resistance groups, like these guys:
 The Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance. And get inspired by these Vancouver-based Modern Heros, with Rising Tide and Idle No More ( Canadian Activists are *doing* it now!  ). 

Hunger Strike.  A great sacrifice, a personal inner journey, a powerful choice to act, and an inspiration to countless climate concerned citizens.  Read about this recently completed hunger strike in solidarity with climate activism everywhere.

Surrender.  Here is a good place to start with exploring surrender to our changing climate:  Nature Bats Last

2 comments:

  1. Here's an interesting idea.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for this list of activism ideas. It helps me take stock of additional steps I could be taking right now. Prioritizing them would be difficult, since any action is beneficial, but I would assert that steps such as writing letters and various forms of protest are most likely to awaken the sleeping giant of public policy.

    ReplyDelete

We welcome comments that are substantive and don't make ad hominem attacks. Please write!