(A Grist photo)
UK Climate Campers have said this on Twitter (in their “bio” statement) -
“It’s time to show our ‘leaders’ how we’re going to take action to reduce emissions ourselves. Because it’s business as usual at Copenhagen.”
Cascadia Brian (of Rising Tide North America)
on the It’s Getting Hot in Here blog -
“Copenhagen and the end of naïveté”
A post from “tanuki” (of Rising Tide North America, and other networks)
on the It’s Getting Hot in Here blog -
“Out of the frying pan and into the streets!, or ‘How I stopped lobbying and put up my dukes!‘”
(I’m not re-posting that link to reject any and all lobbying — particularly at the municipal level, where lobbying impacts are more feasible.)
Common people are going to have to sort these problems out;
and to accomplish that, we’re going to have to rise up — to take power.
We need to collectively re-make this world; and to do that, we’ll need to motivate and mobilize a lot more people — including ourselves, in some cases.
What are we waiting for? Let’s do this.
A lot more of us will have to be a lot more engaged in making this change happen.
Obama is not a radical superhero; and no one else out there is either. There are no hero-saviours out there who are going to turn around these crises on, their own.
Join us in the climate justice movement
Join us in the pursuit of practical, community-level solutions.
Those two approaches and focuses are complementary.
Radical-confrontational climate justice approaches aren’t for everyone. But people also can help tackle these problems through community networks — to support local gardening, local bicycling, and other community resilience. The Transition network, and “Transition Towns” projects, mainly are what I have in mind here, as ways of pursuing community-scale solutions.
At the climate justice end of the continuum, look up the Mobilization for Climate Justice, Climate Justice Action, and Camp for Climate Action activism. Those networks or coalitions are three key examples, yet there also are other entry-ways into climate justice activism.
Here are snippets from what Naresh Giangrande has said in a recent post that he wrote as a Transition network organizer, at the COP15 climate talks -
“We are faced with a system that cannot and will not make the changes necessary to create a resilient world in the face of climate change and peak oil. It would go against everything the system is designed for.”
“Only when the necessary conditions for a paradigm shift are in place that will allow us to make the necessary changes that a resilient culture demands, will we get a society ‘fit for the purpose of life’. The Transition approach is designed to start creating those new structures and systems of living right now and start putting into place alternative arrangements for every system we now depend. Only where there is enough in place that we can start to depend on it will the size and scale of change occur.”
“For me hope springs from the eventual withering away of our current system and its gradual replacement with one that can allow to emerge, using all of our technological prowess and creativity, a life supporting- for all of life- human presence on the planet.”
That’s Giangrande’s take on the slogan “System Change, Not Climate Change”.
Anna C Keenan (who has been a core Climate Justice Fast organizer) –
in this blog post -
“I am feeling more hopeful and more powerful than ever, because in spite of political failure and inaction, I can see the wheels off change turning and greater public dicontent churning up everywhere.”
“The world needed a shake-up and it got one with the failure of COP15.
This stuff – the ‘Divided Nations’ instead of the ‘United Nations’ – is way better than some nice-looking political declaration that makes people across the world believe that politicians are going to save them. If we’d had that sort of outcome, it would have given the world’s population false hope. Maybe now the general public will start to find this interesting, and will start to pay attention.
Even better, maybe they will start to get really pissed off and actually get off the couch and do something about it.”
Johann Hari has written an article titled “After the catastrophe in Copenhagen, it’s up to us.” Here are selected excerpts -
“The Good Daddy isn’t in charge.”
“The time for changing your light-bulbs and hoping for the best is over. It is time to take collective action.”
“Every coal train should be ringed with people refusing to let it pass. Every new runway should be blockaded. The cost of trashing the climate needs to be raised.
It works. Look at Britain. Three years ago, eight new coal power stations were being planned, and the third runway at Heathrow was all but inevitable. A few thousand heroic young people took direct action against them. Now all the new coal power stations have been cancelled, and the third runway is dead in the water. Here in the fifth largest economy in the world, they have stopped coal and airport expansion. Politicians felt the heat. That was done by a few thousand people. Imagine what tens or hundreds of thousands could do.
There need to be parallel movements to this in every country on earth.” “Copenhagen had one value, and one value alone. It has shown us that if we don’t act in our own self-defence now, nobody else will.”
Hari basically suggests that people should support big NGOs (non-government organizations), and/or engage in civil disobedience. But there are various other ways to pitch in. Here’s an example: the climate justice group that I am part of has started to leaflet inside and in front of an RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) branch; we target RBC because that company is the main financier of tar sands ‘development.’ Of course, as we leaflet, we also talk to people who stop to show interest. We also have brought petitions out as we have leafletted.
There are a range of strategies and focuses that can be combined to effectively change societies for the better. Re-making our societies will entail more than two focuses and tactics (which isn’t to say that all approaches are helpful; some approaches actually are counter-productive).
Hopefully the COP15 failure will radicalize or otherwise motivate enough people, soon enough, to allow us to sort the out the climate and energy mega-messes. Injustices and market failures will have to be tackled as well. We are caught up in multi-dimensional crises that will have to be addressed from more than one angle. As I have said and otherwise indicate up above, climate justice and community resilience approaches both can help us to sort out these crises — while bringing about a better future, at the same time.
LET’S GO THERE. LET’S DO THAT…