Action on climate change
There are so many things that people are doing, and so many things that people could do. What criteria are there for sorting among all possible actions?
- How large a scale does it cover - one person and where they live, or five, twenty, hundreds, a village/neighborhood/town/city/region/network/nation/planet?
- How powerful a leverage point is it?
- Does it articulate something that someone can just do, right now?
(Even a gigantic action such as "blockade a local fossil fuel delivery" begins with doable first steps, typically including learning more, and networking.)
Some of these are about advocating for action - socially, politically, culturally, aimed at people, governments, business, religious institutions, etc. Others are about what individuals and groups can do (or that we might advocate they do). Some actions are about mitigating climate change - we can't prevent climate change, it's already started and we've already guaranteed ourselves a fair bit more, so all we can do on that front is minimize the amount of additional climate change we are going to experience. Some actions are about preparing for whatever amount of climate change is coming, and the post-peak reality regarding oil and many other resources. Fortunately, some of the same actions will help with both.
- Join the Great March for Climate Action
- A Facebook thread exploring this question for the march: https://www.facebook.com/groups/557492267622088/permalink/627291237308857/
- Another asking Great Peace March folks to share about good conversations they had on their march and what helped those happen: https://www.facebook.com/groups/greatpeacemarch/permalink/10152081511308463/
- Develop your personal relationship with the rest of the natural world, especially where you live:
- Be with a tree, the soil, the air, the water - http://www.ecopsychology.org/
- Quiz about your local area (with recommendations for learning more): http://kk.org/cooltools/archives/000957
- Plan for when you die for your body to be given a natural burial.
- Join, promote, and create local, gifting, and sharing economics:
- On gifting economies:
- Put a free box on the curb and fill it with things you don't need any more. Even better, establish one in your neighborhood or building with your neighbors.
- Start a gift circle
- Stay up on gift economy news
- The Gift Economy by Gifford Pinchot (great background article)
- update legislation and regulations by not applying current rules intended for big business to cooperative activities, especially at the small/neighborhood scale. See http://www.theselc.org/ and their http://www.theselc.org/policies-for-shareable-cities/
- http://www.shareable.net/ - great general website, currently promoting map jams to develop websites on local sharing options, e.g. http://www.shareable.net/blog/join-the-sharing-cities-map-jam
- barter (need resources on finding/starting local barter networks)
- Make sure that natural wealth is incorporated into National Accounting Systems (read http://imipono.org/2013/07/29/rewriting-economic-history/ )
- Establish & act on our common property rights / rights of nature:
- Fran Korten interviewing Elinor Ostrom re the commons
- Lawsuits founded on the public trust doctrine. Wherever they fail, that is powerful grounds for direct action.
- Rights of Nature FAQ on CELDF site | Wikipedia entry | Global Alliance for
CELDF - the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund supports people in the U.S. working to get their local governments to assert community rights and the rights of nature. There is already significant pushback against this (e.g., big corporations just got the state of Oregon to pass a law pre-empting local ordinances on food), so we must be on the right track :-).
- Thwink.org (lots of great materials) has a systems-thinking-derived roadmap for change that includes common property rights, a transformed role for corporations, and deep political reform.
- Mobilize mass movements capable of direct action to block increases in greenhouse gas emissions and related problems, (e.g., opposition to Keystone XL and the Trans-Pacific Partnership), support GHG reductions (e.g. conservation, speedup of renewable energy development, dismantling of existing fossil fuel infrastructure)
- Know your carbon footprint and take action to reduce it: http://coolclimate.berkeley.edu/carboncalculator:
"This tool enables individuals or households in the U.S. to calculate their carbon footprints to get personalized advice on managing their personal impact. Our Take Action page recommends customized pledges to reduce carbon footprints and save money. Users can also see how they compare to households of similar size, location and income, or compare themselves to state, national and global averages. The carbon footprints and comparisons in this version utilize data and calculations that are the most detailed, robust and up-to-date available. Additionally, this version features community support tools which allow users to register on the site, save their footprint and pledges to a profile, and join or create custom groups."
They also have an API: https://developer.berkeley.edu/apidocs/coolclimate
- Walk or ride your bicycle to get around (ideally get rid of your car if you have one)
- Convert your car to electric, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_vehicle_conversion (need better links)
- Good(?) overview with many links on public transit: http://pedestrianobservations.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/politicals-vs-technicals-the-primary-division-of-transit-activists/ Also see http://www.sierraclub.org/transportation/
- Revitalize/rebuild train system - http://gorail.org/ and http://www.trainweb.com/advocacy (from a very brief search, please suggest other or critique)
- Public transit advocacy - http://www.apta.com/GAP/ADVOCACY/Pages/default.aspx (also from a very brief search), most efficient option may be Personal Rapid Transit - http://www.advancedtransit.org/
- Contact your government representatives, the CEOs of companies, and other people in positions of power who could be doing better. You can decide what exactly you want to advocate, one small suggestion for Congress people is to get more of them to join the Safe Climate Caucus (House) and the Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change, and a few more ideas are below. (I've gathered mostly just U.S. information so far, will try to add more, please offer your suggestions at the end of this page.)
- Congress - Here's a web tool for contacting your congresspeople, and an iPhone app (Contact Congress)
- The President
- Email addresses of US companies (And see the links at the top for email addresses of companies in some other countries.)
- How to Write a Killer Op-Ed piece (found this via a quick search, feel free to suggest better resources)
- Learn (more) about Permaculture
- Create and recreate physical and virtual public spaces in which people have real conversations across the full spectrum of people's perspectives in ways that lead to mutual understanding and collective action. Relatedly, transform government such that the general population is in the position of power we should have in a democracy.
- Learn about Transpartisanship and start conversations in your area in that spirit. http://www.transpartisancenter.org/ (find more/better resources)Find and establish public spaces where people can have these kinds of conversations. (Haven't contacted them, but http://www.greenteaparty.us/ looks interesting.)
- end corporate personhood - e.g. Move to Amend - constitutional amendment
- publicly finance elections - e.g. Represent.us - legislation, the American Anti-Corruption Act
- Get governments to regulate/tax greenhouse gas emissions, and subsidize renewable energy sources. E.g.:
- http://gofossilfree.org/ — Get schools, cities, etc. to divest. Many people argue that this will not affect them enough economically, but it is in any case valuable to shift attitudes about fossil fuel companies, given their radical unsustainability — ecologically and thus economically!
- Relocalize food and shift eating habits:
- Stop eating meat and dairy or at least drastically reduce your intake (cows especially, they produce a lot of methane). http://vegetarian.meetup.com/ http://vegan.meetup.com/ - Eating out vegetarian/vegan: http://www.happycow.net/
- http://www.localharvest.org/ - general websites with many resources
- Local food directories - https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/local_food/search.php
- Community gardening/urban agriculture - http://communitygarden.org/
- Farmers markets - http://www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/
- Community supported agriculture - http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ and http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/csa/
- Composting - http://www.stopwaste.org/fscompost.html and http://www.oldgrowth.org/compost/
- Support the work of local food hubs - http://ngfn.org/resources/food-hubs/food-hubs
- Food forests
- Reduce / Reuse / Recycle = 1) Don't get it. 2) If you're going to get it, see if you can get a used one. 3) Buy one made from recycled materials, and which itself can be recycled - use http://www.craigslist.org/ and http://www.freecycle.org/
Classic list of questions:
1) Do we really need it?
2) Is it the most durable and reusable available?
3) Is it the smallest, simplest, and most energy efficient?
4) Is it biodegradable?
5) Does it promote social and environmental harmony?
- Have fewer (no?) biological kids if you were planning to have them.
- Upgrade your house to save energy (Passive house is the lowest-energy set of standards/practices for buildings from what I've researched)):
- heating/cooling - avoid using power to heat/cool with good layout/design, and for any remaining temperature control use a heat pump (ground-source is most efficient) for heating/cooling
- electricity - add solar/wind power
- heating water - go solar, passive with electrical as backup
- To be drawn from more / developed further:
- Great tool and support to nurture a community calendar: Jon Udell - see http://elmcity.cloudapp.net/
- Feel free to add your ideas here:
- Join your neighborhood association, and if there isn't one, start one.improve the wisdom of public conversation and our conversation and decision-making processes (and thus the wisdom of the outcomes), along the lines of http://www.co-intelligence.org/CDCUsesAndPotency.html and http://ncdd.org/
These are awesome ideas. Now how do we transfer them en masse on the Great March for Climate Action?
I will start feeding these into marcher conversations over the next week or so, and onto the new Climate March wiki.
Great List!!! From my experience working more on the microcosm of personal existence, I firmly believe that internalizing and embodying holistic exercises and introspective & mindfulness-developing pursuits contributes greatly to how we learn to better manage ourselves and our actions. I could write volumes, but I'll leave it as a teaser. Just a thought I wanted to mention. :)
Where's the "like" button on that comment? :-D
note to self - research and promote creative uses of games and game design, e.g. inter-city competition re miles biked instead of driven
Will see you soon! I'll be adding my two-cents in person, on the march!
Ecosystem restoration for carbon sequestration, which I'm learning a lot about at http://bio4climate.org/conference-2014
Relocalizing food: Homesteading
Prep for sea level rise - sea walls? Land management eg mangroves. Migrate people out of at-risk areas?
Move out of regions that require massive importation of resources.
Support climate refugees (above, some island nations, Alaska town, etc.)
Get fossil fuel companies kicked out of climate change negotiations (analogous to when tobacco companies were kicked out of international conversations to reduce smoking)