A lot of people have messaged me saying “the fires have really rocked me. I’m angry and I want real action on climate but what can I DO?” Here are some initial ideas to get you started.
Please note this article is not about how to respond to these immediate fires, it’s some more long term ideas. I also haven’t included divestment, eco transport, banking ethically etc but those kind of actions are fairly easy to find on campaign sites.
I think what we need now is twofold:
strong community adaptation and resilience and
a powerful movements of movements to challenge the planet wreckers and put an urgent end to fossil fuels and extraction.
Firstly you don’t have to drop what you’re doing; you can start where you are with what you have; use your skills and influence your own networks, friends and workplaces.
If we are realistic about climate change it’s clear we need to transform everything about our economy and energy systems so every industry and much of our infrastructure needs to change; you can influence the areas you know and care about.
In terms of supporting campaigns maybe you are great at research, brilliant with excel spreadsheets, an ace cook, have rope and climbing skills, have first aid training, can play music, are good at writing and can put together media releases or up for direct action: whatever you can do, movements need!
If you haven’t joined an activist group before you might be shy or have some funny ideas about who you might encounter if you get involved. I reckon what you will find is ordinary people just like you who are trying to figure out ways to make things better. You can also find a place for the kind of skills and interests you have; direct action, protest, corporate campaigning, research and policy, art and culture, you name it, we need it!
Secondly this is not just about you, a single person and your choices and actions; this is about US, all of us and what WE can do. Wherever you can connect up with other people in your town, industry, family, workplace, sports club and start organising. Individual consumer thinking won’t get us out of this mess so let’s try and shift to thinking and acting collectively. Networks of networks, movements of movements – system change.
This is about US, all of us and what WE can do. Together we can do so much!
Here are just a few ideas.
- Support First Nations campaigns: by donating or volunteering or partnering and most importantly amplifying and sharing their work and lifting up the voices, solutions and needs of Indigenous communities this is central to climate justice on this continent
- Donate to frontline organisations and grassroots groups: they are often struggling for funding but also often have deepest roots and have biggest impact in their communities
- Research how climate change impacts the most vulnerable: homeless folks, those in poverty with poor housing, people with disabilities and work with those communities to develop support plans
- Get informed: research and read up on climate change, climate justice, social change and transition plans like the Green New Deal. Don’t do this on your own, set up reading groups and watch and listening parties to debrief, discuss and plan
- Plan for local resilience: meet your neighbours and build a community resilience project and disaster preparedness plan with the streets and properties nearby
- Campaign against extraction: join up with an existing campaign in your region or community that is working to keep fossil fuels in the ground especially coal, oil and gas
- Run for government: run for local, state or federal government on an anti fossil fuels and pro community resilience platform – most of us are shy about this idea esp LGBTIQ people, women and young people but we really need more people taking real leadership in our governments
- Join (or start) a community garden and research food security in your region
- Join an anti racism campaign, whether antifa or in support of asylum seekers. Border politics are going to amp up as climate impacts increase
- Put on a resilience festival and engage local authors, poets and musicians to perform and create new stories for your communities
My love and solidarity to you all as we process, grieve, get angry, feel despair and then, ORGANISE!
Republished on The Commons https://commonslibrary.org/new-year-new-action-for-transformation/