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ActivismClimate ChangeGlobal WarmingPolicies & Politics

What Does the U.S. Climate Change Movement Need to Pass Climate Legislation?

climate change activism

Joe Romm of Climate Progress recently had an interesting post on an email from Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp regarding “how we begin to rebuild public support for climate action and the political will to pass climate legislation.”

After reading the post, I decided to chime in with my own 2 cents. Thought I’d share the meat of that here (edited a bit to make it more readable and remove superfluous notes):

1) I think that what we need more than anything else is people getting into the streets. We need to get the mainstream media’s eye on people (us) who are ready to show others how much we need climate action now. Direct action is needed. Politicians can ignore email campaigns, twitter campaigns, and even blogs as much as they want and hardly feel any pressure. A few years ago, before I became a blogger, despite being a dedicated green, I had never heard of TreeHugger, Climate Progress, Grist, or a number of other major green sites we are all probably pretty familiar with now (I was aware of Planetsave, but that’s a story for another day).

2) Now, contradicting the point above a little bit (but not really), we need obsessive messaging (that reaches those who don’t think they care about politics) on politicians’ actions when it comes to climate change. Politicians who do and don’t support climate action need to be exposed to the public, to their constituents, most of whom probably wouldn’t support them for a second if they knew what they were actually doing. Why is this a semi-contradiction? Because this part does need to be done on blogs and social media/networking sites. People spend a ton of time online now, especially on facebook and such places. While the action needs to happen outside, where the mainstream media will pick it up, the education needs to happen in people’s comfort zones — which are increasingly online. This should not just include abstract discussions, but names (repeatedly, & linked obviously to the actual negative consequences they are creating in their lack of climate action). Most people probably don’t have a clue what their Congressmen are doing in office. We need to know.

3) Combined with that 2nd point, people need to have a better understanding about what climate change practically means for them, their children, their grandchildren, & so on. Too many people think this is just about the birds & the trees. I think most of us would be shocked to find out what people actually think climate change will entail. We all need to raise our voice about what we are putting ourselves & our children in for: food insecurity (Human Suffering & Death), water insecurity (Human Suffering & Death), rising sea levels (pretty clear), economic collapse (due to food & water insecurity and the tremendous costs of natural disasters).

That’s the 3-point plan I think is needed: DIRECT ACTION, OBSESSIVE COVERAGE OF POLITICIANS AND THEIR CLIMATE ACTION OR INACTION, and CLIMATE CHANGE EDUCATION.

I studied environmental studies and sociology for my undergrad degree several years ago, focused very obsessively on how society viewed environmental issues and the direction the environmental movement needed to go in. It has taken the environmental movement 7-8 years now to get to the point I thought it needed to get to at the end of my studies. But think it finally is starting to (barely starting to). I think we are inching into the plan I mentioned above, but only inching.

I think our current needs are clear:

  1. Direct Action
  2. Hold Politicians’ Feet to the Fire; Help Educate their Constituents who “aren’t interested in politics”
  3. Educate people about climate change & how it affects them & their children

Photo via kk+

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3 comments
  1. Uncle B

    China is developing Thorium fueled LFTR reactors, 10 x cheaper to build, plutonium free, benign waste after only 3 hundred years, Thorium very plentiful, cheaper, compared to Uranium, safer to mine, process. China can be coal free in decades. Google, China, Tsinghua University, pebble bed gas reactor – for and eyeful. Yes, they are so well ahead of U.S. bomb-cookers. Meanwhile U.S.nuclear, stuck on stupid, fouled with “Legacy Inertia” strapped to corporate commitments,tied to the military, marinating in Uranium Cartel “development funds”, cannot adapt, runs in strait line over an economic cliff after Fuckoshima event. Inflexible corporate structure not allowing for reality, humane judgement, to prevail.
    Humanure! America’s forgotten resource flow. must be mandated to be processed into Methane fuel and Top soil building fertilizer.
    Fuel saving super insulations, space age materials, ignored by U.S. engineers, can save energy expenditures.Oslo Norway, runs city buses on it.Can so be done.
    Euro-styled, turbo-diesels with kaolin scrubbers proven by science to provide a full 40 % more efficiency over gasoline engines – rejected by arrogant Americans? Oil companies stealing again, raised prices of diesel dramatically, even though diesel fuel needs no additives, diesels operate satisfactorily on less refined, high sulfur fuels! What a con! What a rip-off! The oil baron bastards! Anti-American for sure! No wonder our economy fails with enemies like this!
    U.S. peons robbed of an ecological friendly, economical, proven reliable system by corporate decisions. We are not really a free people! Google, torrent, “Who Stole The Electric Car”, study this documentary! Implications for American future here! Beware the corporate whores who really run the country!
    U.S. dollar losing status as world’s currency of exchange! Siberia sells petroleum products to China for Yuan! Does this open the vast Siberian natural resources to China? For Yuan? Will Russia follow? With resources, nuclear, aircraft, rocket, space, technologies, all for sale, all for Yuan? All without the U.S. Fed’s heavy thumb on the scales for every contract?
    Canada, thwarted by greedy, dishonest,U.S. money-men, unable to build pipelines to U.S. markets without corrupt, unfair dealings, Fed’s heavy thumb on the scale for every deal, have looked to the North West Passage, opened by available Russian nuclear ice-breakers, and a northern Canadian port to access Asian markets year round, paying in honest, highly valued, unmanipulated, Yuan, and fair dealings with Chinese businessmen, Chinese government. They intend safe, Thorium LFTR reactors from China and a Chinese method using nuclear heat, to free up Tar Sands Oil, without the massive burn off of Canadian natural gas, as the current American technology now requires. liquefaction of the natural gas formerly wasted used to be shipped to Asia in ships currently doing so through-out Asia, and tankers for the oil will be put into service. Canada can also ship grain, iron ore, coal, and other metals, ores, through this proposed northern Port. China and Canada can well afford to finance such an endeavor, and it will certainly prove very profitable for both parties.
    Canada to consider Chinese electric bullet train networks! Already Canada’s “Go-Trains” span a vast area of Ontario, even extending very soon as far North as Peterborough, Already as far west as Windsor, and connected by Via-rail as far east as Quebec City. Contracts for Go-Train electrification already on government books! Americans n must learn to give up their cars, and use public transit on the future! Asian demands for gasoline and a very strong Yuan compared to the U.S. dollar will put gasoline out of reach for the average American, and very soon, China built more cars than All north America this year, and every one of them had an empty gasoline tank.

  2. brock2118

    Yes. By all means, let’s kneecap the fossil fuel based energy economy which has brought us so much prosperity do China can DOUBLE their coal use again over the next seven years.

    1. Zachary Shahan

      well, brock2118, we were on our game and led the world in the 20th century, but if we cling to the past and energy sources that are on their way out, we surely won’t lead it in this century

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