Published on October 21st, 2015 | by Guest Contributor
Climate Change Activism: How to Get Involved
Climate change has been a major galvanizing force that has brought together people around the world to find fast, efficient solutions to our rapidly changing climate. Here’s a guide to citizen activism, and how to get involved!
Grassroots climate change activism has inspired many different types of movements across the globe around the central theme of advocating for climate justice and helping to reduce climate change. Some of the biggest climate change movements include the push against the Keystone XL pipeline, a fight that brought together cowboys, Indians and activists from across North America. Says National Geographic, “Across the continent, the fight to stop tar sands – and in particular the fight over Keystone XL – has catalyzed the creation of unlikely coalitions [such as the Cowboy and Indian alliance]. And increasingly, it’s the ‘frontline’ leaders from the most at-risk communities who are taking the lead. And the activism has paid off– though the Pipeline was approved by the Senate, President Obama vetoed the bill.
But perhaps no movement spoke as loudly recently as the People’s Climate March. Held in New York in September 2014, almost half a million people joined together to stand for climate action. Watch the video below from People’s Climate Movement to learn about how and why thousands stood up to make history!
In an interview in Yes! Magazine, Naomi Klein says that the struggle for climate justice is completing the ‘unfinished business’ of the major civil rights movements in the past, and is able to bring together communities, nations and everyone under the banner of planetary health. Not only has fighting against fossil fuels brought together First Nations, Native Americans and unlikely allies across the US. She says,
“The kind of hope that climate action represents—to people in the South Bronx and other low-income communities of color in the U.S., but also in countries like Bolivia—is because it directly addresses foundational issues around why our societies are so unequal. Colonialism predates coal, but coal supercharged the colonial project, allowing the pillaging of the Global South, and locked us into these incredibly unequal extractive relationships […] This is a process by which we begin to heal these colonial wounds.”
So many grassroots movements in the US are tied together through connections of injustice that run deep, and these movements continue to gain traction.
And these actions are finally starting to get noticed: governments around the world are using the uprising of these global grassroots movements to make concrete changes. Hawaii has committed to totally renewable resources by 2045 (with the exclusion of liquid natural gas); and Vancouver has pledged the same. Large multinational companies are taking the renewables pledge in response to great climate change action and awareness.
Another strong component of climate change activism is the spiritual or religious community. No longer content to be on the sidelines, religious leaders from all faiths are banding together on the common understanding of protecting God’s land. Partnerships across faiths and regions are being created in the name of God, by whatever name, and in the spirit of saving our creation. Keep up to date about the spiritual side of climate action with our friends at EdenKeeper.
Get involved with climate change action with these grassroots groups:
People’s Climate Movement
Climate Reality Project
Global Power Shift
One Drop Foundation
Idle No More
Pope Francis image from NRDC; featured image (frack you) by Michael G McKinne / Shutterstock.com