Chapter 8

Chapter Eight – Real Activism (Part 1)

Lester R. Brown, one of the gurus of the modern mainstream environmental movement and head of the Earth Policy Institute – motto “Providing a Plan to Save Civilization” – has created a project called “Plan B”. In the book that explains the project, he writes:

There is much that we do not know about the future. But one thing we do know is that business as usual, including our continuing failure to reverse the environmental trends undermining the world food economy, will not last for much longer. Massive change is inevitable. “The death of our civilization is no longer a theory or an academic possibility; it is the road we’re on,” says Peter Goldmark, current director of the climate program at the Environmental Defense Fund. Can we find another road before time runs out? I think so. I call this road Plan B.

Chapter Eight – Real Activism (Part 2)

Bill McKibben wrote a book called The End of Nature. It was interesting, quite enlightening in places, then right at the very end he put out an appeal for civilization to be preserved at all costs. At least that’s what I remember him saying – I didn’t go back to the book again out of disgust. He also wrote a book called Hope: Human and Wild. There is a theme developing here, especially when I bring out the spectre of Bill’s biggest project to date, an organisation known as 350.org. We met them earlier. They run campaigns based on symbolic action, do 350.org, and one of their most publicised has been Moving Planet, the website for which suggests 10 ways to plan some kind of completely legal (e.g. “Organize…Permits for your route”) symbolic event. Of particular interest amongst an almost wholly predictable list was this:

6. Invite your leaders

If you want to make sure your leaders hear your demands, make sure you invite them out to your event! It’s important to email an invitation, and call a few days later to follow up – do it early so their schedules haven’t filled up. A few ideas for engaging your leader as a part of your event are a) asking them to speak in front of the crowd about their plans on climate change (so they have to say what they are or aren’t doing publicly), or b) ask them to sign a pledge to take on your demands. This can work especially well for candidates who are seeking election who may promise things now that you can hold them accountable to later.

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