With May in the books, it’s official: carbon dioxide set an all-time monthly record. It’s a sobering annual… https://t.co/HLhvrStFmv
— Skeptical Science (@skepticscience) June 3, 2017
Salient reminders of reality. Here’s two more reminders from climate activists, on how we can respond,
Keep calm and carry on. – James Shaw
We will make sure that every leader who hesitates on climate will be seen as another Donal Trump, and we will makes sure that history will judge that name with the contempt it deserves.
… The backlash from this will be immense… and powered by renewables. Time to get active! – Bill McKibben
Thus endeth the divine right of kings. It’s time to remember where our power is.
I subscribe to the theory that we will do the necessary societal change on climate via tipping points. The great thing about them is that when they’re happening there is more opportunity to influence change. The US administration announcing that it will pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on climate change is scary, but it’s also an opportunity. Watching the responses of the past few days from citizens and power holders around the world, including pledges from cities, states, universities and businesses to meet the US targets, my hope just went up a notch. The US weren’t previously going to do enough anyway, and now the climate movement is galvanising around not just fear but righteous anger.
So, let’s see what we can do here in NZ to keep the snowball gathering momentum and mass.
Last week Auckland University students, staff and graduates did a rolling series of protests over several days, including marching, and occupying the Vice Chancellor’s office and the Auckland Uni clocktower. Their protest was to push for Auckland University to divest from fossil fuels.
— FossilFreeUoA (@FossilFreeUoA) May 31, 2017
I’m highlighting this because the divestment movement is working and will continues to snowball with support. Last year Otago climate activists pushed for the Otago University to divest and won. There is a good write up here of the campaign, including the multiple and compounding good that comes from such actions,
As the words came out of my mouth, “We WON! They’ve changed the policy to …” I saw my friends burst into smiles, laughing and hugging each other almost crying, and I realised why divestment was important. We built community and friendships as well as leaders in action that will outlast any policy change.
The evening progressed to a hundred people celebrating together, watching individuals answers to the question of, “what would you say about climate change?” projected on geology classrooms, while high fiving each other and eating some kai.
Divestment of our university was cool, sure, but to me the ultimate win was the hundred engaged students who want to see climate justice, and the thousands of supporters and acts of kindness that helped us get there. It’s an empowering thing as a young person to win against any establishment you are taught is impenetrable; it reminds us that we do have power and that community is something that can’t be taken away from us.
Here are the 350 Aoteroa local groups involved in climate justice in NZ including the divestment movement. There are groups in Auckland, Auckland Uni, Waikato Uni, Wellington, Christchurch, Christchurch Poly, Christchurch Uni, and Otago Uni,
When Rex Tillerson comes to Wellington on Tuesday June 6, we will provide the opposite of a warm welcome, and demand that Bill English denounces Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement as they meet.
Hundreds of us will join together to protest outside Parliament on Tuesday. Sign-up for alerts about the action here — and start making your placards.
Rex Tillerson is no warm-hearted man. Before he took the role of Secretary of State to do Trump’s bidding, he was the CEO of ExxonMobil — the company that despite knowing the truth about climate change since the 1960s waged a war of misinformation and denial that robbed humanity of a generation’s worth of time to reverse climate change.
We will make sure he knows that his brand of climate denial is not welcome in New Zealand.
— 350 Aotearoa (@350nz) June 1, 2017
It’s up to us now, to keep the momentum going, to demand change and that our leaders lead us down a sane path. There’s plenty to be getting on with and it’s times like this when the energy for change is high that not only can we achieve more but we become more energised by the change. Feel free to share in the comments any places where people can get involved and make a difference.