Toward Copenhagen: Do Something!

Published on
by
The Nation

Toward Copenhagen: Do Something!

by
Peter Rothberg & Andrea D'Cruz

As we approach the Copenhagen UN Climate Change Conference, December 7 to 18--the world's last chance to secure an emissions reductions agreement that will replace the Kyoto Protocol before it expires--activists racing against a ticking environmental bomb are channeling their energies at the UN talks and beyond. Join them.

350 parts per million represents the maximum amount of C02 that can exist in the atmosphere with people and the planet continuing to thrive, according to scientists. Any more than that and we're screwed. At 350.org, founded by Bill McKibben, you can find out more about the science behind the number, sign up for action alerts, help plan upcoming actions, and add your name to the 350 pledge, which will be delivered at Copenhagen. This video chronicles the group's recent international day of protest.

The Yes Men, a loose-knit association of some 300 activists worldwide who impersonate corporate leaders to call attention to their misdoings, have devoted recent pranks to climate change, and have established a website, beyondtalk.net, where you can pledge to take environmental non-violent civil disobedience.

Rising Tide North America is also a good resource for direct action organizing--something everyone from scientists like James Hansen and politicians like Al Gore now see as increasingly necessary--providing speakers, trainings and workshops. The group also devotes significant energy to educating on the root causes of climate change and debunking what it argues are the fallacies behind proposed market-based solutions.

Gear up for November 30, the eve of the Copenhagen talks and the tenth anniversary of the WTO Seattle shut-down, with Mobilization for Climate Justice. Putting social justice at the center of the debate, they highlight the need for real, non-market based solutions that protect those most vulnerable to the effects of climate change: people of color, low-income, and indigenous communities--in the US and globally. They will be staging a nation-wide series of non-violent direct actions targeted at "corporate climate criminals."

To support activists on the ground in Copenhagen donate to transnational movement, Climate Justice Action and check out their website for an "Atlas of Global Resistance" and an "Action Calendar", whose key dates include December 12, a Global Day of Action.

The Energy Action Coalition is a US-based online community of young environmental organizers striving to leverage collective power and create change for clean, efficient, just and renewable energy. Its PowerShift conference has become an important annual gathering place for activists to share ideas and strategies.

The Campus Climate Challenge pushes colleges and universities to become models for the clean energy revolution. The hard results so far are impressive: 285 colleges committed to becoming climate neutral through the Presidents Climate Commitment, a set of principles put forth by a group of college and university presidents. Check out a The map of participating schools as well as resources for students to push the challenge at their own schools. The site also maintains a blog, offering dispatches from the youth climate movement.

1Sky offers concrete plans for pivoting to a clean energy economy, which has the potential to relieve US dependence on foreign oil, and usher in a new era of good, green jobs.

The Climate Crisis Coalition was founded in 2004 specifically to broaden the constituency of the climate action movement.

International long-running environmental giants Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace continue to work around the issue of global warming. Greenpeace offers a robust climate change action center; FOE's demandclimatejustice.org implores Obama to take bold action at Copenhagen, and Oxfam's Copenhagen campaign, tcktcktck.org, offers ways to get involved in demanding "an ambitious, fair and binding climate deal."

Just do something.

Peter Rothberg writes the ActNow column for the The Nation. ActNow aims to put readers in touch with creative ways to register informed dissent. Whether it's a grassroots political campaign, a progressive film festival, an antiwar candidate, a street march, a Congressional bill needing popular support or a global petition, ActNow will highlight the outpouring of cultural, political and anti-corporate activism sweeping the planet.

Andrea D'Cruz is a freelance journalist from London and currently a Nation intern.

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