Nothing? That seems to be what a very great many of us are doing. Sticking our heads in the sand. Like ostriches. Ignoring that very, very large “elephant in the room.”
Well, I guess we all feel a little scared, and/or overwhelmed, &/or unsure of what we can do about it.
Here are a few things you can do:
1. Sign the Greenpeace KYOTOplus petition. Then spread the word about it! Find it here
2. If you prefer, Nature Canada is gathering petition signatures too. Theirs is here (scroll down & look under the 'Take Action' heading).
(Note: only sign the petition once; otherwise it will have no credibility.)
3. Check out the wonderfully inspiring Guy Dauncey – his books, Web site, newsletters, blog and films. An extraordinarily energetic, determined and, yes, I’ll repeat myself, inspiring man, is Guy… His Web site is here
4. Check out Elisabet Sahtouris & her inspiring work. Her film “Crisis as Opportunity – Living Better on a Hotter Planet” is informative and hugely energizing. I can’t seem to find an appropriate link for this DVD, but you can order the film from Amazon.com (I also know that the Deep River, Ontario library has a copy, if that helps anyone).
5. Read Julie Johnston's ‘Compassionate Climate Action’ blog here. She’s made a commitment to take at least one action every day, and until this December’s meetings in Copenhagen, is doing a daily post to her blog. Her messages are passionate, intelligent, articulate and practical.
6. Watch the film “The Age of Stupid” &/or “Be the Change” or one I just saw – “Home.” Yikes! There is a positive profusion of films you can watch... For a fairly comprehensive list, go here
7. Plan to take part in the upcoming October 24th GLOBAL day of action. Raise your voice so our politicians get the message that we want them to take ACTION. Find out plenty more at http://www.350.org/ (You can also read my blog post ‘October 24th: We’re ALL Invited!’ Check the blog Index. Franke James has a neat visual essay promoting 350.org Check it out here )
For info on “Filling the Hill” in Ottawa (Parliament Hill here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, that is) on October 24th, go here http://cday.atypical.ca/about/thebigday/
Toronto folks can go to Queen's Park for a fun gathering there. For more info, go to http://torontoclimatecampaign.org/home & look on the left-hand side under Events.
I’m working with some young people in my local area to fill up a bus of folks who are keen to take part in the October 24th Parliament Hill event. It’s going to be a fun day!!
8. Take action in your own life! Drive less. Walk, bike & use public transportation more. Use less energy, eat local food and learn how growing our own food is going to be increasingly necessary (only if we want to keep eating. Heh heh). Sharon Astyk’s blog (and her books!) are very useful on this score (find a link to her blog in the Blogroll, over at the right-hand side of this page).
Tell our politicians your views, and be willing to back them up with your actions. As Albert Schweitzer said, “Example isn’t the main thing in influencing others; it’s the only thing.” Find out about & then implement lifestyle changes.
Ottawa Citizen newspaper columnist/editorial board member Kate Heartfield commented in a recent column entitled ‘Not ready to quit,’ “choosing not to act is itself an action, and carries consequences.”(1)
This is surely so. Failing to act has consequences. Failing to act is in itself an action (and a conscious choice.) Which side of the apathy/action divide do we choose to be on?
A Few Relevant Quotations:
“You can blame people who knock things over in the dark, or you can begin to light candles. You’re only at fault if you know about the problem and choose to do nothing.” – Paul Hawken, entrepreneur and author, The Sun (April 2002) – quoted in July/Aug. 2002 issue of Utne Reader
“If the world is to be healed through human efforts, I am convinced it will be by ordinary people, people whose love for this life is even greater than their fear. People who can open up to the web of life that called us into being.” – Joanna Macy
“If [oppression] is of such a nature that it requires you to be an agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine.” – Henry David Thoreau
“Nothing is more irritating, and, in the final analysis, harmful to a government than to have to deal with people who will not bend to its will, whatever the consequences.” – Jawaharal Nehru
“There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you sick at heart, that you can’t take part; and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you’ve got to make it stop.” – Mario Savio
For sure, readers, I don’t have any guarantees that any of what I myself do (or write) will make the slightest bit of difference – and more and more, I find it harder and harder to summon hope about the long-term prognosis for the human race.
But I’ve always found action far more satisfying than apathy. It’s the very best possible antidote to denial and despair, for sure. As a young man named Jeremiah, whom I met at a John Seed workshop, said (he may have been quoting someone else), when hope is gone, there is still action.
I may not be able to “save the world,” but I’d sure rather go down trying than hang out on the sidelines, doing nothing!
P.S. Joanna Macy says things will turn out based on how we choose to “show up.” You can check out the blog item ‘Joanna Macy invites us all to SHOW UP’ (find it in the blog Index).
(1) She was talking about Canada’s military involvement in Afghanistan – but her statement applies equally to any situation.