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STILL OUT ON A LIMB

What to do in 2015?

The turn of the year has me thinking about how to fight global warming and consequent climate change in 2015.

This is not a new question for me. I became fascinated with the weather as a child and began reading about climate history in college. I may be the only person on the planet to have read Stephen Schneider and Randi Londer’s 562-page tome, “THE COEVOLUTION OF CLIMATE & LIFE: FOUR BILLION YEARS OF WEATHER: CLIMATE, SOCIETY AND THE DESTINY OF THE PLANET as change-of-pace reading while studying for the Massachusetts’ bar exam.

The birth of my first grandchild in 2008 goaded me to do more than just learn about global warming. I began reading more intensely on the subject and became more alarmed. In the past three years I’ve studied a couple dozen books and many more articles about the science and politics of the situation, culminating in facilitating two climate change study groups in 2014. Despite all of this I still can’t figure out an effective course of action to combat global warming.

The study groups have given me a good sense of the options:

1. Work with local groups who are opposing the development of fossil fuel infrastructure, and fighting for local green initiatives.
2. Engage in lobbying and national electoral politics to make our economy more sustainable.
3. Join national campaigns such as 350.org to fight the XL pipeline and promote divestment from fossil fuel companies.
4. Focus on environmental justice for people of color and the poor who contribute the least to - but suffer the most from - environmental disasters.
5. Build coalitions between the divestment, environmental justice and peace movements by publicizing the environmental consequences of the military-industrial complex.
6. Build the Green Party on both a local and state level.
7. Engage in civil disobedience to prevent climate-destroying business as usual.
8. Protect plant and animal communities from depletion or extinction by fighting habitat destruction and invasive species.
9. Promote a green socialist alternative to capitalism.
10. Engage in sabotage to destroy industrial civilization’s ability to further degrade the environment.

I doubt this is an exhaustive list and, of course, many items are not mutually exclusive.

Looking over the list, I can eliminate some immediately. Without first building a mass movement, neither national lobbying, nor presidential politics, will bring about the rapid radical changes we need. And even if those who espouse destroying industrial civilization to save the environment are analytically correct, I won’t sabotage anything and find the idea of starving most of the human race in order to save the planet morally repugnant.

However, the list includes other options. They all have weaknesses, and none provides an overall strategy to achieve THE solution, but I resolve in 2015 to engage with least one of them. I’d like to start a conversation about this. And so, my question to you is: which actions or combination of them do/would you choose?
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