Dec 4, 2008

International Day for Climate: Sat Dec 6th

If you're in London, I hope to see you at the Climate March this Saturday. Assemble at noon at Grovesnor Square (previously Hyde Park so note this change). Or go on the bike ride that precedes the march. And do come to the after-party at the Synergy Centre, which is going to be fab. I can say this in part because I've met some of the promoters and a friend of mine will be playing in the chill out room upstairs!

If you're not in London, you might check this website to see if there's something going on in your country, state, town, backyard.

So much climate change talk. It's easy to get overwhelmed. Or at least that's what we were saying last night at the Library House. Cinema Libre presented one full length film, "The Planet" and two shorts, "No New Coal" and "Tipping Point". "The Planet" invoked a fairly passionate discussion that began with more discussion of consumerism and led to talk of transition towns, alternative communities, and individual action.

Several of us spoke of the enormity of climate issues. Sam, who backs Cinema Libre and was at the Climate Security talk last week, recalled the advice of Leila Deen. She suggested that we all find some way to contribute, such as pushing to ban incandescent bulbs or to restore a bit of woodland, or whatever drives you. I find this very good advice, particularly as someone who tends to take on a lot of issues from borders to gay rights to consumption to transportation to restoration. Yeah, I guess for me it's easier said than done.

But the point is that I feel better knowing that I'm not responsible for it all. And neither are you. Most of all, you're responsible for your actions. And you have to find ways to be forgiving of even your choices at times, particularly when they're made with intention.

Beyond simply taking ownership of our own impacts, those of us who give a shit need to find a way to bring others into action. I'm asking that you don't search the terms apocolypse, clusterfuck, or wasteland on this blog, but rather pretend that I have a mandate to say this: We need to demonstrate the joy to be found in conservation. We need to focus on all that we have to gain. If you're reading here, then you're probably pretty disenchanted with shopping and vapid consumption. Maybe you've found the other things in life that give you joy, like gardening, biking, creating, or whatever else. We need to bring "whatever else" to the fore. We have to demonstrate alternatives in our economics (gift economies), in our homes (transition towns?), transportation, education, etc.

We need to show people the beautiful alternatives to buying loads of plastic shit. We need to show people clever, creative, inviting alternatives to buying into an economic system built on the exploitation of Earth's resources. You get it. And we can.

For now, let's have a street demo. Come with your ideas, a smile, and a clever sign (I skipped a pole and cardboard: so can you). See you Saturday.


Anonymous said...

I'm getting so overwhelmed with others constantly asking for charity help at Christmas. My kids' school teachers want them to bring "new" small gifts in their original packages like matchbox cars, slinkies, crayons, etc. because each class is making a ginormous stocking to give to the local children's shelter. Their religion teachers want new stuff too to fill up shoe boxes for underprivileged kids overseas. I want to help and know they're good causes and can understand in theory why they want to give "new stuff" to kids who have never had new stuff. Got any ideas how my kids can handle the peer pressure at school? I've looked around my house for stuff that looks "new" but really isn't, but I'm not having any real luck and I hate having to go buy new stuff when I don't even do that very often for my own kids. Do you think I could find some really "cool" looking toiletries like toothbrushes with Mickey Mouse or a Dora the Explorer hairbrush and kind of pass them off as "toy-like" stocking stuffers? I would never expect my kids to use these second hand. It drives me nuts when schools and churches insist that the Christmas spirit means giving new stuff. I'd rather my kids volunteer at the shelter by maybe raking leaves or shoveling snow. A gift of time seems more genuine that a gift of plastic crap.

Anonymous said...

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