We Must CliMobilize For a Healthy Planet.
Faith failed and it’s premature for despair. We need agency and HOPE!
Listen to a reading of this article.
Faith (failed us)
We thought that our politicians and corporate leaders would see the threats and respond accordingly. We gave them the benefit of the doubt when they seemed to be dragging their heels. We made excuses for them. We pleaded with them. But nothing changed. They were simply too seduced by capitalist ideology - that markets and growth would solve all of our problems.
Clearly they didn’t get the memo (from the entire scientific community) that we can’t “green grow” our way out of our environmental emergency, and it’s delusional to think that we can power our destructive global economy on renewables. The amount of extractive mining and scarce minerals needed to achieve this, if it were even possible, will just fast track our own demise. But there’s nothing to be gained by dwelling on it. The bottom line is that they didn’t deliver and our planet is heating up.
We need to remember that it’s better to realize this now while there’s still time to change course. We need to stop putting our faith in the wrong place and move on to find a different approach. It’s time to put a fork in it and call it done. FAITH failed us!
Despair (now is not the time to give up)
There's a good reason why so many of us feel a sense of DESPAIR. The people running this planet have lost touch with our scientific reality. Instead of mandating the reduction of fossil fuels and directing the bloated profits of oil companies towards workers who may lose their jobs in the transition to a clean economy, our politicians are issuing new drilling permits. And if that wasn’t enough, they’re funnelling additional billions to those same companies to develop a magical “green” technology, called carbon capture and storage (CCS).
CCS sounds impressive but what exactly is this miracle cure? It’s actually very simple. It’s an attempt by the oil industry to hang on to it’s cash producing machine by trying to convince us that they can keep producing their climate destroying sludge and overshoot the earth’s 2030 carbon budget (set by the IPCC) because at some point in the future, their unproven technology (if it can ever work at scale), might magically be able to pull the excess carbon out of the atmosphere. Said another way, the oil industry is trying to create an entirely new industry called CCS that’s devoted to sequestering carbon in all kinds of complicated ways, rather than to just clean up their act or simply scale down their operations, and our compromised politicians are not only allowing this to happen - they're subsidizing it! Here’s an article that explains this deception: “How Big Oil is manipulating the way you think about climate change.”
“It's understandable why you might be feeling a sense of despair. But now is not the time to give up.”
The glaring omission from this approach is that the planet is already showing signs of instability and we have no idea when we will cross fragile tipping points. Contrary to all the charts that are flashed before us, ecosystem breakdown isn’t a steady process. It’s unpredictable and interconnected. When one ecosystem fails we don’t settle into a new normal. Our world degrades quickly and we just don’t know if we’re going to set off a cascading chain reaction that will destroy our ability to feed ourselves, dry up our water sources and light our forests ablaze. And yet, despite the danger, our leaders continue to resist regulations and instead focus on a deeply flawed long term goal called 2050 net zero that relies, in good part, on surpassing our carbon budget and then being rescued by the CCS scheme. This is a bad bet and most of the people on this planet would rather not take part in this reckless gamble.
“Now is the time for HOPE - backed up with a strategy based on science.”
It's understandable why you might be feeling a sense of despair. But now is not the time to give up. There’s still time to alter our pathway to environmental carnage. Now is the time to push with everything we have. Now is the time for HOPE - backed up with a strategy based on science. A strategy to regain control of the regulatory powers that have been hijacked by the interests of BIG capital.
Hope (with a strategy based on science)
We tried to let the private sector lead and it turned into a greenwashing and propaganda free-for-all that led us to believe that corporations we’re just supplying us with the products we want and if we just said no - everything would be fine. You can believe that story if you want but the truth is that the system itself is an exploitation machine and it needs to be reigned in to reduce harm to both people and the environment.
“…we need to take back the levers of regulatory power from BIG capital.”
Regardless of your political views, the scientific reality is bearing down on us and if we’re going to prevent an ecological disaster, we need to accept that a stable climate will require a rapid reduction in environmental destruction and the only way to achieve this, despite how distasteful it might sound to some, is with government leadership, regulations and laws. But that’s not to say that it’s the job of the government alone. It’s not! It’s a job for everyone - government, business and workers alike - but we need the government to steer the effort. And that’s why we need to take back the levers of regulatory power from BIG capital. We need to return those powers to where they belong - into the hands of the people. We can do this! We just need a new strategy. We have HOPE!
To achieve any level of success we’re going to need to change a few things. One vital change is in how we frame our challenge. We have to put the environment and societal well-being first and economic GROWTH second. There’s no other way. The economy has to exist within the limits of the natural world and we must do better at distributing the wealth created more fairly. We tried to pretend that we could balance our growth-incentivized-economy with the environment but it’s been a miserable failure - capital wins every time - so let’s stop kidding ourselves.
“…The economy has to exist within the limits of the natural world.”
But don’t let the capitalist ideologues scare you - a world that builds societal wellbeing doesn’t mean that we’re all going to be living in caves. It just means that we’re going to have to develop a new decision making process that guides us towards the creation of well-being for the greatest number of people instead of endless capital appreciation for the glorification of individual egos. And it couldn’t come a minute too soon.
An idea is one thing but how do we do it? How do we determine which conveniences and/or systems add to overall societal wellbeing and which detract. I certainly don’t want some billionaire owned politician telling me what I can and can’t do while they fly around in their taxpayer funded jet…so how do we as a society decide?
Perhaps the best approach would be to learn from a hyper democratic strategy that’s been successful in Europe. It’s called a Citizens’ Assembly and it gives the authority for decision making to a group of people (50-200) that represent a cross section of society - people like you and me. The group looks at what’s best for the bulk of society and if they find that our economic system and the resource-destroying-lifestyles of the 0.01% are hastening our environmental decline, then replacing that system or behaviour would be the obvious choice
But until we get control of the regulations we’re not going to make any progress! So let’s get started.
Declare A Climate Emergency!
Thanks in large part to Greta we’ve built massive climate awareness, but unfortunately it hasn’t translated into a meaningful shift in policy. We’ve stalled! We need to take the gains of the last decade and apply them in a new way so that we not only get the attention of our politicians but more importantly, we force them to act. We force them to declare a climate emergency by de-risking progressive climate policy from their personal political aspirations, and from there, everything else should fall into place. (Why we’re not getting the necessary results will be the topic of our first conference in the fall of 2023)
But first we need to help people connect the dots; to understand how the illusion of personal choice from within the broken system leads directly to our own personal pain. This is the starting point of the CliMobilize strategy. A series of 3 month mini-campaigns that will run simultaneously in various geographic regions targeting different demographics, each optimized for local relevance but all sharing the same goal and structure. This will be the first step in mobilizing for a better future. A future that once again fills us with a sense of AGENCY and HOPE.
It’s Time to CliMobilize!
Governments regularly talk about their National Security Interests and on a stable planet where countries have competing needs, it can seem perfectly normal, but our ecological emergency demands a new approach. We need to see our environmental challenge as a Global Security Imperative that trumps all others. We need to stop thinking of this planet as being divided into 195 separate countries. Climate Change doesn’t care about our artificial borders and neither should we.
“We need to see our environmental challenge as a Global Security Imperative that trumps all others.”
There are 8 billion inhabitants on this planet who are completely justified in working to change policies anywhere in the world that jeopardizes their personal and economic safety. And for those who say, you can’t interfere in another countries' sovereign elections. That’s nonsense! We’re not suggesting anything illegal. We’re talking about bringing the united voice of the planets 8 billion strong, to bear down on whatever democracy is choosing their leader - because on an interconnected planet, an unscientific policy in any country, affects us all. We want every politician to know that Climate Change is not a game to the citizens of our planet and that their country's elections are now OUR elections.
Our mission is to activate the 60-90% of climate-concerned citizens to target any country in the Democratic Global North that is having an election (authoritarian countries like China require a different approach). With a combination of social media, billboards, lawn signs and people on the ground who have local expertise, our teams will create campaigns emphasizing the personal impact of location-specific issues that will resonate with the local population. The demand will be simple: Declare a climate emergency AND then implement meaningful policies that reduce environmental destruction.
We’re no longer going to send our voice upwards to a “party” that ignores science and works for BIG capital, but rather, we will bring that voice, via “roving election blocks”, to target politicians locally, at the very point at which they gain their political power. No more going along party lines to keep your job - you will be answerable to the people in your riding - as it should be.
“Imagine what it would feel like once again to have HOPE.”
Politicians that respond will be empowered to take decisive steps that address the causes and consequences of climate change, biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation. Imagine a geographically-targeted (roving) political movement that will descend upon every government in the global north that is up for re-election. Imagine a level of mass awareness never seen before that will empower politicians and regulators to take meaningful action. Imagine what it would feel like to once again have HOPE.
Visit us at www.CliMobilize.com to learn about our strategy and our 4 step plan. Join us in our mission to save the planet! Hundreds of people with diverse skills have already signed up to help. We believe that everyone has a role to play.
Step 1. Connect the Dots
Step 2. Unite the Voices
Step 3. Monitor Progress
Step 4. Pay-back Time!
Brad Zarnett and Ian Kaplan
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