Sprawling environmental movement can be effective

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    Email I've just sent some people interested in communicating re biodiversity, in group organised through Civic Exchange:

    As conservation communicators, we so far do a poor job of even communicating amongst ourselves, let alone with so many people from grassroots to government. Situation demands a lot more! what can we achieve beyond occasional chats within small circle?

    just read piece by Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, with thoughts on nature of environmental movement today. Maybe worth a look.


    it's already clear that this kind of full-spectrum resistance has the ability to take on the huge bundles of cash that are the energy industry's sole argument.

    What the Elders Said

    This sprawling campaign exemplifies the only kind of movement that will ever be able to stand up to the power of the energy giants, the richest industry the planet has ever known. In fact, any movement that hopes to head off the worst future depredations of climate change will have to get much, much larger, incorporating among other obvious allies those in the human rights and social justice arenas.

    The cause couldn't be more compelling. There's never been a clearer threat to survival, or to justice, than the rapid rise in the planet's temperature caused by and for the profit of a microscopic percentage of its citizens. Conversely, there can be no real answer to our climate woes that doesn't address the insane inequalities and concentrations of power that are helping to drive us toward this disaster.

    That's why it's such good news when people like Naomi Klein and Desmond Tutu join the climate struggle. When they take part, it becomes ever clearer that what's underway is not, in the end, an environmental battle at all, but an all-encompassing fight over power, hunger, and the future of humanity on this planet.

    Expansion by geography is similarly a must for this movement. Recently, in Istanbul, 350.org and its allies trained 500 young people from 135 countries as climate-change organizers, and each of them is now organizing conferences and campaigns in their home countries.

    What I do sense, however, is that it's our job to rally a movement in the coming years big enough to stand up to all that money, to profits of a sort never before seen on this planet. Such a movement will need to stretch from California to Ecuador—to, in fact, every place with a thermometer; it will need to engage not just Chevron but every other fossil fuel company; it will need to prevent pipelines from being built and encourage windmills to be built in their place; it needs to remake the world in record time.

    That won't happen thanks to a paramount leader, or even dozens of them. It can only happen with a spread-out and yet thoroughly interconnected movement, a new kind of engaged citizenry. Rooftop by rooftop, we're aiming for a different world, one that runs on the renewable power that people produce themselves in their communities in small but significant batches. The movement that will get us to such a new world must run on that kind of power too.


    Climate change is focus for McKibben's efforts; it's the elephant in the room re HK biodiversity too. As yet, perhaps we merely pussyfoot around the issue. [Adaptation, hmm… A metre sea level rise within 90yrs…  So how to at least slow it?]

    But much else deserves attention, too.

    Then, there's this: is there scope for a group focused on biodiversity conservation in Hong Kong, aiming for minimal influence from corporate sponsorship?  Perhaps this is as fanciful as returning to the climate of late last century!


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