“We aren’t killing the earth, we’re killing ourselves.”
“The earth will survive, we won't.”
I keep seeing these two phrases and I've got to say... I don't agree with them. The truth is, if the human race doesn’t survive, then likely nearly all life on earth will be eradicated too. If we go extinct, then likely we – or our capitalist, oppressive, exploitative systems – will have also eradicated nearly all animal and plant life from the earth. Earth will cease to be the earth as we know it. The defining feature that makes earth special – diversity of life – will no longer exist. Earth will become like every other dead planet in the solar system.
The 2020 theme for Earth Day is Climate Action. We’re collectively experiencing climate change through a pandemic, and from here on out, it’s only going to get worse - if not for us, then for others. Humans, non-human beings, and living systems are all under threat, which is why we need climate action for all forms of life, not just our own.
I want to be optimistic. I want to be hopeful. But after sub-standard government responses to this pandemic, from health care and homelessness to big oil and big corp bail-outs, I don’t feel optimistic or hopeful. I feel anger so deep I don’t have space for fear. The worst part, when it comes to climate change, I don’t think people in power are listening to us. We’re no longer able to take to the streets and disrupt business as usual. Everything we do is online, in spaces where those in power aren't watching. And if they are... They are most definitely ignoring us.
I want to make those in power listen. We need to let them know, in their own space, we are still here, we are still watching, and this is how we need you to move forward on climate change (and post-COVID recovery). To do this, for Earth Day, I’m pledging to take my climate action to the inboxes of those with power.
Join me every Friday, while in isolation, in sending your #ClimateStrikeOnline photo to politians and local media, along with reasons why climate action should be at the top of their agenda. We might not be able to safely take to the streets, and they might be able to ignore social media, but they can’t escape their emails.
When isolation is over, and we are finally able to strike together again, join me in continuing to take photos of partisipation (whether physically at a strike or not), and continue to email politians and local media to make the message loud and clear that THIS IS AN EMERGENCY.
If even a fraction of people who care about climate action emailed their climate sign or photos of partisipation to their government and local media, inboxes would be inundated with photos and messages. Climate action wouldn't be a faceless email or crowded march, it'd be turned into individual human stories. Those with power wouldn’t be able to ignore all those messages as well as they are right now.
It's not lost on me that attendance to climate strikes takes many privileges, including but not limited to; accessibility, able-bodiedness, access to the internet, mental wellness, safety, ability to take time off work, and being free of the fear of arrest. We need to diversify what climate action looks like to allow the climate action movement to be more inclusive. Perhaps this initiative can do that for some people.
Join me in taking climate action to the people in power. Email a local MP and local media your #ClimateStrikeOnline photo, and include a few lines about why climate action is important to you. Below, you can find the email I have sent, which can be used as a template. Solidarity!
Emails I have sent as part of this pledge:
May 28, 2020 -Social and Racial Justice is Climate Justice
May 22, 2020 - You Broke the Social Contract. Restore It.
May 15, 2020 - Green and Just Transition PtII
May 8, 2020 - Green and Just Transition
April 24, 2020 - Reject Fossil Fuel Bail-Outs
April 22, 2020 - COVID-19 Recovery