Government – activists – individuals
all have a part to play
The recent question of whether a Climate Emergency Declaration is simply symbolic has got me thinking about how change happens, and the degree to which ‘government’ at all levels is dependent on the interplay that both activists and individual voters play in this.
- Clean my street
- Pick up rubbish
- Save the planet
ECan and CCC declared Climate Emergencies last week. Some say it is a hollow and toothless symbol.
Most people know nothing (or even care less) about the work both ECan and CCC did in it’s annual and long term plan to refocus their goals and money around the serious threat of Climate Change and the Biodiversity loss. I know it is not enough but it is a start. Why is it they are the focus of people’s anger?
All this made me think about the process of change and how it works.
The Nuclear Free Movement
Declaring our Church a Nuclear Free zone in 1979 might have been seen as a hollow act.
But I can tell you that it was far from hollow. The education process involved made every person in that church aware of what the issues were. Many went on to make their homes, and schools and cars nuclear free, which was part of growing our community led support for this activist cause.
At the time we had no idea whether we would win, we just knew it was important, and we wanted to get others to see it as important, and we wanted the government to act. It was part of the process of growing community support so that the Government was forced to act.
That commitment has never wavered despite the colour of government leading our country. We stood firm against our allies – USA and Australia, and most New Zealanders are these days proud of that stand.
NOW once again we are fighting for
and the Future of our Planet.
Now we want a similar change over Climate Change
– cross party commitment to real change.
Government: We need a similar process which creates a groundswell of community engagement and support that will force the Government to act. Voters need to demand change from all levels of government. Activists and those concerned about it need to change the hearts and minds of our friends, family and neighbours, so that those with the role of governance can act. They represent us – they need to know what we think.
Activists: Activists are out there pushing the government, informing communities and individuals, and calling us to act for change. Young people, 350.org, Generation Zero, Forest and Bird, Greenpeace… They have a role in education, in mobilising us and in lobbying government.
Community Action: Individuals and communities need to get on board – We all need to change our own behaviour, get our friends and neighbours involved and to lobby the government to act. They represent us, they will only change their mind when they know we have changed ours.
Remember the 3.5% Rule
– how a small minority can change the world MORE
Not one of these groups can do it alone, we need each other to achieve change
- Government needs more of the community to speak out about their concerns
- Activists need the Government to act to effect Change,
- Individuals need to learn from the activists, back them up and spread the word.
Government – Activists – Community
We need each other, it is the dynamic interchange of these three things that effect change.
Personally I am appalled at some online behaviour that I regard as bullying. I am tired of people trolling and bad mouthing people who are trying to make a difference. Let’s acknowledge the small steps – sure it is not good enough, but it is a start. Instead let us call out our friends and neighbours and invite them to join the movement.