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It's time to get serious about climate change conferences

Ewan Kingston

18th September, 2009

Taking a break from his travels in southern China, Ewan surveys the wealth of campaigns and activist websites dedicated to showing that we care about the upcoming climate change negotiations

I usually write about the pleasures and pitfalls of overland international travel, but lately I’ve been rather stationary in a town in southern China.

And to be honest, something else is on my mind. Politics.

The biggest climate conference ever is less than a dozen weeks away,  and there are major conferences such as a UN climate summit on the 22nd and the G20 meeting on the 24th-25th and the next round of UN climate negotiations from the 28th of September.

Wherever we are, whatever else we are doing, it’s time to really get cracking on lobbying and persuading, informing and inspiring our decision-makers.

You might have thought that my remote location means I can’t get so involved in political action. Not so. As long as there’s an internet connection there’s the possibility of making more crucial connections. Connections in the brains of politicians, between extreme weather and extreme CO2 emissions, between failure at Copenhagen and failure at the ballot box. Check out the menu below for some ideas...

Starters - Pledges and petitions…

You know the deal. Read it, sign it. And be honest with yourself. This is the start, not the end. Personal contact with politicians and direct actions are much more effective.

Greenpeace International's Call for World Leaders to Lead at Copenhagen
Does what it says on the tin. Add your voice to the call. 


The Christian Aid Copenhagen Pledge
Very easy to take.


TckTckTck
Has a way to graphically show just how concerned we are at the urgency required to reach a global agreement on climate change. Get your Tck on the map!

thebigif.org
Say no to coal. Pete Postlethwaite's onboard...

You can also become a beneficiary co-owner of the little plot of land in the path of the Heathrow expansion.

Second course – Events

These websites help you find a demonstration or event about climate change near you, or allow you to register your own planned event

Global Wake Up Call – 21st September
Run by the TckTckTck folks in association with other partners, this set of  hundreds of events worldwide looks a lot of fun. Flashmob alarm calls to political leaders? Cycle convoys? Elephants in the room? Check the interactive map to find a demonstration or register your own.

350.org
This organisation, begun by environmentalist Bill McKibben (and profiled here by the Ecologist) is dedicated to making 350ppm CO2e the target to aim at. As well as being a great information source, 350.org is facilitating the co-ordination of thousands of global acions on October 24th. Maybe you can start your own!

Le Digestif – Negotiation trackers

Climate Negotiations can be hard to digest. Help is available! 

Weekly online radio the 300-350 show does a great job of making what seems complex and distant, understandable and immediate. It continues to focus its extensive powers of observation and communication on the lead-up to Copenhagen. A haven of sanity.

adoptanegotiator.org is the collaborative work of several activists 'tracking' the climate change negotiators from many major countries through the lead-up to Bonn. Their reporting of climate change negotiations and machinations is surprisingly readable, and often darkly funny. Most importantly, the trackers' proximity to the cogs of formal political power give them a unique position to suggest timely lobbying at crucial times.

The untasted fruit

I’d love to be involved in Australian social networking/climate activism site www.aclimateforchange.org but it seems to be unavailable to me for… ahem…some reason as does this mighty online activism site which will have a lot of action alerts in the coming weeks about climate change.

Do you have suggestions for online activism of your own? Leave a comment below.

 

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