Tag Archives: Activism

Blue sky

In Spanish speaking Latin America, and now in some other countries, there is a form of protest where people bang pots, pans, and other utensils to make a political point or register their displeasure. It’s particularly effective in densely populated cities, where people can protest without leaving their homes. The Spanish term is cacerolazo.

In pot banging diplomacy quantity matters. There needs to be critical mass before the authorities feel compelled to respond.

Potentially the Blue Sky movement could colour our suburbs blue, but if not countless conversations will be engendered and you never know where that might lead!

After the last election some friends of my younger brother Len, feeling blue, decided to turn blue into an optimistic colour, and invented the Blue Sky movement. To join all you have to do is ‘like’ the Facebook site put something blue on your front footpath visible from the road, take a photo and post it on the site. And take the Blue Sky Pledge, which includes reducing your own emissions, displaying blue for 12 months, and encouraging others to join.

Here’s one example:

Blue sky_10325198_306417569521903_2138384990446088881_n_500

We’ve just joined. This makes me wince:

Brian and Margot_1913442_305184202978573_4031178450688941073_o_500

I’m actually standing with my heels on a pile of yet to be distributed forest mulch, so I’m not that tall.

The blue plastic is an offcut from a new swimming pool cover. Having a swimming pool is not recommended to produce low electricity bills. We’d gladly fill it in and grow vegetables, but that would cost a small fortune. We are planning to post a laminated Blue Sky flier on the wooden fence, which would be easily visible from the footpath, frequented by walkers heading for nearby parks.

If you click on “Community” or “About” at the head of the Blue Sky FB page and then click “more” you’ll get the full Blue Sky spiel.

The goals of Blue Sky are –

* To provide a simple and easy way in which people can show their support for action on climate change.

* To encourage participants in their attempts to reduce their own carbon footprint.

* To encourage others to take climate change seriously

* To build the support for meaningful action and a sense of urgency for this action to be undertaken.

* To encourage as many people as possible to make the Blue Sky pledge.

I’ve included the link to the Blue Sky Facebook page in the sidebar list of Selected Climate Sites. Blue Sky FB is often used to share links.

Whereas cacerolazo requires considerable effort and is necessarily limited in time, once you make the effort of joining Blue Sky the deed is done and the effect continues. And it costs nothing.

Note: I outlined several forms of activism including Blue Sky in Climate clippings 87 last November.

Climate clippings 87

Climate clippings_175These posts are intended to share information and ideas about climate change and hence act as a roundtable. Again, I do not want to spend time in comments rehashing whether human activity causes climate change.

This edition picks up the theme of activism mentioned in Climate change: reconnecting politics with reality.

1. Blue sky

After the last election some friends of my younger brother, feeling blue, decided to turn blue into an optimistic colour, and invented the Blue Sky movement. To join all you have to do is ‘like’ the Facebook site put something blue on your front footpath visible from the road, take a photo and post it on the site. Yes, and take the Blue Sky Pledge, which includes reducing your own emissions, displaying blue for 12 months, and encouraging others to join.

Here’s one example:

Blue Sky_1395958_234410770055917_951721907_n
I notice that people have been using the site to share links.

If you click on “Community” or “About” at the head of the Blue Sky FB page and then click “more” you’ll get the full Blue Sky spiel.

2. Go Getup!

Ben Eltham thinks GetUp! is currently Tony Abbott’s most dangerous opponent. Continue reading Climate clippings 87

Climate change: reconnecting politics with reality

After the rally on Sunday 17 November Ben Eltham took a look at climate activism in the digital age and nominated climate policy as “the central battleground of 21st century politics.” Sooner or later, somehow or other, climate activism has to be turned into real politics. As one of the ten themes in the Centre for Policy Development’s Pushing our Luck: ideas for Australian progress Professor John Wiseman, Deputy Director of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at the University of Melbourne looked at the shape of climate policy for the future.

You can find his whole piece at page 142 on the pdf counter, but I’ll attempt to give a brief outline here.

First he surveys the science, our prospects and the risks. The risk of a 4C future is unacceptably high. He quotes the World Bank’s report Turn Down the Heat:

    ‘Even with the current mitigation commitments and pledges fully implemented there is roughly a 20 per cent likelihood of exceeding 4°C by 2100. If they are not met warming of 4°C could occur as early as the 2060s.’

What does 4°C mean?

    Professor John Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, provides a stark assessment of the difference between a rise of two and four degrees. ‘The difference,’ he says, ‘is human civilisation. A 4°C temperature increase probably means a global [population] carrying capacity below 1 billion people’.

He then looks at the climate budget approach and posts a version of this now familiar graph:

Copenhagen diagnosis Fig 22 n

He concludes that we need more ambition and urgency, both at the national and international levels. The achievement of emission reductions at the necessary scale and speed will require transformational rather than incremental change. Continue reading Climate change: reconnecting politics with reality