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Seven actions to tackle the #ClimateEmergency

Ever feel that a lot of the things we are encouraged to do to make the world a better place are way too small in scale and that not enough of them have anything to do with actually stopping the problem? You’re not alone.

We are all too frequently told that if we put our money where our mouths are, we will make a difference and that by investing in all things eco friendly, we will feel less guilty about the state of the planet. But that’s exactly it. For many of us, the desire to not feel guilty is greater than the desire to do anything substantial.

If you haven't yet come to terms with the fact that climate responsibility is unevenly distributed, read this article before continuing.

Decades of social engineering and smart PR campaigns have programmed us to think that, as consumers, it's our fault and to forget that there are corporations behind extinction, plastic, deforestation and pollution. It is our duty to quit thinking like consumers and start resisting.

There is nothing wrong with walking to work, cutting out meat and plastic, and turning lights out and we must do these things, HOWEVER... note how these are all examples of "not contributing" to the climate crisis and not contributing to the problem is not the same as fighting it.

So if you're exasperated by the lack of decisive actions out there, here’s a long overdue list I’ve compiled of things you can do as an individual that aren’t rooted in either consumption or personal life choices but that take more of an assertive role in demanding change, as opposed to just opting out.

The following actions are not region specific and are listed from moderate self-exposure to zero risk.

1. Blockade fracking stations

Yesterday Ireland joined Germany, Bulgaria and France in the list of countries to ban hydraulic fracturing, the operation that involves pumping over sixty toxic chemicals into the subsoil in order to extract shale gas to power our appliances as an alternative to crude oil. However, the UK parliament isn't backing down on this industry and environment minister Michael Gove continues to promote it as a solution in order to transition away from fossil fuels. The process simultaneously pollutes groundwater and in America has resulted in birth defects, infertility and cancer as well as 6,000 deaths and injuries in Pennsylvania. Company names you need to know include; Cuadrilla, Dart Energy, IGas, Celtique Energy, Egdon Resources, eCorp Oil & Gas and Centric.

In February, the Vaca Muerta fracking station near Nequén in Argentina was raided by the people of Sauzal Bonito after 49 3.6 magnitude earthquakes in the space of 31 hours.

How can you sabotage it? Blockade 'em or raid 'em. Best not do this on your own. Mobilize others and start a blockade here or if you're in the UK find a group here.

Find a fracking station or planning site near you (UK) (USA) (Mexico).

2. Rescue farm animals

By now you probably know that large scale animal agriculture or factory farming outdoes the fossil fuel industry in accelerating climate change. It is also about the cruelest industry on the planet. Going vegan and refusing their products does not make a dent in their business though. This is why vegan activists from groups like Direct Action Everywhere are conducting non-violent staged rescues on farms across Australia, North America, Israel and a handful of European countries.

Although not every animal can be rescued, these actions are more than symbolic in that they could lead to a loss in profits if done enough times. They are the guilty ones and inconvenience must come their way.

Existing groups are listed here, as well as information on starting one.

3. Protect wildlife

On Tuesday, Brazil weakend licensing laws on hunting weapons and pictures of poached jaguars have been circulating since. Wildlife has never been more at threat from agriculture which, by now, we know pollutes more than the oil and gas industries.

Britain is one of the most biodiversity depleted countries in the world according to The State of Nature's biodiversity intactness index and the government continues to declare war on wildlife in defence of agriculture. The UK government's climate advisory body itself has said that Wales alone must cut grassland for animal grazing from 74% to 25% by 2050.

Effectively protesting culls in most countries is legal when you stick to public footpaths and marksmen cannot legally shoot when people are in sight. A simple phone camera can dissuade them from breaking that law.

Confronting huntsmen is not the only way to deter them. Removing trapping cages, cameras and bait from nests is also crucial. It just takes a little getting to know the area. In places like Canada and the USA where confronting, say, bear hunters may be a little more dangerous, always report illegal cases.

In the case of endangered oviparous (egg-laying) species such as sea turtles, locating nests and moving them before they can be plundered is essential.

4. Protest aviation

I get that you take long haul flights. So do I. But this is why it’s even more incumbent upon us not to take short haul flights and to stop the aviation industry from expanding. As people who do travel, that is our duty.

We have to call out those who take private jets and charter flights but more importantly, stop them.

5. Plastic attacks

Plastic attacks first started when angry shoppers decided that they didn't wan't to be held accountable for the mass accumulation of plastic in their homes anymore. They took to the supermarkets and started unloading their groceries at the check-out, leaving the obscene amounts of packaging for the shop to deal with.

Not buying plastic is the least you can do. But not buying it is not going to take down plastic culture. Sabotaging the sale of plastics is. You don't have to be part of an organized event to carry out a plastic attack but instead incorporate it into your weekly shop or if ever you do buy things in plastic.

Here's how

6. Plant trees

Planting trees comes relatively low down on the list because the rate at which trees grow cannot keep up with deforestation rates but at least you're providing a home for some of those disappearing animals in need of a habitat. Advice on the right species is needed and depending on where you live, trees needn’t be purchased where seeds are available on the ground.

This shouldn't be just for those who own land or have large gardens. If you know of degraded land 'where farms have been abandoned, or where there's been deforestation and it's been left', this is a good place to start. When in doubt, perhaps seek out landowners and encourage them to allow reforestation on their land. It's important that these trees are left to grow, otherwise there's no point.

Your best bet is to work with others (schools, businesses or whole communities) and set a target number of trees.

6.5. Grow coral

Forests are not the only ecosystems in urgent need of a comeback. Disappearing even faster are the world's reefs and those of us who live in close proximity to these must take it upon ourselves to engage in whatever restoration efforts we can for the sake of bringing back some of the vanishing species that coral reefs house. This too takes expertise and guidance. Other actions that benefit reefs include posting signs at touristy destinations to advise against using sunscreens due to their effects on coral.

7. Community and urban gardening

We cannot live on a planet that obliges us to shop for our food and at the same time sources our food from expanding farmland. In the UK, there has been concern post-Brexit that foregoing farming’s competitiveness, would risk exporting food production out of Britain and increasing Britain’s reliance on imports to feed itself. This is why the people need to grow or source their own food altogether.

Believe it or not, growing your own is a form of resistance and if you can donate your surplus, it can pack a real punch. Not only does community gardening edge closer to solving hunger problems in poorer places around the globe but in more consumerist societies, it has the potential to reduce dependence on supermarket shopping which is among the top engines of waste.

You may not have the free time to grow food. However, you don't need to do it everyday and the whole point of community is that it's not just you.

You can grow food regardless of your surroundings and according to Kelvin Lai of Power Shift Malaysia, space is not an issue as you can grow surplus for your neighbourhood out of a 5m² vegetable patch. Hell, you can even do it indoors.

Incredible Edible is a UK based group of individuals growing food in public spaces and roadsides in urban areas of England. Here's how.

Before I call the kettle black, I can comfortably say that, given my location, I currently do and have done actions 3, 5, 6 and so far 7 to a small extent. However, I intend to do them all and to a greater degree.

Existentialist arguments about climate change being inevitable, the elite powers too strong and our actions irrelevant all fail to take into account that, as we approach complete ecological collapse, 200 species go extinct a day. For many of our efforts to make any real sense, we still depend on serious action from the elite. However, with no such political will in sight, we have to scramble to defend what we value. We too have to act like the house is on fire.

Yes, climate change is real, we are out of time, there are too many humans to educate and we ourselves are just a drop in the ocean but remember;


What would you contribute to this list?

#racingextinction #globalwarming #nature #activism #indigenous #Amazon #climatechange #animalwelfare #wildlife #volunteering #animals #conservation #sixthextinction #extinction #sustainabledevelopment #Deforestation

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