The Week of Global Climate Action is Almost Here!

by | September 6, 2019


Huh? What’s going on?

The week of global climate action is from Friday, September 20th through Friday, the 27th.

This is a chance for people around the world to rise up together and show our leaders and fellow humans that we need climate action NOW.


The three biggest global dates

1. Friday, September 20th: Global school strikes for climate.

About 50 student leaders wrote an op-ed inviting EVERYONE to join them on the 20th, building on the millions who have already participated since Greta Thunberg started the movement in August 2018. (Pump-up video)

2. Monday, September 23rd: UN Climate Action Summit

This week was chosen for global climate action because of the UN’s Climate Action Summit (in New York City).

The Climate Action Summit is an important event because world leaders will be announcing new, more ambitious, science-based climate commitments for their respective countries. The idea is that it’ll encourage other countries to boldly step up when the UN reconvenes in 2020 for the first check-in on the Paris Agreement (where countries are supposed to strengthen their commitments).

So, again, what we need to do is show world leaders how important we think this issue is. Show them that we want them to step up – and that we’ll have their backs if they do. But also show them that if they fail, we’ll make sure they’re stepping down after the next election.

3. Friday, September 27th: Workers around the world strike for climate.

The youth can’t do this on their own. And the idea that climate action is too expensive or bad for jobs and the economy is a misconception. Inaction costs more than action at this point. Meanwhile, addressing climate change will continue to create millions of jobs. You may not hear it enough in the mainstream media, but the Green New Deal is wildly popular – union workers are in favor 3 to 1.

Check out this new video of workers and union-members talking about climate action and the upcoming September strikes.

How can I participate?

I’m so glad I pretended you asked!

The best way to find out what’s going on near you is to go here if you live in the US or here if you’re anywhere else.

Just in case that doesn’t give you what you need, you can check this one as well (between them it’s supposedly a comprehensive picture).

Whether you can or can’t leave school or work, you can still try to do something to show solidarity with the movement. Here’s a good resource for ideas. Also, for anyone organizing a big demonstration, you may want to take a look at this excellent “how to” by George Monbiot.

Why you protesting really will make a difference

  • Representative’s voting on protested issues demonstrably changes.
  • Public awareness shoots up.
  • Voter turnout for the particular issue skyrockets, influencing a vote by up to 8 percentage points. It’s estimated that protests bring an additional 7 to 14 votes per protester.

(This all comes from studies out of Harvard and Stanford.)

  • Research shows that it only takes 3.5% of a population’s active and sustained engagement to (nonviolently) force political change.

We aren’t at 3.5% yet, but 3.5% is surprisingly low, isn’t it? …it almost seems…doable 🙂

Walking the walk and getting out there really, really helps get more people into the climate movement (and closer to this 3.5% threshold needed for political victory).

Watch the 3-minute Ted Talk below for a funny real life example of how powerful it is to be an early follower.

Spoiler: In just three minutes, a goofy dancer and early followers turn this peaceful park into a massive dance party!

The truth is, being an early follower – physically getting out there to support this budding climate movement, is more impactful than we’ll ever know.

Inspiration: People and corporations around the world are stepping up

This is happening in all sorts of ways.

  • Schools are telling teachers not to give tests on the 20th.
  • Hundreds of teachers are pledging to cancel class and go on strike with their students. (Good read explaining why.)
  • Parents are encouraging all adults to join their children in the streets.
  • Employees are getting their companies to host climate presentations or show a documentary.
  • Amazon employees continue to step up – over 900 will be striking on the 20th.
  • Some corporations are even encouraging their employees to take part in the strikes!
    • 7th Generation (closing for the day and buying national airtime to support the global climate strikes)
    • IdeaScale (an awesome crowdsourcing software company who is going to help out Crowdsourcing Sustainability! Stay tuned.)
    • Atlassian (Australian tech giant) whose co-founder said corporations need to take responsibility because countries like Australia can’t rely on their governments at all…sounds familiar.

You could make more things like this happen. My favorite story:

Just yesterday a fellow crowdsourcer, Jan, saw my post on social media about these companies and had the brilliant idea to reach out to a company she’d been talking to recently. They were previously unaware of the strikes and are now discussing what they should do to support them!

You are influential. The ripple effect is real.

So. Do you know any teachers? Work at a company? Able to raise awareness for the event? Able to go protest? Is there any action – big or small – that you can take to help?

Let me know if you end up taking any actions related to the global week of climate action. I’d love to hear about it!

This post originally featured in the Crowdsourcing Sustainability newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter below!

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