It'll take lots of wins, big and small, to build a decarbonized world brick by brick. We can’t let climate despair slow us down or paint us into a corner.
Hi Mitchell - I don't think On2Ottawa's goal is individual behaviour change. I think their goal - and the goal of groups like Extinction Rebellion, Just Stop Oil, Insulate Britain and Derniere Generation - is to engage in high-profile non-violent public actions to a) dramatically and widely convey the true depth and extent of the unprecedented existential crisis we are in; and b) build a movement of people willing to engage in non-violent civil disobedience in order to make it difficult or impossible for governments to continue to refuse to act with the urgency required (for example, by disrupting business as usual and by filling the jails with protestors). We can debate their tactics, but their assertion that non-violent civil disobedience actions have a track record of winning rapid and significant action to address persistent injustices is sound, and applicable to the climate crisis, an injustice to future generations which the Canadian government (and many other governments) have largely failed to address (judging by GHG emission trajectories) for decades. P.S. I suggest readers take a look at the CBC's recent article which cites evidence of the effectiveness of non-violent civil disobedience action (https://www.cbc.ca/news/science/what-on-earth-on2ottawa-climate-protest-1.6953456). Gene Sharp's Politics of Nonviolent Action (volume 1) is also a must read.
Thanks for writing this, Mitchell, and good to find The Energy Mix - I have subscribed. Yes, I think it's so true that we need a combination of strategies that tend to start as small, locally-based, frugal ideas that solve a problem for a person or a community. The kind of solutions that people go searching for on academic pilgrimages to the countryisde to find 'oddballs', or that UNDP looks for in its accelerator workshops. It is hopeful that a large international organization has decided to go looking for what works, in more remote areas. Which brings me to the one thing I found jarring in the article. I keep reading skeptical takes on carbon capture. And it bothers me that corporate adoption of this technique hides its origins - two engineers who loved the Swiss mountains and set out to find possible solutions to climate change. See https://hopebuilding.blog/2021/09/05/this-swiss-company-is-reversing-climate-change-and-you-can-help/
Am interested in the 1.7 trillion figure of renewable investment, that you say outweights fossil fuel investment. What is the reference for this figure. Since an Energy Mix article based on a Reuters report, says that fossil fuel subsidies alone hit 7 trillion last year.
Great piece, Mitchell! The days of small disruptive actions are over. Many people are now experiencing the effects of climate change firsthand and they know only too well what the consequences are. We have to keep our collective eye on the ball, the fossils and their enablers such as RBC. Pink actions may become associated in the public's mind with truckers rather than progressives trying to make real change.