Published on July 25th, 2019 | by Steve Hanley0
French Labor Union Will Support 350.org Climate Change Protest. Here’s What You Can Do.
July 25th, 2019 by Steve Hanley
Greta Thunberg’s decision to skip school one day and protest against climate change in front of the Swedish parliament has turned into a global movement. Around the world, tens of thousands of young people now choose to advocate for realistic climate action on Fridays rather than attend school. They say it is ridiculous to spend time in school preparing for the future when catastrophic climate change is threatening that very future.
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) July 23, 2019
Thunberg’s activism has sparked movements like the Extinction Rebellion in the UK and the Sunrise Movement in the US. The Green New Deal legislation sponsored by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasi0-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey was heavily influenced by Greta Thunberg’s bold ideas.
350.org, created by Bill McKibben, is sponsoring a global week of climate protest beginning September 20. So far, people in over 100 countries around the world have indicated they will participate in direct citizen action on that date and throughout the week to follow in an effort to force governments to take climate change seriously.
Phillipe Martinez , Secretary General of the CGT, one of France’s largest labor unions, announced last week that his organization will support a week of climate action beginning on September 20. “We are working for a day of action in September which could also be part of two very important days, 20 and 27 September, around the climate emergency,” Martinez told the press on July 16. “For us, social emergency and climate emergency are unavoidable. The CGT will work with youth organizations for there to be several initiatives this week from 20 to 27 September.”
What Can One Person Do?
Many people will read this and say to themselves, “Gee, I really support all those young people and what they are doing. Any fool with more than a third grade education can see what burning fossil fuels is doing to our planet. We have a virtually limitless supply of free energy in the sun. For heaven’s sake, why don’t we use it and stop destroying the only home we will ever have?”
That is an excellent question.
The answer, of course, is that fossil fuels have become the basis of the global economy. Without them, there would be no commerce and no jobs. We are like crack cocaine addicts. We know what we are doing is bad for us, but we can’t stop doing it. We buy more gargantuan trucks, fly around the world millions of times a year, ship millions of containers across the seas to feed our voracious need to consume things, and figure we will deal with whatever comes by cranking up the air conditioning.
The corporations that peddle the products that are destroying the Earth have bought and paid for most of the people in our governments who make the laws. They loot the public treasuries of billions of dollars a year in subsidies. We know we must stop burning fossil fuels but we don’t know how. The merry go round keeps spinning and we don’t know how to make it stop.
There is a way. It involves getting out of our comfort zone, however. If we ALL (OK, most of us) get out of our chairs on September 20 and join the protest movement, we can alter the course of history. If the people will lead, their leaders will follow!
There is much each of us can do to support the week of climate action that begins on September 20. 350.org has created the blueprint for how to organize your family, friends, and co-workers to join in. It also has an interactive map that shows each and every event around the world happening between September 20 and 27, with more being added every minute.
There’s more that you can do. Ready? Visit the 350.org home page and click on any one of these links.
Governments around the world are paying lip service to climate action while continuing to kowtow to fossil fuel companies. We can break the “business as usual” circle of death and destruction but we have to organize and take action. No one is going to do it for us. It’s time to get real.
Are you in?
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