Activists Solutions

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The Call for Global Climate Strikes

"23 Reasons to Climate Strike Today" - Bill McKibben - The Nation - Sept 19, 2019
  • Strike because young people have asked us to. In a well-ordered society, when kids make a reasonable request their elders should say yes – in this case with real pride and hope that the next generations are standing up for what matters.
  • Strike because sun and wind are now the cheapest way to generate power around the world – if we could match the political power of the fossil fuel industry we could make fast progress.
  • Strike because every generation faces some great crisis, and this is ours.
  • Strike because the people who did the least to cause this crisis suffer first and worst – the people losing their farms to desert and watching their islands sink beneath the waves aren’t the ones who burned the coal and gas and oil.
  • Strike because coral reefs are so gloriously beautiful and complex – and so vulnerable.
  • Strike because science is real, because physics exists, because chemistry matters.
  • Strike because our governments move with such painful slowness, treating climate change as, at worst, one problem on a long list.
  • Strike because this could be the great opportunity – and maybe the last opportunity – to transform our society towards justice and towards joy. Green New Deals have been proposed around the world; they are a way forward.
  • Strike because forests now seem like fires waiting to happen.
  • Strike because Exxon and the rest knew all about global warming in the 1980s, and then lied so they could keep cashing in.
  • Strike because what we do this decade will matter for hundreds of thousands of years.
  • Strike because the temperature has hit 129F (54C) in big cities in recent summers. The human body can survive that, but only for a few hours.
  • Strike because do we want to be the first generation to leave the planet in worse shape?Strike because batteries are ever cheaper – we can now store sunshine at night, and wind for a calm day.
  • Strike because the UN estimates unchecked climate change could create a billion refugees this century.
  • Strike because the big banks continue to lend hundreds of billions to the fossil fuel industry – people are literally trying to get rich off the destruction of the planet.
  • Strike because what animal fouls its own nest?
  • Strike because indigenous people around the world are trying to protect their rightful land from the coal and oil companies – and in the process protect all of us.
  • Strike because every time they cut down a patch of rainforest to grow some more cows, the climate maths gets harder.
  • Strike so you can look your grandkid – or anyone else’s – in the eye.
  • Strike because the world we were given is still so sweet.

Effecting Social Change

Successful Social Movements

Making a change isn’t easy, so understanding important factors as described in Crutchfield's book can be important:

How Change Happens – Why Some Social Movements Succeed While Others Don’t – Leslie Crutchfield, Wiley, 2018. .

Briefly the six factors are:

  1. Turn grassroots to gold: let local leaders lead
  2. Sharpen your 10/10/10/20 = 50 Vision: push for improvements in local and state levels
  3. Change hearts and policy: the change sought is the new normal, the message connects.
  4. Reckon with adversarial allies: face intra-field challenges, put egos aside, focus on a common agenda
  5. Break from business as usual: work with sympathetic businesses to change internal policies
  6. Be leaderful: find balance between “leaderless” and “leader-led”, work through networks and systems and be organized.

Spiral Dynamics, Leadership and Change

Understanding the different dynamics of human society and how to identify eight levels of thinking models that are demonstrated by individuals, organizations and societies will help us develop approaches to effecting change and solving people problems. See:

Spiral Dynamics: mastering values, leadership, and change – Beck & Cowan, Blackwell Publishing, 1996.


Spiral Dynamics Website
"Summary of Spiral Dynamics by Don Beck and Christopher Cowan" - Steve Dinan - Esalen Institute - 1999

Tipping Points for Social Change

If reported societal tipping points exist, we can get an understanding of the effort needed.

Recent research from University of Pennsylvania suggests 25% of participants need to be on board before large scale social change happens. See:

"Research Finds Tipping Point for Large-scale Social Change" - Damon Centola, Annenburg School of Communications - 7 June 2018

Then there’s the 3.5% rule (to topple dictators for example) discussed in:

"My Talk at TEDxBoulder: Civil Resistance and the '3.5% Rule'" - Erica Chenowith - 4 Nov 2013

Brain Biases that Get in the Way

Changing minds is hard as Matthew King says:

“Cognitive biases that ensured our initial survival now make it difficult to address long-term challenges that threaten our existence, like climate change.”

The original BBC report is at:

"How brain biases prevent climate action" - BBC - Matthew Wilburn King, 8 March 2019

and more on cognitive bias:

"The surprising reasons why people ignore the facts about climate change" - Grist - Kate Yoder, July 28, 2020

and why people ignore facts:

"Why People Ignore Facts" - Psychology Today - October 25, 2018

Training & Simulation

Climate Modeling

Climate Interactive offers a suite of tools to help model policies and strategies to fight the climate crisis. These models EN-Roads, C-Roads and ALPS through a combination of games and workshops educate participant in systems shaping our world.

“As John Sterman says, “Research shows that showing people research doesn’t work,” so we create experiences for people to use our tools with their peers to enable deeper understanding of the systems shaping our world. This approach comes from MIT Sloan School of Management where these types of interactive exercises are used to train top business leaders. Our workshops and games have been used with a wide range of audiences from heads of state to middle school students.”

From the World Climate Simulation Game website:

“The World Climate Simulation is a role-playing exercise of the UN climate change negotiations for groups. It is unique in that it uses an interactive computer model to rapidly analyze the results of the mock-negotiations during the event. All the materials and tools for World Climate are available for free and many are available in multiple languages. We encourage you to organize a World Climate Simulation yourself.”

From the Climate Action Simulation Game website:

"The Climate Action Simulation is a highly interactive, role-playing game. It uses the En-ROADS simulation model to engage a wide range of participants in exploring key technology and policy solutions for addressing global warming. The game is conducted as a simulated emergency climate summit organized by the United Nations that convenes global stakeholders to establish a concrete plan that limits warming to Paris Agreement goals. This game is a fun format for large groups to explore climate change solutions and see what it would really take to address this global challenge."


A free e-book guide is available at:

"Leading Groups Online"

It is a "down-and-dirty guide" to leading online courses, meetings, trainings, and events during the coronavirus pandemic. From the website:

Jeanne Rewa and Daniel Hunter swiftly wrote this booklet for this moment. Using their combined two decades of online facilitation, Jeanne and Daniel walk you through the basics of how to lead sessions online. They give you their top 10 principles for leading online groups, introduce you to interactive tools you can lead online, and answer commonly asked questions. With this guide, you will be ready to successfully transition your face-to-face events for warmer online spaces. The journey to leading groups online can be a challenge — but it is made much easier with these tips.

Volunteering Skills

The power of good interpersonal skills can probably not be overstated. Some of us are blessed in these skills more than others. Being welcoming may be one of them. Hearing more about taking a skills inventory (perhaps a guided self-reflection) with the aim of doing better could be useful. For some ideas see:

10 Ways to Become a More Charismatic Person - Success Magazine - By YEC - March 28, 2017

Social Discount Rates

What are they and what does it mean for climate crisis fighters?


"Discount rates: A boring thing you should know about (with otters!)" - David Roberts - Sept 4, 2012

From Forbes:

"Climate Change Investing: Discounting The Future" - Erik Kobayashi-Solomon - May 27, 2019

From the Center for Climate and Energy Studies:

"Discounting the Benefits of Climate Change Mitigation: How Much Do Uncertain Rates Increase Valuations?" - Newell & Pizer - December 2001

Direct Action

"Building a Nonviolent Direct Action Campaign" - a course offered by Eileen Flannagan during early May 2020