Organizing to Respond

Whatever you do, don't do it alone, JOIN others in community.

 

 

 

3 Dimensions of Wise Organizing*

1. Action to slow the damage

Personal and Communal Consumer Choices

  • Eating less meat (especially less cows), and eating locally and sustainably grown animals when you do eat meat.

  • Using less plastic

  • Re-using more materials, buying more second-hand goods

  • Creating Compost from food scraps

  • Driving less

  • If buying a new car, buying a hybrid or electric

  • Installing energy efficient utilities - solar, wind, etc.

Political Action

  • Calling, writing, emailing your elected representatives

  • Organizing boycotts

  • Creating blockades to slow down fossil fuel infrastructure

  • Providing sanctuary for for people in danger of unfair arrest

  • Non-violent civil-disobedience

  • Fasting and hunger strikes

  • 198 methods of nonviolent actions

Leveraging your professional skills and natural talents

  • If you're a doctor,  researching and writing about how climate change is exacerbating the spread of mosquito-born viruses such as Lyme, Zika, EEE

  • If you're a mechanic or an engineer, volunteering your time and skills to help communities which are trying to adapt renewable energy

  • If you're good with children, volunteering to help take care of children of people who are involved in other dimensions of this work

  • If you're a farmer, sharing your knowledge with the community to help develop more urban food gardens utilizing permaculture and regenerative farming methods

  • If you're a lawyer, volunteering some of your time to help climate refugees or folks who've been arrested for non-violent civil disobedience in the process of pressuring organizations/government to take more responsible environmental/climate action.

  • If you're an artist, poet, musician, using those skills to help us imagine a better future, to make the transition to it filled with joy, beauty, and hope

  • And so on...

2. Analysis of structural causes and the creation of structural alternatives

 

​Analysis Causes

  • The history of humanity's destruction of its own habitat across millenia

  • Intersection of violence within humanity, and between humans and other species as well as our habitat

  • Demonization of Earth-honoring, Animistic, and non-monotheistic religions and environmental disruption

  • Empire, Colonialism, and Fascism with environmental disruption

  • Racism, White Supremacy, and environmental disruption

  • Misogyny and environmental disruption

  • Industrial Civilization, Capitalism, Communism and environmental disruption

Creation of Structural Alternatives

  • Restorative Justice programs, Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, etc.

  • Cultural and legal honoring of Indigenous communities, POC communities, LGBTQA+ communities, etc.

  • Community Supported Agriculture (CSA's) and community food gardens, utilizing permaculture and regenerative principles

  • Holistic health and wellness programs

  • Alternative educational opportunities

  • Creation of new laws - Rights of Nature, Anti Ecocide legislature

  • Intentional communities such as cohousing and ecovillages

  • Locally controlled composting, zero-waste, and recycling programs

  • Citizen led restoration projects of local eco-zones, planting ecologically appropriate fauna

  • Co-operative forms of ownership and decision making

  • Locally controlled energy systems

  • Holistic measures of wealth and prosperity instead of GDP.

To free ourselves and our planet from the damage being inflicted by Empires, Colonialism, White Supremacy, Industrial Growth Society, etc. we must understand its dynamics. What are the tacit agreements that create almost overwhelming wealth for a few, while progressively impoverishing the rest of humanity? What interlocking causes indenture us to an insatiable economy that uses our Earth as supply house and sewer? It is not a pretty picture, and it takes courage and confidence in our own common sense to look at it with realism; but we are demystifying the workings of the global economy. When we see how this system operates, we are less tempted to demonize the politicians and corporate CEOs who are in bondage to it.

In addition to learning how the present system works, we are also creating structural alternatives. In countless localities, like green shoots pushing up through the rubble, new social and economic arrangements are sprouting. Not waiting for our national or state politicos to catch up with us, we are banding together, taking action in our own communities. Flowing from our creativity and collaboration on behalf of life, these actions may look marginal, but they hold the seeds for the future.


3. Shift in Consciousness

  • Support for the deep grief and shame which arises when we begin to recognize who and what has been destroyed and our complicity to it

  • De-constructing materialism and scientism

  • Learning from First Nations peoples about how to live in healthy relationship with other species and the land

  • Exploring Ancestor- and Earth-honoring roots of our own spiritual/religious traditions

  • Recalibrating our understanding of humanity's role within our kin of other species on the planet

  • Developing an appreciation of the inter-indebtedness of all life

  • Wilderness immersion experiences

The structural alternatives above cannot take root and survive without deeply ingrained values to sustain them. They must mirror what we want and how we relate to Earth and each other. They require, in other words, a profound shift in our perception of reality–and that shift is happening now, both as cognitive revolution and spiritual awakening.

 

The insights and experiences that enable us to make this shift are accelerating, and they take many forms. They arise as grief for our world, giving the lie to old paradigm notions of rugged individualism, the essential separateness of the self. They arise as glad response to breakthroughs in scientific thought, as reductionism and materialism give way to evidence of a living universe. And they arise in the resurgence of wisdom traditions, reminding us again that our world is a sacred whole, worthy of adoration and service.

The many forms and ingredients of this dimension include: general living systems theory; deep ecology and the deep, long-range ecology movement; Creation Spirituality and Liberation Theology; Engaged Buddhism and similar currents in other traditions;the resurgence of shamanic traditions; ecofeminism; ecopsychology; the simple living movement.

*These categories are adapted from Joanna Macy's Work That Reconnects