If you’ve been thinking there should be a march for climate action after the success of the Women’s March on Washington, you’re in luck – 350.org is organizing a People’s Climate Mobilization on DC for April 29, 2017. Inhabitat spoke with Co-Founder and Strategic Communications Director Jamie Henn about how to get involved with the march and other ways concerned citizens can take action to help the environment under the Trump administration. Henn told Inhabitat, “Politicians were never going to save the climate for us; it was always up to the people. That’s now more true than ever.”
Join in a peaceful demonstration
Henn said it’s important to keep climate issues in the spotlight. “Organizing a big march is like throwing a rock in a pond. It makes a big splash, which can get lots of media attention,” he said. “But it also creates lots of ripples, from helping start new local groups to building new alliances to pushing politicians to choose a side for the first time. It’s those ripples that are often the most interesting.”
Keep reaching out to your representatives
As politicians are elected to represent the people, it’s important to remind them the people they represent care about climate issues. Keep calling your senators and Congressmen; this website allows you to quickly punch in your zip code and receive contact information for your representatives. But don’t just put on the pressure; let your representatives know when you support a bill or initiative they’re backing too.
“We’re seeing a culmination of a decades-long project by the fossil fuel industry to politicize the climate debate. Just a decade ago, Republicans were talking about the importance of addressing global warming – conservation is a Republican idea, after all. But then the fossil fuel industry and their front groups offered up millions of dollars in campaign contributions and the GOP just caved. Now they’re the only major political party in the world that denies the reality of climate change.” If you live in a red state, gently remind your representatives they must represent people, not just corporations or industries.
Push for renewable energy options in your city or state
“Find out what policies your city and state have going on renewable energy and then push for the most ambitious options possible,” said Henn. Check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency as a starting point.
Join a campaign focused around a goal like fossil fuel divestment
350.org started the Fossil Free project to promote fossil fuel divestment; Fossil Free Europe just celebrated an exciting victory as Ireland made moves towards becoming the world’s first country to fully divest from fossil fuels. Henn also suggested joining a campaign that’s fighting against new fossil fuel infrastructure, such as oil pipelines.
“It’s important to remember Trump isn’t the only decision maker here,” said Henn. “These pipelines need state and local permits, and the consent of the people whose land they cross. There are plenty of places to put up roadblocks in defense of our air, water, and climate.”
Marches and phone calls aren’t the only way to build a movement. “Have fun! Paint a mural, plant a garden, organize a bike ride, whatever it is, get active in your community and you’ll be pushing the conversation forward,” said Henn. “Stay creative, experiment, and keep at it.”
Get involved with the People’s Climate Mobilization on DC
On April 29 people will march on Washington, DC for climate justice, building on the successful 2014 New York City march. Henn said you can start planning now by joining a local organization or recruiting friends and family to go to the march with you. You can sign up at 350.org’s website here. A primary goal of the People’s Climate Mobilization on DC is to support a clean energy economy. “Clean energy is one of the greatest job creators in the country,” Henn said. “There are already more people employed in the solar and wind industry than in oil, gas, or coal.
Whether you’re a steel worker in Ohio or an electrician in the Bronx, there’s work for you in helping our country transition away from fossil fuels to 100 percent renewable energy. A mass mobilization can put forward a new vision of a clean energy economy that works for all. An economy that doesn’t divide us, but unites us around a common cause of saving our climate and communities.”
And lastly, don’t give up hope
“Continue to appeal to the American people, the majority of whom support climate action. Our communities, cities, and states can be great drivers of change even if the White House is MIA. Trump could actually trigger the sort of backlash needed to really catapult this movement to new heights,” said Henn.” It’s not the direction I would have chosen, but it’s the path we’re now on. Let’s make the most of it.”
Images via Elizabeth Stilwell on Flickr, Maria Merkulova/350.org on Flickr, 350.org/Jim Dougherty on Flickr, 350.org/Mohamed Ali on Flickr, Saskia Uppenkamp/350.org on Flickr, Ryan Mlynarczyk/350.org on Flickr, Wikimedia Commons, and LJ Pasion/350.org on Flickr