World Water Day is March 22
The Story of Change is the latest chapter of the Story of Stuff. Take this two-minute quiz created by The Story of Stuff Project and find out how your particular talents might be used to combat climate change.
Wise words on activism as the best antidote to denial and despair.
Greenpeace Year in Pictures shows many actions such as International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo scaled Leiv Eiriksson, Cairn Energy's oil rig 100 miles off the coast of Greenland, with fellow Greenpeace activist Ulvar Arnkvaern. Their goal was to deliver a 50,000-signature petition demanding that the energy company release its oil spill response plan. Naidoo and Arnkvaern were sprayed with a water cannon and eventually arrested for their efforts, marking the first time in a decade that a Greenpeace Executive Director had been arrested. More Greenpeace Greenpeace occupies Arctic oil rig UPDATE see also Video blog from Greenpeace ship on Gulf oil spill.
Soul of a Citizen by Paul Loeb tells many stories of activism. The first excerpt here is on the powerful journey of evangelical global climate change activist Rich Cizik. The second is on Gandhi, King and the traps of the perfect standard. The third is how a self-described party girl became a global warming activist. Later, he drew up ten rules distilled from his book. See also his anthology The Impossible Will Take a While. Audio and video interviews (Realplayer).
YES! is a nonprofit organization that connects, inspires and collaborates with young changemakers to join forces for a thriving, just and sustainable ways of life for all. Founded in 1990 by two teenagers. video overview. 240 Harkleroad Avenue Santa Cruz, CA 95062 | 465-1091
Popular Resistance Is Percolating Across the Country -- Inspiring Activism That the Corporate Media Always Ignores (examples) 5/13.
Bill McKibben tells the story of how he and some writer friends and then six students built a movement 350.org *** Do the Math Tour takes on the energy companies head on in a fight to the death. Students will be key 12/12. Native people, particularly in Canada, are taking the lead with Idle No More movement. 2/17 update.
Keystone XL Pipeline(interactive map), basic background video, animated history, and infographic, (many activists, including Bill McKibben at 350.org think dirty Canadian Tar Sands our will be game over for global warming). PBSNewshour 10/12.Diane Wilson blockade and hunger strike (see Eco-Heroes below) 11/30 Texas grandmother arrested for trespassing on her own land to protest Keystone XL Pipeline 10/12. So have journalists and the Green Party presidential candidate. UPDATE 11/12. Blockadia in Utah 1/13. Sierra Club will commit civil disobedience for first time in its long history to fight XL.
XL Hitchhiker: After two years of living in his van and "eating lots of peanut butter," Ken Ilgunas, 29, opted for a new adventure. In September he hitchhiked to Canada, and, using a U.S. State Department map, backpacked the length of the proposed 1,700-mile route of the Keystone XL, a project that's become the focal point of the environmental movement's efforts to combat climate change.
Eight People Climb Trees And Start Indefinite Tree Sit to Stop Keystone XL "You shall not pass" 9/12. Almost hit by dropped tree.(Remember David Chang).
Organic seed savers in DC. Monsanto has sued hundreds of family farmers for patent infringement (see Food Inc documentary) because their fields were contaminated with GMO pollen or for trying to save seeds. Farmers have sued and protest.
Actor and activist Mark Ruffalo launched the Solutions Project nearly a year ago and has been working with Mark Jacobson, a Stanford University professor of civil and environmental engineering, to plan a conversion to renewable energy. He has been arrested multiple times for protesting dirty energy. More.
How to love where you live by building community from Yes Magazine.
Activists are being suppressed in a variety of ways in the former Soviet Union, for example, big fines for protesting, but they have found some interesting ways to fight back, such as teddy bear airdrop and a punk band viral video (they could use your help to get out of jail). 8/12 Eco-terrorism law are being used to suppress US activists as well, see books below, as well as here.
A new report (6.12) from international NGO Global Witness suggests that, in the past decade, 711 individuals have been killed while defending land and forest rights. 106 of these deaths allegedly came in 2011, with the number killed almost doubling over the past three years. According to the report, these deaths include "those killed in targeted attacks and violent clashes as a result of protests, investigating or taking grievances against mining operations, logging operations, intensive agriculture including ranching, tree plantations, hydropower dams, urban development and poaching."
"Are You Here to Save Face — or Save Us?": Brittany Trilford, 17, Addresses World Leaders at Rio+20. Twenty years ago, at the original Rio Earth Summit, Severn Suzuki, a 12-year-old from Canada, became “the girl who silenced the world for six minutes” and update. 6.12.
Grist Change Gang where you can nominate change agents and read about them.
Iowa makes it illegal to video animal cruelty, see Books below on context of attacks on animal rights activists.
Tim DeChristopher, a student, bid up public (federal Bureau of Land Management) oil lease auction, monkey-wrenching to protect our land from our companies, for which he will probably face charges. His statement on why he did it, with a link to his legal defense fund. Facebook page. Powershift 2011 talk (video excepts). he's been put under harsh conditions 3/12 appealing his conviction 5/12
Rebecca Solnit's “Acts of Hope,” was expanded into her book Hope in the Dark. It was written to welcome that “darkness” which seemed already to be enveloping us. It was written with a sense of how the expectable unravels, of how the future surprises us, often enough with offerings not of horror but of hope. New installment: What Comes After Hope 5/13.
"Activism's Paradox Mountain" by Rick Bass Orion Magazine
How to contact media people (admittedly, one person's opinion,but probably applies widely).
Steven Johnson’s latest book, Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age offers provocative ideas for activists.
Paul Hawken has created a database of a broad range of activist organizations (you can search it to find some related to your hometown issue) of many thousands of organizations who are working on social and environmental justice, as well as related concerns (short video explain this). He thinks these constitute a new kind of social movement. The book Blessed Unrest is the result. video of a talk at Google HQ based on the book.
Lester Brown, founder of the Worldwatch Institute, and founder and president of the Earth Policy Institute, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C. BBC Radio commentator Peter Day calls him "one of the great pioneer environmentalists." Brown is the author or co-author of over 50 books on global environmental issues and his works have been translated into more than forty languages. His most recent book is Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization text interview and links, Video of talk at Google (1/2006), free download of new book. "Saving Civilization Is Not A Spectator Sport"audio Recorded Nov 10 2009in San Francisco, Commonwealth Club (Realaudio)
David Brower Executive Director of the Sierra Club, he had a significant impact on green history in the US. Video biography Monumental can be seen on PBS. . An earlier biographical video is For Earth's Sake: The Life and Times of David Brower and is also the name of a book of his essays. Brower is the subject of the classic biography Encounters with the Archdruid by John McPhee
Rachel Carson (video) episode of Bill Moyer's Journal (includes play based on her life). Rachel Carson's Silent Spring Excellent PBS documentary McHenry Library VT2457 . Essay on Rachel Carson's influence
David "Gypsy" Chain was killed defending old growth forest.
Tim DeChristopher, a student, bid up BLM oil lease auction, monkey-wrenching to protect our land from our companies, for which he will probably face charges. His statement on why he did it, with a link to his legal defense fund. Facebook page. Powershift 2011 talk (video excepts). UPDATE: he's been put under harsh conditions 3/12. Indepth interview by author Terry Tempest Williams 4/12. New video documentary 6.12
Lois Gibbs is an environmental activist who discovered that her son’s elementary school was built on top of a toxic waste dump in Niagara Falls, NY. Upon subsequent investigation she discovered that her entire neighborhood was built on the same dump, known as the Love Canal. Gibbs now runs The Center for Health and Environmental Justice. CHEJ can help citizens understand the technical issues and how to get support in fighting environmental injustice. Recent interview with UCSC alum
Van Jones (Oakland CA Environmental Justice). Jones, civil rights leader and founding and executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. Jones has made a name for himself linking prisons and environmental injustice, working in a pro-active way to ensure that marginalized inner city youth will not miss out on the next wave of “green capitalism.”In this short one page article Van Jones argues against the environmental limits idea, but showing that the damage from Hurricane Katrina was not just the force of nature, but the negligence of the U.S. government. Good simple article for considering how environmental justice gets defined. Interview 2008 book on greening the economy. Book Excerpt. Here is an Oct 2008 interview (audio). 5/09 audio interview 5/10 audio interview, including how he got attacked and forced to resign from Obama administration).
Family farmer and activist Lynn Henning exposed the egregious polluting practices of livestock factory farms in rural Michigan, gaining the attention of the federal EPA and prompting state regulators to issue hundreds of citations for water quality violations. 2010 2010 Goldman Prize winner.
Wangari Mathai First environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize. 11/06 Interview (audio). 2007 audio interview. A new documentary on her will be shown on PBS in mid-April Taking Root, trailer. Video of 2009 talk "Challenge for Africa."
Karen Silkwood a whistle-blower on nuclear industry practices that could have endangered millions of Americans was the portrayed by Meryl Streep in Silkwood VT6062 clip. Silkwood was probably killed to insure her silence.
Diane Wilson, a fourth-generation fisherwoman, leads a one-woman crusade against Dow and other petrochemical plants, which create 17% of America’s pollution from her Texas town of 1,352. These factories have turned Seadrift from a traditional fishing port into a massive chemical cocktail that poisons the surrounding air, earth and waters, sardonically dubbed Texas Gold, video excerpt. From Texas to Wall Street to the front lawn of former Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson's multi-million dollar mansion on Long Island -- all the while chased by Texas Rangers charged with bringing her to justice -- Diane pursues a reckless industry with a soft drawl, dogged determination and her own special brand of Southern bad-ass fisherwoman humor.
In the 16 years since she began her fight, Diane has received death threats and suffered intimidation tactics; shots were fired at her house from a helicopter and her dog was poisoned.Democracy Now interview Wilson's book, An Unreasonable Woman Beyond Organic Interview
Muhammad Yunus founder of the Grameen Bank, which makes micro-loans all over the world, empowering people in many ways, not least of which to give them the option on not exhausting their local habitats in order to survive in the short term. Yunus was awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. See also Social Entrepreneur.
Carbon Disclosure Project is an independent not-for-profit organization holding the largest database of primary corporate climate change information in the world. Thousands of organizations from across the world’s major economies measure and disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, water use and climate change strategies through CDP. We put this information at the heart of financial and policy decision-making.
350.org is on the front line of climate change.
The Alliance for Climate Education has trained nearly 1.5 million high school students around the country on how to reduce their own carbon footprint and engage others to do the same. Cool the Earth has worked with 446 schools in 22 states getting youth to take specific actions at home that reduce their carbon impact in a measurable way. Davies was one of 40 high school youths from around the world who traveled to the Arctic in 2012 for a transformative experience learning about climate and culture. Commonwealth Club talk: Carleen Cullen, Founder and Executive Director, Cool the Earth;Rosemary Davies, Graduate, Berkeley High School's Green Academy Mike Haas, Founder, Alliance for Climate Education.
Occupied Cascadia is people taking Ecotopia seriously, building local community on bio-regional principles.
Kayaking the LA: Revitalizing an Urban River. The film Rock the Boat follows a controversial kayaking expedition down the partially cemented Los Angeles River, an act of civil disobedience led by satirical writer George Wolfe, whose goal was to have the Environmental Protection Agency declare the river navigable so that it could gain protection under the Clean Water Act. Boating down the LA River became a political movement which lead to changes in federal policy and opened up public access to a long-neglected waterway.
Emily James, a talented documentary filmmaker, has created a new movie called Just Do It about "environmental extremism" -- climate activists who are willing to risk beatings and arrest to stop environmentally catastrophic projects. (how she kept everyone out of jail).link.
Interviews with 2009 Brower Awards for young environmentalists.
Natalie Warne at 17 learned about the Invisible Children Project -- a campaign to rescue Ugandan children from Joseph Kony’s child armies. As an intern for Invisible Children, she led a nation-wide campaign for the project. She successfully got the campaign featured on the Oprah Winfrey show, a victory that dramatically raised the profile of the movement. Natalie now works as a film editor in Los Angeles. (TEDtalk video). UCSC has a local program.
In 2011 three young women swept the top prizes of the first Google Science Fair, doing important research on cancer and asthma. At TEDxWomen Lauren Hodge, Shree Bose and Naomi Shah described their extraordinary projects-- and their route to a passion for science.
McLibel. In the longest trial in English legal history, the "McLibel Two" represented themselves against McDonald's £10 million legal team. It is the David and Goliath story of two people who refused to say sorry.
Building Community with Greenspace. Yale students work together with many different urban New Haven neighborhoods to create green spaces, urban rehabilitation, safety and pride. More examples of activism at Natural Heroes series website.
If A Tree Falls traces how the Earth Liberation Front, known for setting fires to draw attention to their cause, became a more intense target for the FBI after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. interview. PBS POV.
Few “Like” Environmental News. It’s easier than ever to share news. But sharing of information is biased against complex and depressing news. So where does this leave the complex and depressing world of environmental news? Host Jeff Young asks Eli Pariser, founder of MoveOn.org and author of “The Filter Bubble,” what the Internet is hiding from us? audio and text. See alo his fine TEDtalk (video).
David Harvey: Urban Uprisings From Occupy Wall Street to the Paris Commune, distinguished professor of anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. 5/12.
Eco-Kienevel: Being "green" has a longstanding association with things like organic granola and natural-fiber clothing, but dirt bikes and extreme sports? Our panel of eco-revolutionaries is kicking environmentalism into high gear and showing how we can make the environment more macho. Enviro-innovators Saul Griffith and Lindland will also showcase their latest Eco Knievel project, including the world’s first green stunt. (audio).
Deep Green Resistance outlines strategies for a militant "whatever it takes" approach to halting ecocide. By Lierre Keith and Aric McBay audio interview on Terra Verde. Perhaps related Green Illusions which "pioneers a critique of alternative energy from an environmental perspective, arguing concerned citizens should instead focus on walkable communities, improved consumption, governance, and most notably, women’s rights."
Steven Johnson’s latest book, Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked Age offers provocative ideas for activists.
Letters to a Young Activist "Be original. See what happens." So Todd Gitlin advises the young mind burning to take action to right the wrongs of the world but also looking for bearings, understanding, direction, and practical examples. Gitlin looks back at his eventful life, recalling his experience as president of the formidable Students for a Democratic Society in the '60s, contemplating the spirit of activism, and arriving at some principles of action.
Green is the New Red:An Insider's Account of a Social Movement Under Siege by Will Potter. Animal rights activists are prosecuted as terrorists under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA). (video interview with author). Update on ag-gag rules 1/13.
Muzzling a Movement: The Effects of Anti-Terrorism Law, Money, and Politics on Animal Activism Dara Lovitz see also video overview by author. Since the passage of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) in 2006 the ability to document abuses, draw attention to the horrors, and raise public awareness about the suffering of animals in factory farms or scientific laboratories has been substantially curtailed.
Worldchanging : a user's guide for the 21st century / edited by Alex Steffen ; foreword by Al Gore ; New York : Abrams, 2006 McH Stacks - HC79.E5 W676 2006. See also Worldchanging.org
Ignition: What You Can Do to Fight Global Warming and Spark a Movement by Jonathan Isham (Editor), Sissel Waage (Editor), Bill McKibben (Introduction)
The Empowerment Manual by Starhawk. Practical advice and exercises to build non-hierarchical organizations.
Dirty Water is the riveting story of how Howard Bennett, a Los Angeles schoolteacher with a gift for outrageous rhetoric, fought pollution in Santa Monica Bay--and won. The story begins in 1985, when many scientists considered the bay to be one of the most polluted bodies of water in the world. The insecticide DDT covered portions of the sea floor. Los Angeles discharged partially treated sewage into its waters. Lifeguards came down with mysterious illnesses. And Howard Bennett happily swam in it every morning.
Rules for Radicals, a classic so good that even reactionaries use it ;)
By accident, Bennett learned that Los Angeles had applied for a waiver from the Clean Water Act to continue discharging sewage into the bay. Incensed that he had been swimming in dirty water, Bennett organized oddball coalition to orchestrate stunts such as wrapping brown ribbon around LA's city hall and issuing Dirty Toilet Awards to chastise the city's administration. This is the fast-paced story of how this unusual cast of characters created an environmental movement in Los Angeles that continues to this day with the nationally recognized Heal the Bay. Character-driven, compelling, and uplifting, Dirty Water tells how even the most polluted water can be cleaned up-by ordinary people. audio interview
The Sacred Headwaters by Wade Davis; Canada, successfully defended by Native peoples and activist allies.
Rebecca Solnit is the author of many books, including Savage Dreams, Storming the Gates of Paradise. Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities is Solnit's rousing celebration of people who work tirelessly behind the scenes and courageously on the streets for justice and environmental health harmonizes beautifully with Studs Terkel's Hope Dies Last.
Articles in category "Activism"There are 14 articles in this category.