Last night during my final class session for Global Climate Change, we were fortunate enough to have Bill McKibben as a guest via Skype. He is the founder of 350.org, a global movement to fight climate change. His dedication to grassroots global as a means to incite change is inspiring to anyone with a cause.
We asked him about divestment, carbon taxes, and organizing for change. On divestment, he exclaimed that it is hopeful to see Harvard University's divestment campaign "blossom" and that he is proud th students refuse to take no for an answer. Carbon taxes are an important next step for policy makers, he says. Creating emissions-reductions goals is not effective enough to stop catastrophic climate change. It should also be noted that climate change is here and here to stay for a long time. We need policy change that promotes this urgency. McKibben is a great example of a grassroots leader that organized as a result of poor governance.
In terms of organizing for change, McKibben stresses that one should never try to work alone. There is strength in numbers and this applies doubly to chose fighting an uphill battle, one marred with inequality in monetary funds. Find a local 350 chapter and show them support. Some may begin to feel defeated by lack of support. If you run a business or organization, consider sponsoring/being sponsored by a local 350 node.
Here are a few organizations Bill McKibben mentioned:
1. Solar Mosaic (Put Solar On It campaign)
2. Energy Action Coalition - founded by Billy Parish. After attending Yale for some time he dropped out to pursue activism.
3. And of course, visit 350.org to find a local meeting, event or action.