“There’s many different tactics people take – not everyone can or wants to get arrested, not everyone can or wants to write letters, not everyone agrees with wavy-hands consensus meetings – but as long as we all have a reciprocal understanding that we are all working together to take all the necessary means of action to stop the exploitation before the clock stops ticking, then I’m happy.” Read more…

Today’s young people feel that the issue of climate change is deadly serious. Just as with everyone who will live long enough to see a 2°C increase, we are taking this personally. This makes me very scared: for my generation, for my children’s generation and my children’s children. The people today who are continuing the plunder of the earth’s resources are leaving the younger generations with no option but to clean up their mess.

Climate change is an inter-generational crime and staying quiet is as political as speaking out.

How will we feel if we can’t look our children in the eye and say that we did all that we could? I have to do all I can. Not just hold a banner singing songs about giving peace a chance, or even supergluing myself to the Prime Minister as a publicity stunt – but act in all my capacity to take back control for our generation and stop emissions at their source. Climate change is a ‘generational opportunity’. We have a large responsibility on our shoulders.

The video has truth in saying that the environmental movement uses some ineffective tactics – what have now become clichéd tactics can sometimes verge on laughable in the face of the climate calamity and the continued industrial exploitation we witness.

It’s also true that often different groups within this so called ‘environmental movement’ is fractious and unable to work together – as Jensen says there is a splintering of radical rebels from the ‘mainstream rebels’,

“And in a brilliant and brave touch of authenticity, the rebels are never able to come to consensus.”

With this in mind I have to emphasise that we stick to seeing the bigger picture.

In the run up to the UN climate talks in Copenhagen at the end of 2009, many environmental campaign groups did the unheard of; they put their fierce brand protectionism aside to come together under a unified campaign, pooling resources, time and voice. And where did that get them? Nowhere. The talks ended without the global deal so needed.

There’s many different tactics people take – not everyone can or wants to get arrested, not everyone can or wants to write letters, not everyone agrees with wavy-hands consensus meetings – but as long as we all have a reciprocal understanding that we are all working together to take all the necessary means of action to stop the exploitation before the clock stops ticking, then I’m happy.

Movements for justice may be splintered sometimes, but if we’re going to overcome the threat of climate change, we’re going to need all different approaches and tactics (a full arsenal of weapons, if you will), by all different demographics and groups, some of whom can’t even imagining work together.

Let’s not get fooled and beat each other up when we’ve got to save all our energies for the long-term battle ahead. We shall be our own worst enemies if we don’t create a big battle-plan where we accept that, despite differences of process, the end goal, of environmental sanity and human dignity, is the same for most people.

Whether you’re involved in militant environmental insurgency, consensus decision-making, coalition building or signing online petitions we must build empathy amongst our intentions. The beauty lies in the interconnected nature of environmental justice – once you unravel one string in the massive tangle that is the problem, it makes it easier to understand the rest.

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Written by Dan Glass

Dan Glass

Named one of the UK’s youth climate leaders by the Guardian, and one of Attitude Magazine’s 66 new role models for helping bridge LGBTQ and environmental justice movements Dan continues to speak, perform, train, write and mobilise for people power. Dan is founder of the The Glass Is Half Full network which includes trainings, writings, artworks, organising resources and a comprehensive guide to movements for social and environmental justice.Dan has spent the past ten years doing inner-city community and youth organizing in Glasgow, Manchester and London, working with communities on the front-lines of economic, social and racial injustic.