Panel 1: The Global Climate Justice Movement in the Age of Crisis, Part One
The Global Climate Justice Movement Must Gear Up for Taking Political Power
After briefly introducing this part of the conference, consisting of four panels on the problems and prospects of the Global Climate Justice Movement in the Age of Crisis, I will present what may be the movement’s biggest task: crafting ways and means for it to actually take power across the world so that the desires of the vast majority of the world’s residents (including the non-human creatures among us) can be the benchmark against which we measure our chances for arriving in mid-century in a world characterized not by multiple crises – global inequality, political disenchantment, and cultures of violence – but rather in a world beyond capitalism itself, even as the climate continues to threaten the very basis of humanity’s existence.
My academic specialty is movements for radical social change, both 20th century revolutions – my 2005 book Taking Power: On the Origins of Twentieth Century Revolutions in the Third World is free – and 21st century movements for radical social change, from the Zapatistas and the global justice movement to Occupy, the Arab Spring, and now, esp. the global climate justice movement (see “Beyond Insurgency to Radical Social Change: The New Situation (2014).
I now work passionately as a scholar-activist on, for, and within the global climate justice movement, which I see as at the center of the struggle for any prospect of achieving social justice and radical social change in the 21st century. A lot of my work is published at www.resilience.org. It can also be found on the websites of the International Institute of Climate Action and Theory and the Climate Justice Project. I am an active member of System Change Not Climate Change, the Green Party of California, and Santa Barbara 350.
Get Comfortable with Paradox
In this talk Nathan points out some flaws in the organising culture of the climate movement and suggests that the way to build better movements (because the idea of “winning” in the climate crisis is laughable) is to embrace contradictions and engage in a battle of the imagination.
Nathan is one of the co-coordinators of the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice and has been involved in the international climate change negotiations and global movements for climate justice for several years. He is currently based in his hometown of Belfast, Ireland, but has lived in Sudan, Canada, Peru, and the US where he attended the College of the Atlantic and was trained as a human ecologist. He dabbles in bad poetry, good whiskey and loud electronic music.
Climate Fear, Truth, and the Public: Discussion of the New York Magazine Article, “The Uninhabitable Earth”
Ezra Silk, Margaret Klein Salamon, and Anya Grenier
Three leaders of The Climate Mobilization discuss the recent controversy around the New York Magazine piece, “The Uninhabitable Earth” and the role of fear and other emotions in the climate movement. Should we tell the whole, frightening truth? Can they handle it? We argue that, when combined with a potential solution—WWII scale climate mobilization—the truth can be intensely motivating.
Margaret Klein Salamon, PhD is the founder and director of The Climate Mobilization Salamon earned her doctorate in clinical psychology from Adelphi University and also holds a BA in Social Anthropology from Harvard. Though she loved being a therapist, Margaret felt called to apply her psychological and anthropological knowledge to solving climate change.
Ezra Silk is a co-founder and head of Strategy and Policy at the Climate Mobilization. A former newspaper reporter, Silk is the author of TCM’s Victory Plan, and he is leading TCM’s efforts in Los Angeles.
Anya Grenier is the head of The Climate Mobilization’s media operation. She is also the author of TCM’s Blueprint for an Emergency Climate Movement. She recently graduated from Yale college.
“Safe” Climate Change?
In order to build ‘climate justice futures’ collectively, our society needs to square with a divisive conception of climate change — that the threshold for “safe” climate change is often decided by those who are not yet feeling climate impacts, and discounts lived experiences of climate change occuring here and now. Climate justice futures will need to address historical marginalizations to mitigate emissions and pursue energy democracy, as well as to address the losses and damages created by the interaction of climate change and social inequality both currently and in the future.
Emily is a graduate student in Geography at UCSB, a co-founder of the Climate Justice Project, and a member of 350 Santa Barbara. She did her undergraduate degree at UCSB, graduating in 2013 with a B.S in environmental studies. While at UCSB, she interned with the NASA DEVELOP Program and cofounded the Fossil Free UC campaign. After graduating, Emily worked for the California Student Sustainability Coalition as a Campaign Director for Fossil Free, and cofounded the Climate Justice Project (CJP). With CJP, she attended COPs 19, 20, and 21, where she grew an interest in how climate solutions are often pitted against climate justice on local, national, and international scales, and became active in demanding youth have a voice in the negotiations process. In 2015, she joined the Climate Hazards Group as a researcher. Her research and organizing focus is at the intersection of climate impacts, extractivism, political ecology, accountability, and policy, all within a frame of climate justice.
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