Panel 1




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

John Foran

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 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

Nathan Thanki

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?

Emily Williams

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. 

Q & A

Have questions or comments? Feel free to take part in the Q&A!

Before posting, you must first register. Note that questions and comments can be intended for individual speakers, the entire panel, or anyone who has posted to the Q&A. Respond directly to a particular question/comment by way of the little “reply” below it. The vertical threadlike lines are there to make it easier to see which part of the discussion (i.e. “thread”) you are taking up. You can choose to be notified via email (see below) whenever a question, answer, or comment is posted to this particular Q&A. Because the email notification will contain the new comment in its entirety, you can both follow the discussion as it is unfolding, as well as decide whether you would like to step in at any point. You can choose to receive email notifications for as many of the conference Q&A sessions as you like, as well as stop notifications at any time. Because the Q&A sessions will close at the end of the conference, all email notifications will also end at this time. Although only registered conference participants can pose questions and make comments, Q&A sessions are visible to the public and will remain so after the conference has ended, as we hope that they will become cited resources.

48 replies
  1. John Foran, UC Santa Barbara says:

    My hope in setting up this part of the conference is to ignite a deep discussion of what ideas might work as we move forward as a movement.

    I reached out to a wide variety of almost fifty activists from over a dozen countries for these panels, and it is my hope that many of those who could not commit to sending in a talk will make contributions to the discussion over the next four weeks. And this includes YOU!

    I’d like to open this discussion by inviting Q and A from or for anyone on any of the talks on panels 1 and 2, which together constitute a multisided exploration of where we might go in the global climate justice movement at this juncture.

    Here’s a question for everyone in the audience: what is YOUR best idea for the movement to consider?

    • Brian Ramos, UC Santa Barbara says:

      I agree that a Democratic Participation is needed in order for a movement to work, “from bottom to top, and back to the bottom.” A one way relationship will not work, there needs to be a conversation that acknowledges all sides not just the powerful.

    • egranados says:

      I agree, in order to institute any change, it is important to not just leave it to the activists and “social warriors”, it is up to everyone. Social movements of the last century have proven fruitful, in the sense that they have national attention and that’s where it starts.

    • Iixta says:

      The piece you initially read was very inspiring. It is up to everyone to create the changes necessary. This reminded me of a lyric I heard,“We’re the renegades we’re the people
      With our own philosophies
      We change the course of history
      Everyday people like you and me.”

    • Sergio Cervantes, UC Santa Barbara says:

      I agree that there are many groups of people who are revolutionaries in serving climate justice but how does one get everyone to see that humans needs need to act now to further prevent damage to our planet. What is needed to make everyone one this planet to acknowledge the need for a change in the modern way of life?

    • isabelvera says:

      I find the quote you shared in the beginning very compelling. It shows how people as individuals can make a difference on their own for climate justice that later on make a huge difference as a whole.

    • janjan0_0 says:

      I think that what John Foran begins with is very important and says a lot about us as a special, we are all making moves that benefit us individually and sometimes as a society. The movement for change and sustainability needs to incorporate more solidarity and intersectionality.

    • toma says:


      Nice talk, and I appreciate your big tent perspective. But I have question. What about debates? What happens when some people in the CJ movement have criticisms about others? And what happens when some people write others out of the movement? This was a real problem after Paris, which many of our more ultra left brothers and sisters criticized for not being something that it could never have been. E.g. many people took the position that Paris was a failure because it is not legally binding. When this was never, ever, on the table. There are lots of other examples, around effort sharing, around market mechanisms, around the nature and limits of “blockadia,” about nuclear as a transition fuel, about 1.5C as a realistic target, etc.

      My proposed solution to this problem is that people should feel free to respectfully criticize others, but that when they do so they should be very clear about the theory of change that underlies their criticism.

  2. David Jones says:

    I appreciate Nathan’s insight and wisdom and agree with the vast majority of his analysis. But I would like to challenge the “no winning formula/ broad alliance/ intersectionality” point and suggest there is a tendency within the movement to fetishize consensus, a tendency which must be confronted. This ties in to his suggestion to “embrace paradox”. In the abstract, and perhaps as a coping mechanism, I understand the value, and of course we guard against dogmatism. But when engaged in a struggle for survival, with a defined time limit and few resources, I would suggest we need to be aware of when paradox crosses into contradiction, relativism and a sort of anti-politics, an avoidance of antagonism and confrontation at the expense of rigor.
    In my opinion, the movement needs reflection, evaluation and debate leading to consolidation and unity, not silos and dispersion. The “movement of movements” approach has led to fragmentation and chasing after brushfires, which can always be set faster than we can put them out. This sounds like a hard line and it is.

    On the issue of “acceleration”, I was personally happy Trump won and would welcome an economic crash so I guess I prefer “the cruel slavemaster” over the more tolerant. With Trump there may be a one-in-ten chance people are radicalized, with Hillary it was one-in-fifty. In this sense, those “progressive causes” which hope to save capitalism from itself, thereby prolonging the misery and degradation, are too often a counter-productive panacea when they promote market-based solutions or a dependency on capitalist “democracy”. Twenty years ago I had a different approach but our situation is much changed.

    As for John’s question about “best idea”, I suggest messaging that has a strong focus on market failure. This notion of “competitive renewables” only legitimizes the notion that cost and price have a rational relationship. We should not join in the celebration of a growing economy. Educating people on the perverse incentives and signalling caused by energy pricing (coal, oil, wind or solar) helps combat the rapid rise of economic libertarian thinking.

    • nathanthanki says:

      Hi David! Absoutely. There is a time and a place for nuance and there is a time and a place for taking a simple stand. I make these critiques very much from within the fold, because I was afforded the opportunity to do so – most of the time I am speaking and writing in a much more dogmatic campaigning tone, where there isn’t paradox there are only clear demands and targets. So, perhaps that’s another paradox or contradiction to add to the list: explore contradiction but don’t let it prevent you from taking very deliberate action.

      I think we’ll continue to disagree on the question of acceleration. I am not in the US, and was no Clinton fan, but I think recent events in VA show that she and Trump were not the same, and that Trump’s victory did in fact open up a space for even worse forces to rally, and that has had/will have terrible impact on vulnerable and marginalised communities. So even if Trump’s victory also opened the possibility for more people (or well… liberals) to be radicalised towards the “far left” (hello!) I am not sure it’s worth it on balance.

      • David Jones says:

        I get your point about nuance, Nathan, and about different approaches in the context of different settings. I also understand your position on acceleration and am actually losing hope Trump was the kind of Event that would cause a rupture. I lately joined a “climate roundtable” where folks seem interested in putting forth legislation to ban sale of fossil fueled cars ( ala Europe) . They still have faith in the “process”, in “democratic capitalism”. It is touching in a way. They think our Senator might carry the bill!

  3. John Foran, UC Santa Barbara says:

    Thanks, Dave for kickstarting a discussion! Let me introduce you to the discussion as a member of the Missoula, Montana Zapatista group [aka ZooZaps], and a great comrade, thinker, and drinking companion. So I know you have written those lines with love.

    Heck, I might as well introduce Nathan to o as an amazing member of the global climate justice movement, who started as a strongly-principled member of the youth group, and now at the tender age of whatever, is a strong and active member of the movement, full stop. Also a super nice and good and lively person.

    Now to the matters at hand. I don’t see a major tendency to “fetishize consensus” in the groups I am part of or in touch with in the GCJM [Global Climate Justice Movement] or locally on the ground. Most of the time I see respect for all views expressed, but then the group moves to a decision, consensus or no. So I think some lessons have been learned there (and this is no disrespect for groups that work on consensus, for in many contexts it only makes decisions and commitments stronger).

    I agree with the “acceleration” thesis, as Dave puts it, and think the observations in the paragraph on Trump and Hillary is spot on, tho0ugh I am not in a welcoming mood for an economic crash.

    In terms of messages and communication, I also agree with Dave that pointing to the failures of capitalism and corporate-captured democracies is useful and point in the direction of a democratic ecosocialism as an alternative. That said, I am very much interested n and tend to favor the allied concepts, models, and movements that fly under the banners of buen vivir, degrowth, transition towns, the ZAD, commoning, Community Rights (in the US), and the new municipal movements, among many other great new ways of doing and being that are springing up everywhere (many of them under the radar of most of the channels we may have access to).

    Given the above diversity, I don’t foresee “consolidation and unity” per se in the movement of movements (my name for which is the Global Climate Justice Movement), but rater a drive to move every orientation one degree more to ward the radical side of the GCJM, and to come together (in allyship, coalition, whatever we call it) for specific purposes.

    All of this together is what makes movements stronger and more radical.

    Time is short, and that’s why I want to have this conversation, so if you are interested, jump in and invite others everywhere to come for a visit!

    • Maria Linares says:

      Reading Holloway’s passage is a refreshing take on revolutionary ideas that furthers radical thoughts. Sometimes small acts are dismissed as trivial, yet are able to spark thoughts when given credit, which is important because that will inspire the everyday person to seek change.

  4. jborin says:

    @ John Foran,

    I just watched your video “The Global Climate Justice Movement Must Gear Up for Taking Political Power.” I thought the passage you chose to read from John Holloway’s book “Crack Capitalism” was the perfect choice! Although it was pretty long, I think it was very powerful in showing how much one person can make a difference in showing what they believe in. However, I agree that we need more people to make a change. With numbers there is power. We need to come together to help make this difference.

    -Jessica Borin, UC Santa Barbara, INT133B Course

  5. Dominic909 says:

    I like the idea that we need to create a powerful political culture and the idea of taking political power away from those whom contain it. However, who will be given the power and is the idea similar to the idea of democracy?

  6. Quan Bui, UC Santa Barbara says:

    I think the best way forward would be not straggling on multiple paths but rather in unison and hand in hand on one path to confront the people in charge.

    • asaldana says:

      As we discussed in lecture today, many aspects contribute to the climate crisis we are in. While unity is strong, people hold many intersectional identities/ struggles that others may not be able to relate to, meaning they will have their own approach to ignite change. I believe that as long as we are all aiming for one goal- to change the world with radical, revolutionary activism- the path we all take to get there is unimportant.

      • Taylorsims says:

        I agree with this. However I feel like a good start to the movement would be to start as one and then kind of branch off into kind of subgroups and be under one big umbrella group. Like you said, unity is strong. Having everyone on one accord might be more effective than a thousand groups trying to attack the same issue and evoke change.

  7. Jonathan Salazar, UC Santa Barbara says:

    I slightly disagree with John Foran’s view on Capitalism. I would agree that, without regulation, Capitalism would lead us to waste our natural resources as it currently is. However, if we give incentives to corporations that are actively trying to fight anthropogenic climate change, it would be more economical to build a sustainable company.

  8. rene_perez says:

    As we learn more about how we can all partake in making the people take control of the future, how do we make sure that those who don’t want the world to change for the better don’t sabotage the movement?

  9. nataliaalamilla says:

    I agree in that social change is not produced by activists but instead social change is the outcome of the barely visible transformation of the daily activities of millions of people. Social activism can only go so far in impacting how people decide on how to address issues and make changes. Impactful change will occur when the world, as a collective, will make beneficial changes in their daily lives in hopes of a better future.

  10. Devyn Napier says:

    I enjoyed the quote by John Holloway that you shared. I think it is important for understanding the influence of a grassroots approach to “cracking capitalism” that relies on many people (from different aspects of life) coming together and doing their part (be it small or large), to make change.

  11. Cguijosa says:

    Can you elaborate on why capitalism is functioning in a way that promotes “endless growth ,obscene inequality, violence, and militarism” and is capitalism inherently a model intertwined with these burdens or is it our current priorities that are causing this?

  12. n_herr says:

    I agree everyone must see it from all sides in order to make a change. You can have all the activist’s and people’s support, but it won’t matter unless everyone is involved especially those in power. I have also read for a previous class that there is no way the global economy can work without capitalism and I am curious to see other people’s view. Is there a possible way to function without it or is it really what keeps us going?

  13. faby14 says:

    I really liked the quote you shared because it shows how one does not need to participate in marches, protests, or boycotts to make a difference. The daily decisions one makes throughout the day can lead to social change.

    -Fabiola Figueroa, UC Santa Barbara

  14. o_cabrera says:

    John Holloway was absolutely right. His “from the ground-up” approach reminds me of what some scientists claim about mass extinctions: those at the bottom will rise to the top and those at the top will fall. Interestingly enough, religion makes similar claims.

    I agree about the need to learn the art of building political cultures. There’s strength in numbers and we need to expand, what Benedict Anderson calls, our “imagined communities”, which would bring people together in consciousness even if they’ve never met.

  15. valdelT says:

    I really enjoyed listening to the passage from John Holloway’s book, Crack Capitalism. I agree, that social change begins through our daily actions. Also, I agree that we have to learn to build political cultures that can come together through a common goal and can gain political power. This can be the way to create successful social movements, considering that powerful politicians have their own political agenda that can fail to represent the population, marginalized groups, and other individuals.

  16. Kassandra Perez, UC Santa Barbara says:

    I enjoyed the passage from John Holloway’s, Crack Capitalism when he mentions that social change can stem from our routine activities. People can contribute in small ways and these actions can still lead to social change.

  17. Gabi says:

    I also really enjoyed the passage from Holloway’s book, and the quote that social change comes from people making small changes in their everyday lives. Even changing the most seemingly insignificant things can go a long way in the long run.

  18. Maleiguzman says:

    I also enjoyed the passage from John Holloway’s, Crack Capitalism. I feel like the passage makes people realize that change starts with the actions they do no matter how small those actions may be.

  19. David Jones says:

    Realizing I will quickly gain a reputation as a contrarian, I believe the “small changes in everyday lives” approach is far, far too easy, too risk-averse, to meet the challenges we face. And it is telling, from a psychological perspective, that so many are so quick to find a minimalist approach that appealing. A quick glance at the science shows we need a massive, global, revolutionary Event/ Response- so how do we imagine such a thing?

    While I know Holloway’s heart is in the right place and our group takes it’s name from his concept of urban Zapatismo, I feel he overstates the possibilities of ” local autonomy” while we remain firmly embedded in the capitalist power structure. Any such autonomy (in N. America) is partial and constrained and far removed from the context of the Lacondan jungle. The counter-cultural movement of the 60’s showed the limits of creating autonomy- better to face directly our colonization and begin there.

    To N_Herr’s point about “seeing from all sides”, I find this problematic. What I believe we need is a return to the political, an antagonistic, contested space without which democracy is impossible. Take a stand and defend it (that’s why it’s called struggle!) To understand why capitalism is actually destroying the Economy ( in the sense of metabolism or pareto equilibrium) , we need only look at the effect of externalities on markets (especially energy markets), how totally distorted price signals are causing such perverse incentives. Market failure on an existential level, right?

  20. ilhernandez says:

    I liked the passage from John Holloway’s text and how people doing a small part can make a difference. Many say they want to help with making the world a better place, but think that because they are only one person, their part will not make a difference. On the contrary, if one person began doing something and began informing others about it, many others could become involved. It would be like a domino effect where once somebody starts doing something, the others will follow. Any contribution to making the world better does make a difference and everyone should do their part.

  21. Jen says:

    I appreciated John emphasizing that no one really knows which is the best way for the movement to take power throughout the world. Showing that there are uncertainties assures others that it is possible to contribute to the movement themselves.

  22. ilhernandez says:

    I completely agree with what Nathan Thanki said about how others say that you should not scare people and cause fear in the community, but it is the only way to keep people aware that they will be affected. You should not have to sugar-coat things for others especially in such a serious topic because they are things that continue accelerating and that have become unavoidable.
    -Irma Hernandez

    • nathanthanki says:

      Hi Irma! I think it’s really important not to lead people to believe that the situation isn’t as bad as it really is – in fact this to do so is quite patronising, as we’re basically assuming people “can’t handle the truth.” Anyway, the point as I see it is not about leading people through optimism or fear but to light a fire in them that they themselves sustain. One that burns for justice and more importantly one that spreads. Whether “woke” or not, whether optimist or not, by ourselves we can make no change. It’s only collective action that drives change.

  23. Dlopezcortez says:

    I enjoyed John presenting that just because it involves one person, that doesn’t mean they can’t contribute because every and any little action taken can make a difference. It is important to emphasize and preach this to eventually creating a world our children and grandchildren will be able to live in. As for us, we will leave our children and grandchildren to live in the world we ourselves are comfortable leaving them in.

  24. Dlopezcortez says:

    I enjoyed watching Nathan’s argument that “x+y does not always result in a victory” because the actions we make, or choices for that matter need to be carefully analyzed and give a productive result. Actions will always have consequences, we as society must be able to make responsible and positive actions that ensure a better world to live in. He also states that any insight and understanding of being involved in movements matter, which I completely agree. Through many people, movements are successful whether you are a volunteer or well-known successful being. All contributions are effective and important.

    • nathanthanki says:

      Very true! I also stated that having “leaders” and “spokespeople” has a strategic value – it’s just that without a movement such individuals are nothing (sometimes, I think, they can forget).

  25. Dlopezcortez says:

    I very much was intrigued by Emily’s viewpoint in how all things that are being challenged or attacked such as gender inequality, religious freedom and gender rights are all interconnected by climate change whether we are aware of it or not. We all need to understand that climate change impacts our livelihoods and if we want to build a better future for ourselves to be able to live in, change is needed. Both people and nature have been exploited by a selected few systemic routes, an example is climate change.

  26. ilhernandez says:

    What caught my attention throughout Emily Williams’ talk was the fact that she is right about how things such as the exploitation of humans and nature are used for “the economy.” She mentions how the places that are chosen for things such as power plants are not random. They are strongly focused on communities of lower income and people of color. If you have the money and needs necessary, you could adapt easier because you can afford making changes. There are many low income families that live paycheck by paycheck to survive and they accept endangering their health because they have no other choice. This is not right for anybody to not have any other choice just because of class or race.
    -Irma Hernandez

  27. jborin says:

    @ Climate Fear, Truth, and the Public: Discussion of the New York Magazine Article, “The Uninhabitable Earth” -Ezra Silk, Margaret Klein Salamon, and Anya Grenier

    I agree that it is difficult to say how people exactly will respond to this article. Some people may react with fear and want to give up but others may need this fear and the facts in order for people to feel the need to take action. Either way, it has good intentions to try to make people aware of what’s going on and feel like they need to take action! We all really need to! It’s great there are already projects going on to help.

    Jessica Borin, UC Santa Barbara, INT133B

  28. Shiyla Terry, UC Santa Barbara says:

    In response to “Get Comfortable with Paradox”:
    I really appreciated what was said about treating this fight against global warming as a movement.
    Paraphrasing >> To put the focus on putting food on people’s plates, keeping people’s lights on, and organizing to help those who are being presently affected instead of just using people’s struggles as selling points for the climate change movement.
    I think this is a great way to get people more involved, myself included. I am very critical of the fight against global warming because I feel like it’s a privileged problem. A lot of what I hear is about how everyone needs to become vegan and fight consumerism, and while I’m sure that’s a big part, people are trying to survive and just get by. And everyone – especially those communities who seem to be the most affected right now by global warming – cannot afford to spend their time and resources on improving the environment. But if there is a shift from spewing information to people and trying to make people care about the environment to working with communities to build solar plants, introducing cheap produce and helping communities cultivate community gardens (especially in poor areas, not just in neo-liberal hot zones like Santa Barbara and Isla Vista where people thrift for fun and eat kale and chia seeds because google says that’s how you cleanse your soul). Globally, people should be organizing to target the poorest areas and bring them these things that we think will save our planet future tense while helping people in the here and now.

    • nathanthanki says:

      I didn’t have time to get in to it properly in my talk but the inequity of climate change is astounding. The historical responsibility (of carbon emissions) of industrialised countries and of a a few dozen corporations far outweighs that of most of humanity. And partially it was because of this ecological plunder that we have such global economic inequality – inequality which leaves many people in the global south particularly vulnerable to climate shocks (and in general). Yet so many of us readily fall into the US-pushed line that “China and India must do more”. I mean, they do – but the reason they do is because the rich countries didn’t address their pollution problem, they instead outsourced it. And it’s a bit mad to tell communities that don’t have 24 hour electricity that they need to turn their lights off etc.

      I’m glad Shiyla that you are coming to see climate change as a global existential crisis that further entrenches every existing injustice, rather than just a middle class issue.

      • David Jones says:

        Few would argue against the need to help those struggling the most but how does the climate movement, a loose collection of marginal groups, somehow gain the capacity to do development aid on any scale? From what source might that capacity arise? My worry is we take on too much ( the role of the State?), get spread too thin and fail at the main mission- stopping emissions while we de-legitimize capitalism. So I am all about prioritizing and adopting a realistic strategy.

  29. Shiyla Terry, UC Santa Barbara says:

    In response to “‘Safe’ Climate Change?”:
    I think that this is where fear politics would come in handy. You have to scare the hell out of people because the fight against climate change seems to only be a major issue to those losing their lives and their homes and those who study the issue. For the rest of the public, we imagine that we’ll be dead already before the effects are most apparent. As far as putting fire under the butts of Americans, national effects of climate change need to be more publicized by media that’s used more widely. Not just documentaries on NatGeo. The majority of Americans aren’t very concerned with tsunamis in Greenland, and while polar bears floating on broken ice is sad when you’re looking at it, it’s not nearly enough to disrupt most people’s lives. Show us diagrams of how Florida is predicted to be under water in so much time, or how the dust bowl region will cause increased food scarcity. Let Americans know that the western world is not safe or exempt, and people will take action.

  30. jborin says:

    @ Emily Williams video,

    That is an interesting point to bring up about how a 2 degree Celsius increase was brought up as still being in a safe range. It’s unbelievable that we have already gone up 1 degree Celsius and some places are already having affects from this. I can’t even imagine the effects of an increase in just one more degree Celsius.

    -Jessica Borin

  31. says:

    I appreciated all of the presentations in this session. I particularly resonated with some of the discussions on the psychology of fear in Ezra, Anya and Mararet’s presentation and the topic brought up in Emily’s about local solutions being needed in addition to broad top-down solutions.

    One psycholgical topic that was not brought up that I think also plays a role is that of ego. Whether it be the ego of those in power, those who want maintain “being right”, those who want credit for any successes, or those who want to continue to have their wealth and state of living get better (most of us). This is part of the backbone of capitalism and part of human nature. The topic of fear plays in because when our ego is not satified (or risks not being satisfied), fear often enters the realm.

    The topic of ego also centers a bit around attachment -wanting certain things and having our actions center around getting those things, whether it be the latest car, gadget, or (sadly) another fix from a drug.

    These issues are core to most of us in one way or another and ways to address them I believe are therefore critical to address the climate challenges we face.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply