What’s next: 9 ways to build on the climate strike momentum
From September 20 to 27 2019, more than 7.6 million people across the globe rose up for climate justice. Across Canada, more than 800,000 took part – making this the largest climate mobilization in global history. That’s incredible!
Youth are demanding change. It’s up to the rest of us to show we’re truly listening and taking meaningful action.
So, what’s next? If we stop here, it’s not going to be enough to achieve the level of change we need. It will take all of us, youth and adults, continuing to build the pressure even further. Individual actions are great, but what we need most is collective effort to make system-wide changes. That means everyone, together.
Here are nine ways you can help deepen the impact of the Global Climate Strikes:
1. Support the youth and kids in your life. Ask questions and listen to what they say, think and feel about climate change. Get outside to connect with nature together. For Our Kids offers resources for taking climate-friendly action as a family, talking with your kids and dealing with climate grief. If you’re a teacher, get resources for learning and talking about the climate emergency with your students with Sierra Club BC’s teacher resource package. Learn how to teach your students about climate justice in BC with this resource from CCPA and BCTF.
2. Talk to your friends, neighbours, coworkers, family members, local leaders, elected representatives, and your kids’ teachers. Tell them why you support climate striking youth and why we need to take bold action together to tackle the climate emergency. If you want to connect with people in your community, why not start by hosting a conversation at your home or local community centre? If you have kids, connect with the parents of other kids at your school. Get tips for talking about climate change here, here, here, and here.
3. Organize with Sierra Club BC. Join the movement to defend old-growth forests that protect us from climate change by signing up to volunteer with our outreach teams.
4. Educate yourself on the root causes. Colonial structures rooted in racism and dispossession of Indigenous peoples are fueling the climate crisis. People of colour, migrants, Indigenous peoples and marginalized communities tend to be most affected by its impacts. We can only achieve lasting, equitable climate solutions by understanding how these dynamics continue to shape our society and working to transform them. This means listening to and following Indigenous leadership. Learn why Indigenous rights need to be at the forefront of climate solutions by following Indigenous Climate Action. Follow Indigenous leaders and thinkers on social media. Learn more about Indigenous perspectives and our shared history on this land with readings, courses, resources and workshops from the University of Victoria Indigenous Law Research Unit, Reconciliation Canada, Indigenous Perspectives Society, Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Unsettling Canada 150, CBC and the University of Alberta.
5. Take action online. Sign your name on actions to help stop fossil fuel expansion, defend the climate and support a clean energy transition that respects Indigenous rights.
6. Skill up to spread the word. Learn how protecting old-growth forests is one of the most important climate actions you can take with this Sierra Club BC webinar. Share and listen to our podcast with inspiring ideas about the clean energy transition. Join an online climate justice training with GlobalClimateStrike.net or 350.org and read the Climate Resistance Handbook.
7. Keep mobilizing in the streets. Climate strikes are still happening, and the kids in your life may want you to be involved. Support them! Get training and resources at GlobalClimateStrike.net and follow #FridaysForFuture to learn more or register a strike. Find youth climate strike organizers in your community and ask them how you can help. In Victoria, contact Our Earth, Our Future. In Vancouver, follow the Sustainabiliteens. Link in with the national movement at Climate Strike Canada. Show up!
8. Speak out on social media. Greta Thunberg has inspired people around the world, but she’s not the only one. Follow and amplify the voices of Indigenous youth and youth of colour who are calling for climate justice – leaders like Autumn Peltier, Isra Hirsi, Tekanang and Mari Copeny. Make a personal commitment to taking tangible climate actions in your life and share your personal story on social media to encourage others to act too. When talking about climate strikes, use the hashtags #GlobalClimateStrike, #EarthStrike, #FridaysForFuture and #ClimateStrike.
9. Contribute. Offer your skills as a volunteer – while being mindful that this is about standing behind youth leaders. If you’re a facilitator or teacher, why not offer a workshop or skill-share? If you have financial resources, please donate generously to groups working on climate justice. Sierra Club BC is one of many groups working for a livable climate – support us or others. If you’re already giving, make a commitment to increase your level of support or become a monthly donor.
There’s a massive and growing community of people committed to transforming our economies in a way that works for us all – workers, youth, families, immigrants, Indigenous peoples – everyone. We can meet the challenge of radically reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and making a just transition to a clean energy economy, but only if we work together.
We’re in. Are you?
Photos and video of the September 27 climate strike in Victoria on Lekwungen territory by Mya Van Woudenberg.