Posts filed under ‘Social Justice’

Sustainable Activism: Managing Hope and Despair in Social Movements

activismSustainable activism has what (Antonio) Gramsci called a ‘pessimism of the intellect’ which can avoid wishful thinking and face reality as squarely as possible. However it also retains an ‘optimism of the will’, an inner conviction that things can be different. By holding optimism and pessimism in tension, sustainable activism is better able to handle despair, and it has less need to resort to binary thinking as a way of engaging with reality. It can hold contradictions so that they don’t become either/or polarities and can work both in and against the system

… sustainable activism holds that it is never too late. In the context of climate change it is able to face the truth that some irreversible processes of change are already occurring; that the two degrees limit in the increase in global temperatures agreed at the 2015 Paris climate conference may not be achieved; that bad outcomes are inevitable, and that some are already happening. Nevertheless it also insists that this makes our struggles all the more vital to reduce the scale and significance of these future outcomes, to fight for the ‘least-worst’ results we can achieve, and to ensure that the world of our grandchildren and their children is as habitable as possible.

Read Sustainable Activism: Managing Hope and Despair in Social Movements by Paul Hoggett, Rosemary Randall at OpenDemocracy.

December 19, 2016 at 11:57 am Leave a comment

The Price Tag of Being Young: Climate Change and Millennials’ Economic Future

Millennials are already facing many difficulties in an economy slowly recovering from the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. Quality full-time jobs are often out of reach for many young people, wages have stagnated, and millennials have less wealth and financial stability than previous generations.

But millennials face a challenge unlike anything previous generations have had to tackle. Unless our elected leaders take aggressive and immediate action, the millennial generation will have to live with the devastating economic health and environmental impacts of climate change.

Climate change will have a significant impact on millennials’ household incomes and wealth, with rapidly worsening effects by mid-century, as the youngest millennials reach their peak earning years. In this report, we investigate these economic losses for millennials and future generations if we fail to act on climate change, compared to a scenario of no climate change.

Read the key findings or download the report The Price Tag of Being Young: Climate Change and Millennials’ Economic Future at Demos.org

November 16, 2016 at 11:44 am Leave a comment

Before the Flood Documentary

Join Leonardo DiCaprio as he explores the topic of climate change, and discovers what must be done today to prevent catastrophic disruption of life on our planet. Free viewing from Oct. 30 through Nov. 6.

Read an excellent review of the documentary by Transition Town co-founder, Rob Hopkins, HERE>>

 

 

October 31, 2016 at 10:40 am 2 comments

Can agroecology feed the world and save the planet?

africaThe big question often asked is: can agroecological farming really feed the world, with the global population hurtling towards 9.6 billion by 2050? It’s clear that there’s increasing evidence it could.

A landmark 2001 study by Jules Pretty and Rachel Hine examined 208 projects from 52 countries and found yield increases of 50-100% for rain-fed crops like maize. The cases studied involved 9 million farmers on around 3% of all of the farmed land in Asia, Africa and Latin America and the increases were typically bigger at lower yields, indicating greater benefits for the poorest farmers.

Read Can agroecology feed the world and save the planet? by Henrietta Moore at The Guardian.

 


“The climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.”

Sunday, October 16, 1:00 – 3:30 pm

Knox-St Paul’s United Church, 800 – 12th St West (off McConnell)

Join Transition Cornwall +Food Action Group, All Things Food SDG Community Food Network, and Knox – St. Paul’s United Church for a FREE day of discussion, learning, and food in celebration of United Nations World Food Day 2016.

In honour of World Food Day, we have invited special guest, Kate Green from USC Canada, to address this year’s theme “The climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.” Key talking points will include food production, globalization, climate change, and the role of local versus global communities. For anyone curious about the local versus global food system issues and opportunities, this is a presentation and discussion not to miss!

Following Kate Green’s presentation, we will host “Frugal Food Preservation”, a hands-on educational activity to help attendees learn the basic for harvest food preservation. If you have ever wanted to learn to pickle, ferment or dehydrate, our experts will be on site to help guide and answer all of your questions. 

Soup, bread, and refreshments will be provided courtesy of Transition Cornwall +.

October 10, 2016 at 10:48 am Leave a comment

New Normal: A victim is displaced by Climate Change Disaster every Second

Climate change and related extreme weather events have devastated the lives and livelihoods of tens of millions of most vulnerable people worldwide– by far exceeding the total of all the unfortunate and unjustifiable victims of all terrorist attacks combined. However, the unstoppable climate crisis receives just a tiny fraction of mainstream media attention. See these dramatic facts.

“Every second, one person is displaced by disaster,” the Oslo-based Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) reports. “In 2015 only, more than 19.2 million people fled disasters in 113 countries. “Disasters displace three to ten times more people than conflict and war worldwide.”

September 21, 2016 at 9:46 am Leave a comment

Are Positive Stories Enough?

ThriveOne question has cropped up repeatedly: In a world filled with melting ice caps, war, species extinctions, and economic peril, how can I possibly argue that the small-scale actions I write about can transform the bigger picture for the better?

Belief in the possibility of change is a huge if intangible positive. So, too, is the proliferation of new social and economic models – from commoning, transition, and sharing, to local money, off-grid energy, and maker spaces. These are the infrastructure of the next economy – only they’re based on social energy, not concrete.

But back to that first question: do these myriad stories add up to a viable alternative to the system that’s wrecking the place now? On their own, probably not. But for me, the most important unfolding transformation of all is the emergence, in many places at once, of a new understanding of our place in the world.

Having worked hard throughout the modern era to lift ourselves ‘above’ nature, we are now being told by modern science that man and nature are one, after all.

This new story is, to put it mildly, a rather large ‘narrative adjustment.’ But it is neither utopian, nor fantastical. It speaks to our innate compulsion to change, progress, and create – indeed, to grow – but with new kinds of growth in mind: Soils, biodiversity and watersheds getting healthier; more cooperation and social connectivity; communities becoming more resilient.

Read Are Positive Stories Enough? by John Thackara at Doors of Perception.

February 3, 2016 at 11:14 am Leave a comment

Paul Hawken – Project Drawdown

One of the most important thought leaders, activists and entrepreneurs of our era will illuminate the groundbreaking Project Drawdown. It’s the first systematic attempt to do the math on the most effective climate solutions and technologies that already exist, and the impact they would have if they scaled in a rigorous manner over the next 30 years. This coalition of NGOs, academics, scholars, scientists, businesses and government agencies has come together to measure the impact of 100 substantive solutions to mitigating carbon emissions to determine if, when and how we can achieve a year-to-year drawdown in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. The news is good.

 

December 21, 2015 at 11:34 am Leave a comment

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