Yes, part of that is the climate crisis: we live in a world that’s been profoundly and dangerously altered.
But the politics of climate change are changing too, and some weeks you can feel a tangible shift in what is possible and what is not.
This is one of those weeks, and Global Divestment Day is a chance to be part of that shift. Together, people all over the world are changing the game and putting fossil fuels on the defensive.
1. Divestment is winning
In just over 2 years, this grassroots movement that started on college and university campuses has the fossil fuel industry running scared.
The fossil fuel industry is spending millions trying to counter this movement.
First they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
Divestment could just help buy us the time we need to sort the climate crisis once and for all.
2. Everyone’s talking about it…
…from the World Bank, the United Nations, Obama, Goldman Sachs, the International Montery Fund, Missy Higgins, your bank, your super fund, your next door neighbour, their kids, their friends – the list goes on.
3. It’s more effective than burying your head in the sand on climate…
…which is what the Australian Government is doing.
4. It shows solidarity
Image: 350.org, Flickr CC BY NC SA 2.0
Around the world, people are already suffering the tragic impacts of dangerous climate change.
Pacific Islanders are fighting to keep their homes above water. Farmers are fighting crippling droughts.
Our Asian neighbours are fighting increasingly severe and frequent extreme weather events. Divestment is a way for us to stand with these communities and show we wont sit idly by as the fossil fuel industry wrecks their homes, livelihoods and cultures.
5. Anyone can do it
We’re all unwittingly supporting the fossil fuel industry – whether it’s via our super, bank or other institutions we’re connected to – each of us can divest and play a powerful role in unlocking the climate deadlock.
6. It’ll be fun
Here in Australia, there’ll be performances by Cat Empire’s Felix Riebl, thousand-person fossil fuel break-up rallies, human carbon bubbles, mock drill rig installations and giant human signs. [And in Canberra, there’ll be a guided conversation with leaders of divestment in faith groups. That’s where I’ll be. – Gill]
In other countries, there’ll be everything from umbrella parties in the Himalayas, mobilisations in the financial districts of New York and London, and creative actions in Burkina Faso.
7. It’s one of the best chances we’ve got
The fossil fuel industry has corrupted our political processes, degraded our land and water, divided local communities and now it’s radically altering the atmosphere and the world as we know it.
As leaders meet in Paris at the end of 2015, we know they won’t act in accordance with the urgency of the crisis so long as the fossil fuel industry’s power goes unchecked.
Divestment can take back this power and speed up the transition to a cleaner, brighter, better future for all.
So we’ll be seeing you at Global Divestment Day right?
Click here to register for Global Divestment Day that kicks off at the end of this week. (UPDATE: Global Divestment Day was a huge success – read more here. To get more news from the global divestment movement, click here.)
But if you really can’t make it or don’t live near an event, here are 3 important things you can do instead:
1. Divest your bank
- Click here to see whether your Australian bank is financing fossil fuels
- Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to switch banks
- Click here for a letter to send your current bank to explain why you’re leaving
- Click here for a letter to send your new fossil free bank to explain why you’re joining them
2. Divest your retirement/superannuation fund
If you’re in Australia you can click here to see where your super fund stands on fossil fuels. You can then contact your super fund via Super Switch to ask your fund to stop investing in fossil fuels. Or you can search for a fund that is fossil free.
3. Change your profile picture on social media to demand divestment
Call on your bank, super fund, favourite celebrity, local council, faith group, politicians, school, university or other local institution to stop financing climate destruction. Click here to change your profile picture today.
I can’t wait to see what we’ll do together for Global Divestment Day this Friday and Saturday around the world.
PS: Did you hear that the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund just divested from dozens of fossil fuel companies including 40 coal companies? Like and share here.
“We’re in a much better situation to win but we need to understand that this is a window. This is the last moment to be complacent.” – Naomi Klein, Global Divestment Day Web Workshop, 28 January 2015
This is an edited guest post by Charlie Wood from 350.org.au. Charlie knows that moving your money and changing your banking to a financial institution that doesn’t finance fossil fuel projects and businesses is a very powerful act