1. Talk Climate.
Read news about Climate Science and Climate Policy. We recommend Grist, The Guardian, The National Observer and the Canadian Climate Challenge. It’s also useful to follow scientists like Peter Kalmus, Michael Mann and Katharine Hayhoe and activists and organizers like Mary Heglar, Greta Thunberg, Bill McKibben, George Monbiot and Dallas Goldtooth on social media. Then talk about what you learn. Even if it’s awkward. Even if you have to bring up extinction at a family potluck. We cannot let the tyranny of politeness prevent us from meeting this crisis head on.
2. Take action.
It might mean reducing your own footprint, it might mean convincing neighbours to do the same, it might mean trying to change how things are done in your workplace, it might mean attending a protest. You don’t have to do everything, but you have to do something. Our open-ended pledge system gives you lots of options to choose from. Or you might want to run a Climate Picnic to get people talking in your neighbourhood.
3. Join a group.
We can’t emphasize enough how important this is — a group will keep you on track and expand your options for action, but it will also give you a chance to socialize with people who understand the severity our situation (which is so, so good for climate anxiety). These groups are Toronto specific, but many of them — like Extinction Rebellion and 350.org — are international and will have chapters in your town. If you’re in the U.S., the Sunrise Movement is also making waves.
Which group is right for you?
- Artists for Climate, Migrant Justice and Indigenous Sovereignty is a community of artists who collaborate on projects to tell the truth about our situation and educate people. (https://www.facebook.com/Artists-for-Climate-Migrant-Justice-and-Indigenous-Sovereignty-400270330557741/)
- Carbon Conversations TO focusses on small group discussions about how our visions of a better world connect with our day-to-day actions and decisions. A great chance to examine your own carbon footprint — and what you can do better. (https://www.carbonconversationsto.com/)
- Climate Fast is an experienced group with many projects on the go. They focus on education and political lobbying. (http://www.climatefast.ca/)
- Climate Justice TO is an up-and-coming group of young people focussed on the connections between climate issues and social justice issues like migrant rights, workers’ rights and indigenous sovereignty. (https://www.facebook.com/climatejusticeto/)
- Drawdown Toronto helps educate people about the many inspiring solutions catalogued by the Project Drawdown research network. (http://www.unifytoronto.ca/)
- Extinction Rebellion Toronto plans spectacular protests and civil disobedience to demand that governments and the media tell the truth about our climate crisis and take real action immediately. They aim to mobilize 3.5% of the population to partake in sustained disruptions in order to force the government to change. It is currently one of the fastest growing climate groups in the city. (https://extinctionrebelliontoronto.org/)
- Fridays for Future Youth Climate Strike and Parents for Future The Fridaysforfuture school strikes inspired by Greta Thunberg have been huge in Toronto and they are currently gathering support for a general strike on September 27th. (https://www.facebook.com/fridaysforfutureto/) Parents for Future is the adult solidarity group that promotes and supports their efforts. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/315639955787460/)
- Green Neighbours’ Network is a network of neighbourhood groups who plan and promote environmental projects on different scales. (https://greenneighboursnetwork.ca/)
- Mobilize TO is a small grassroots group focussed on lobbying City Hall to bring TransformTO in line with the science. (http://mobilizeto.ca/)
- Porcupine Warriors this is a city-based indigenous group that supports frontline struggles. Follow them on Facebook, attend their protests and offer support. (https://www.facebook.com/porcupinewarriors/)
- Toronto350 is one of the oldest climate groups in the city. They are focussed on divestment, indigenous solidarity and fighting pipelines. They are currently doing non-partisan climate door-knocking among other projects. (https://www.toronto350.org/)
- Toronto Climate Save combines climate-consciousness with a focus on animal rights. For example, they protest the deforestation of the Amazon by beef farmers. (https://www.facebook.com/torontoclimatesave/)
4. Join the Global Climate Strike in September.
Youth are calling for an international week of climate action starting on September 20th and they are asking adults to join them in carrying the weight. In Canada, this will culminate in a general strike on September 27th.