avatarRay Katz


The Cure For Disruptive Climate Action

You prevent climate disruptors the same way that you prevent the Warsaw ghetto uprising; you fix the actual problem.

Photo by Jordan McDonald on Unsplash | Effective resistance starts as a small disturbance, before becoming a torrent.

So, I’m thinking about the activists who unfurled a banner that said “No Opera On A Dead Planet” and interrupted a performance at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. And I’m thinking about the Warsaw uprising, when Jews in occupied Poland resisted deportation and execution by the Nazis. In both cases, the resistance did not succeed.

But there was a second bigger failure: the failure of world leaders to heed the warnings and take action. The Allies did not bomb the train tracks leading to concentration camps. And, even though the COPs were called in (pun intended) to fix the climate, they dithered — yet again.

The latest charade by the fools who consistently fail to take meaningful action on the climate crisis are holding their 28th COP clown show in — of all places — Dubai, and headed by — of all people — a sheik who is CEO of the Earth’s biggest oil company. The media is breathlessly covering this event as if it has significance, even though it follows 27 similar conferences, all of which failed.

Here’s a secret that you know in your heart, but you won’t find in the media: the leaders of the world in government and business WILL NEVER FIX THE CLIMATE CRISIS. If we continue to waste time listening to them and hoping, our children are doomed, as are most of the species that share this planet with us.

The leaders, the media, and all who promote delay or inaction are quite literally insane. Yes, that’s right. INSANE. Is this hyperbole?

That depends: Would you call people who destroy the habitability of the planet that they and everyone they love live on insane? I would. And so would more than a billion other people — if that idea ever made it into public discourse. These billion plus people would ridicule the sheik and everyone who attended his conference as failures and fools — which is exactly what they are. These billion would refuse to obey, support or in any way cooperate with the leaders, systems, rules, laws, norms or culture that promotes the trashing of the Earth.

The Real Resistance Is Here. And We CAN Win.

The Warsaw uprising was impressive and noble. So was the protest by Extinction Rebellion at the opera. (And yeah, we’ll get a bunch of complaints by people who fail to recognize that the protest was a mild inconvenience, but fossil fuels are a crime against humanity; they’ll denounce the former and cry crocodile tears over the latter…if that.) So, what can we do? What should we do?

What ARE we doing?

The existing climate activists were and are important. They are the people who are most aware and sensitive to the crisis. They are the “first responders.” They’ve been doing their job.

But the vast majority of us — including myself — have NOT been doing their jobs. It’s time. In fact, we are starting late. But we ARE STARTING.

Those of us who are ordinary people — sane people who love our children and our planet — are here in HUGE numbers, far more than today’s climate activists. It is our numbers, and collective power, that can save the Earth. Nobody else can do it. Only us.

But we must start by doing two things: 1) build our self awareness — there are BILLIONS of us! — and 2) recognize that we have ENORMOUS potential power. Because ordinary people DO EVERYTHING. We mine the coal, we refine the oil, we transport the natural gas. None of this happens once we stop doing it and stop letting it be done.

Furthermore, there are no leaders without followers. Once the Indians stopped following the British Raj, and started following Gandhi and their own interests, the British were toast. The British had no choice but to leave.

We will give the anti-Earth authorities no choice. We won’t ask them for anything. We will tell them. We will tell that not only that they can’t destroy the planet before our children inherit it; we will tell them to go away. And they will.

But this doesn’t happen by hoping. Or by waiting for someone else. Or by making doomer excuses and giving up in advance. Some of the most pessimistic and competent climate scientists are still calling for action now, because their expertise says that, although the situation is dire, we still have time. It is arrogance (or more often, understandable pessimism) which spawns our amateur declaration of defeat, and allows us to ignore the experts.

Now we have The Saners. We are the only group that’s composed of ordinary people — NOT mostly activist types — and is dedicated to using the only proven strategy for success — that of Gandhi and King. We are small but growing, and we believe that we are the beginning of a latent movement of BILLIONS of determined people. We understand that most people feel despair, and feel powerless.

But they and WE are not powerless. We have just not yet realized our power. We must each recruit more people. We don’t need to persuade anyone. We need to merely energize and recruit those who understand the crisis and already care deeply. We need to let them know that they are not alone, and not powerless, and that it is not too late.

IF we win (and we can), this is how we will do it. For now, we will take only small actions, because our numbers are small. But even these small actions are potentially very important because one of them will be noticed and publicized. And then our growth will resemble that of Occupy.

Overnight, we can move from becoming an invisible movement of hundreds, to a worldwide powerhouse of millions, even billions. Unlike Occupy, which had no clear objective, we DO have one:

We demand an immediate worldwide emergency program, led by climate scientists, to end fossil fuels, end climate abuse and repair our planet.

NOW is the time for all sane people to come to the aid of our planet.

If you have already signed up as a Saner, thank you! Now, please find ONE person who cares about the climate and their children and encourage THAT PERSON to join. And if you have not yet joined, please see our website at WeAreSaners.org and sign up for our email list at WeAreSaners.org/join.

Thank you for reading.

Please follow me on Medium. If you are not a member, you can read many of my essays at the blog WeAreSaners.org/blog.

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Climate Change
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