For a few reasons, I am trying to reconsider what sort of political activity presents the best odds of helping to mitigate the seriousness of climate change.
I think people are right to target new fossil fuel infrastructure. There is a good chance of delaying or preventing many projects which would otherwise worsen humanity’s total historical carbon emissions. We just need to be careful to move on from tactics which have proven ineffective. I would put big marches and many common forms of direct action into this category.
There also needs to be a sustained effort against complacency within the environmental movement. We can’t fall into a pattern of doing things which are emotionally fulfilling to us, but which aren’t advancing a clear external purpose. “Raising awareness” doesn’t count.
We need to be working on cross-ideological alliances.
We need to keep developing alliances with other social justice movements, but make sure to try to do so strategically. Just because a clause is laudable doesn’t mean it’s prudent to engage in allyship automatically.
We need to be developing an alliance with what remains of the unionized labour movement: at a minimum to support the development of training programs for fossil fuel sector workers, and more ambitiously to support the emergence of an electable political ideology that calls for the transition away from capitalism intent on endless growth in consumption.
We need to keep pushing climate solutions justified in other ways. If people in some jurisdictions or social groups are more interested in renewable energy because of energy security reasons, it’s worth working with them on the deployment of climate-safe energy. Shutting down coal plants because of their appalling toxic pollution is just as desirable as shutting them down because of their damaging GHG emissions.