An Audacious Toolkit: Actions Against Climate Breakdown (Part 2: D is for Divest)

  • A for Advocacy (climate communication),
  • B for Barricade (keeping fossil fuels in the ground) and
  • C for Civil Disobedience (acting to change government direction).

Becoming part of something bigger

And once you’re at that meeting, or in that group, congratulations! You are now part of something bigger.

And once you are acting, congratulations! You are now an activist: you are acting to change the course of history, rather than being a simple bystander to disaster.

Three more letters for the Alphabet of Collective Climate Action

D is for Divest

  • new extractive facilities (such as the Preston New Road fracking site just north of where I live in Manchester);
  • new transportation facilities, such the Trans Mountain pipeline in Canada;
  • new fossil-fueled power plants to produce electricity for industry.
  • Your personal or business bank account, if it’s in any old bank, might well be contributing to destroying the planet. You can check at “Fossil Banks No Thanks”, and then find a more future-compatible alternative. Many excellent ethical and fossil-free banks exist around the world: there is no reason why, by this evening, your money couldn’t be taken out of fossil hands and put into positive alternatives.
  • Your pension fund and state social security are probably invested in fossil fuels: you & your colleagues can join up to make sure that the investment you are making for your old age isn’t in fact destroying future life on earth (logic!). Many pension funds have already divested.
  • Your employer. You can influence the investments made by your employers and show that your work is not tied to the future of the fossil industry. In the UK, many universities have already divested from fossil fuels, for instance (although sadly not my own! Shame on you, University of Leeds!), thereby demonstrating their coherent commitment to future human civilization.
  • Your city, region and national government investment. You can influence these in multitudes of ways, including campaigns through schools (this is a good way to start talking about climate change and getting students positively involved), community & sports groups (friends of local park, dog walkers, pub quiz, cricket players: they all have in common a wish for survival), and so on. Many cities, regions and even countries have already divested from fossil fuels, and more are planning to do so. They can all use your advocacy and help — the movement comes from below. Even if individual politicians want to do something on their own, they will be able to do nothing without vocal constituents (you!) shouting out their encouragement.

You get the idea: the sooner we turn off the money spigot to the fossil industry, the sooner their plans for expansion, and even continuation of current emissions, become nonviable.

E is for Election

Stick figures represent Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (sorry!) and a mash-up of Caroline Lucas & Molly Scott-Cato (even more sorry!) because my artistic skillz are EXTREMELY limited … if you have better ones, and this pains you, you might want to help illustrate future posts? Thx.
Thousands Extinction Rebellion activists risk arrest & bring London to a standstill, 17/11/2018.
Representative Ocasio-Cortez supporting Green New Deal activists.
Representative Tlaib giving a speech to Green New Deal activists.

And perhaps most importantly, you can run for office yourself. Yes, you. Who? YOU. For which office? Whichever you want!

L is for Lawsuit

  1. PlanB is a powerhouse UK group leading legal actions against the UK government on climate action and airport expansion.
  2. Urgenda won a climate case against the government in the Netherlands, compelling them to reduce greenhouse gas emissions immediately. This case is groundbreaking, and made governments around the world sit up and take notice.
  3. Mission LifeForce is a relatively new organization in the UK, with an impressive line-up of support and a strong, well, mission. The other lawsuits discussed here are civil cases: Mission LifeForce seeks to bring criminal cases for the death and destruction resulting from fossil industries and government inaction, under the banner of an international crime of ecocide. Join them and their important work!
  4. Juliana vs. the United States, often known as the children’s climate lawsuit, is a legal challenge to the US government to act on climate change in line with its duty of care to children. It is brought by the Children’s Trust, along with Earth Guardians. Just weeks ago, it was allowed to go forward by the US supreme court.

The Audacious Toolkit Climate Action Trilogy!




Immigrant, Swiss-American-UK ecological economist at the University of Lausanne. Research focus on living well within planetary limits. Opinions my own.

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Julia Steinberger

Julia Steinberger

Immigrant, Swiss-American-UK ecological economist at the University of Lausanne. Research focus on living well within planetary limits. Opinions my own.

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