October 21, 2016
This week we're going to ask ourselves some serious questions about the best ways to tackle climate change (is it enough to change your daily habits?). We will look at updates from people resisting Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. We will also raise some serious concerns over the findings in a report published by Food and Agriculture Organization on the World Food Day. Cheer up with good news from Paris, where the mayor is encouraging citizens to grow gardens.
Read on and get inspired. As Captain Planet used to say - the power is yours!
Ride a bike or change the system?
"What can I do?". If you are an SCI activist, you probably ask yourself that question on a regular basis. When it comes to fighting climate change, most of us can recite many things, like eating vegan or vegetarian, riding a bike, turning of the light in an empty room... But Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org, has another thing to say... "The Question I Get Asked the Most" (EcoWatch)
On similar note Derrick Jensen says: "Forget Shorter Showers" (Orion Magazine). The choices we make towards simplifying our lives and lowering our eco-footprint are key, but let's not forget that in fact the industry is responsible for most of the pollution, energy and water use. Personal change is not the same as social change. "We can follow the example of those who remembered that the role of an activist is not to navigate systems of oppressive power with as much integrity as possible, but rather to confront and take down those systems", writes Jensen. As an SCI activist, what do you think about it?
Meanwhile in North Dakota
Resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline project is another great example of people coming together that Bill McKibben writes about (although it doesn’t always have to mean putting your body on the frontline).
Amy Goodman, the host of Democracy Now!, probably the best independent news show you can find out there, received an arrest warrant last week basically for doing her job as a journalist. The judge dropped the charges, but it sent a very worrying signal. Along Goodman’s case, North Dakota authorities dropped or rejected multiple felony and misdemeanor charges against water protectors, who were attempting to block the destruction of sacred sites, including ancestral burial grounds. “On Strip Searches and Press Freedom in North Dakota” (Democracy Now!)
Bad news of the World Food Day
Last week we celebrated the annual World Food Day. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released the 2016 State of Food and Agriculture report and it’s almost all bad news. Climate change might make food production impossible in large areas of the world, pushing even up to 122 million more people into extreme poverty by 2030. Again, people who contribute to climate change the least are on the frontline of its consequences.
The report cites diversifying crop production, better integration of farming with the natural habitat, agroecology and “sustainable intensification” as strategies to help small-scale farmers adapt to a warming world. A push toward a more plant-based diet worldwide could also save substantial amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, just as reducing food waste (⅓ of food worldwide is being wasted).
Already some GAIA MicroGrants projects focus on permaculture, community gardening and avoiding food waste. There is just so much SCI activists could do on this issue through SCI workcamps, workshops and actions.
“UN: Global agriculture needs a ‘profound transformation’ to fight climate change and protect food security” (The Washington Post)
Also check out this inspiring collection of photos “World Food Day: coping with the climate's impact on food security – in pictures” (The Guardian)
One of the most garden-friendly cities
The Mayor of Paris is encouraging the citizens to become gardeners for the city any resident can now apply for a renewable three-year permit to start their own urban garden project. Isn't that cool? And that's on top of the city's monthly car free days and the policy mandating all new construction in commercial zones to be covered with green or solar panels. "Paris Becomes One of the Most Garden-Friendly Cities in the World" (EcoWatch)