Sep 042020
Resources for Climate Activism

One of the main reasons I have this blog is for environmental activism. This is digital space for sharing knowledge, whether that be with fellow activists, or offering someone a place to start. Perhaps you’re here because you’re interested in learning more about climate change, sustainability, or zero waste living. This post is a round-up of resources on climate activism that I’ve found helpful and engaging.

For more posts on climate change, see: Environmentalism, Intersectionality, and Racism5 Big Changes to Make for Plastic Free July, and Christmas and the Climate Crisis.

Our Changing Climate

Charlie is a YouTuber who discusses climate change. Two of his recent videos: Why is McDonald’s So Cheap? and Why is Amazon So Cheap? look at the profit models of these two monopolies.

The McDonald’s video explores the brand’s hidden environmental costs, explaining that our current food system puts profit over the environment. Leaving aside Amazon’s tax-dodging and questionable ethics, the monopoly’s business model to ship quickly fuels over-consumption. This has undoubtedly led to global environmental degradation.

Our Changing Climate

The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology and the Scientific Revolution, by Caroline Merchant

I read this book ages ago while doing my masters. The Death of Nature is a history of the scientific revolution, through the lenses of feminism and ecology. Centred on the naturalization of women, Merchant’s perspective on nature being female, and transitioning from an organic entity to a machine, was groundbreaking in the 1980s. The discourse on a mechanized world and dominion over nature rings true to current activists’ arguments about our destruction of the natural environment.

There’s Something in the Water – Netflix

This 2019 documentary, directed by Ellen Page, introduces us to the Black Canadians and First Nations communities in Nova Scotia. We see firsthand the ongoing battles against historic environmental racism. Not wanting to be labelled as “trouble makers”  some community members feel uncomfortable discussing the environmental issues they face with others in their town. In other cases, the long history of profit being put before community health, lead to the contamination of waterways. Page’s documentary, and the book it’s based on, gives these groups an international voice, when their views are so often repressed by corporate and political interests.

There's Something in the Water

The Oxford Climate Society

I like that The Oxford Climate Society upload their talks to YouTube so that everyone can access cutting edge research. Even pre-pandemic, I didn’t always have time to go to talks in Oxford in person. I’m still making my way through their back catalogue. However, I recommend in particular: the Net Zero Home School on nature and land and Storytelling and Climate Activism.

Down to Earth with Zac Efron – Netflix

Zac Efron doesn’t need an introduction, and you probably saw this documentary advertised already if you have Netflix. The show covers some great sustainability themes, and is pitched for mainly a young “beginner” audience. It was a bit “bromancy”, but Zac’s approach to topics including: permaculture, water, pollution, and green energy were accessible. He made caring about the environment look cool and mainstream. The were two points I found especially poignant. Firstly, Zac realised, while visiting Sardinia, that he’d been eating a terrible diet his whole life. Secondly, his companion’s tragic personal circumstances due to wild fires exemplifes the omnipresent impact of climate change. It’s certainly worth watching if you haven’t already.

Down to Earth

Jhánneu

This is another YouTuber environmental activist. Jhánneu’s content focuses on sustainability, but also diversity in activism. Her videos are well articulated and concise, and she engages with important topics such as the intersectionality between environmentalism and racial inequalities.

Nature Based Solutions

This is a sustainability concept. It is also an organisation working to address societal issues relating to climate change adaptation and mitigation of risks. The idea is to protect and use biodiversity to restore natural habitats. This restoration inadvertently alleviates some of the risks we face with climate change including: flooding, soil erosion, carbon emissions, land use, and pollution.

Mission Blue – Netflix

This 2014 document is a biopic of pioneering oceanographer and environmentalist, Sylvia Earle. It was fascinating to learn about Earle’s contribution to marine exploration, and the American politics surrounding conservation initiatives. Earle’s perspective is important for seeing first hand the degradation of marine ecosystems through climate change. She is undoubtedly one of the most influential scientists of our time.

Mission Blue

These are just a handful of some of the great resources on climate activism out there. Have you come across any of these? Who are your most influential climate activists?

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