Each day of the month of April leading up to Earth Day (April 22), I will be offering a suggestion for how we can really honor the Earth this year. This list will go beyond the usual suggestions to change your light bulbs and take shorter showers. Instead, the focus is on collective action working toward radical social change.
It’s no secret that burning of fossil fuels is transforming our planet into a place where it will be increasingly difficult for humans (and many other forms of life) to survive.
When we try think about what we can do, our capitalist society has conditioned us to think mostly about reducing our own consumption: buying fuel efficient cars, riding a bike or using public transportation, eating local, eating lower on the food chain, programing our thermostats, insulating our homes, wearing our stuff out before throwing it out or trading it in.
These are all good things that we should do. But here’s the catch: We need system-level change and individuals consumers do not have the power to change the system.
The system is driven by big money. So the way to change the system is to take away the money. One thing you can do to honor the Earth this Earth Day is to support divestment from fossil fuels. This means demanding that large organizations which we support—like businesses, universities, churches, employers with retirement funds, etc.—no longer invest their money in the fossil fuel industry, and instead invest their money in ecologically responsible ways. Not only does divestment take money away from the fossil fuel industry, but it encourages the development of ecologically sustainable industries.
Click on this link to visit gofossilfree.org/not-a-penny-more. There you can find divestment campaigns that are already underway near you, and you can learn how to start your own campaign.