I recently asked followers on Instagram to send me their questions for this new feature I’m giving a whirl, “Ask Anne Marie.” Because we’re in the midst of the big September 20th–27th climate strikes, I thought I would answer the following question first:
I want to go to the climate strikes but I have really bad anxiety. What else could I do?
Not everyone wants to protest in the streets. That doesn’t mean you can’t participate in other crucial ways.
Grassroots movements tackling the climate crisis, such as 350.org and Sunrise Movement, need your skills, from writing social media posts, email newsletters and press releases, to web developing and maintenance, to fundraising, to helping plan events like the strikes themselves—and much more. Look for volunteer opportunities with 350.org here and with Sunrise Movement here.
If you don’t have time to donate, can you donate money? Donate to 350.org here. Donate to Sunrise Movement here.
3. Call your elected representatives
In the US, contact members of Congress and tell them to support the strikers’ demands:
A safe, healthy, and just planet
Justice and asylum for people displaced by climate change
Policy based on science, which means we must make immediate plans to get off fossil fuels and reverse carbon pollution in the next 5 to 10 years
People, not corporations, influence politics
Equal rights for all
Humans protect the rights of nature
A just transition
See the explicated list of demands at Youth vs Apocalypse. Find your rep here. Find your senator here.
4. Support the strikers
Help them make signs. Give them bus fare to get to the strike. Pack them some snacks and a water bottle. When I was at the strike in San Francisco on Friday, I noticed food set out for the strikers—oranges and bananas and water. The strikes are one more reason why we need water fountains everywhere. Because strikers get thirsty and they will not stop striking until governments meet their demands!
5. Spread the word
Because I’m involved in the environmental movement, I sometimes assume everyone knows what’s going on and so am a little shocked when a neighbor or acquaintance says something to me like “What strike?” Your friends and family may not know about the strikes or the climate crisis. The news barely covers either.
Mention the strikes at work, at school, at your place of worship, in your book club and so on. However, you don’t want to sound preachy when you discuss climate change. People’s eyes glaze over when you preach and rattle off statistics, no matter how horrifying the numbers.
Instead, tell people how climate change affects them. Tell them a story. If they love beer, tell them how climate change will lead to dramatic beer shortages. They prefer chocolate? Same story. If all they care about is money, explain how preserving the climate saves piles of cash. Tailor your story to your audience.
And remember to give people solutions! People feel overwhelmed by a deluge of bad news and a dearth of information on solutions to mitigate the worst effects of climate change. Find 100 solutions here at the Drawdown website.
8 Replies to “Ask Anne Marie: How Can I Support the Climate Strikes?”
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oh well done you ann marie, excellent short list . I agree it is best not to assume that everyone knows what is going on or that people are able to think of things to do. I took the 9 and 2/half year old grandchildren along on friday , he gets it shes a bit little but loved her koala banner and it was a beautiful event under unusually hot sun . the children are impressive in their passion their words and their awareness. I cried a few times. the next step is for people to realise that they can act every day planting seeds trees plants kindness … good on you for giving them clear options..
Thank you Sandra. I teared up when I arrived at the big march here to see thousands and thousands of people gathering–really, out of love! And this movement will only grow bigger. Planting kindness along with trees is so important!
~ Anne Marie
Question, did the American news really not cover the climate strike? Here in Denmark it was broadcast on television, in the big daily papers, online, on the radio etc. They had people reporting from the strikes, interviewing students who striked and reported from the different strikes around the world. At least in Europe, I find it hard to believe that people are unaware of the climate crisis or indeed the climate strike on Friday. However, the big issue is – will people react, and more importantly will the policy makers react? It seems as if they are all in line for a photo with the lovely Greta, but not much else. I am so happy that she seems so completely unaffected by it all, and that she keeps calling their bluff. Maybe, if we keep demanding changes that change will have to come. 🙂
It was massive here in Australia- hundreds of thousands turned out all over the country- very teary! But yes, this post is a wonderful addition for those less comfortable with marching 💪🏼💪🏼
Hi Anne Marie. I have a question for you. You mention 350.org and the Sunrise Movement as organizations to give donations. I’d like to give this holiday season to environmental charities and wonder if you have a longer list of organizations that are worthy of support? Thanks for the inspiration and information you provide.
Starting next week, I will begin “Carless Fridays” in solidarity with the FridaysForFuture movement. If you can, please join me.
That’s brilliant Brooke! Do you have a website or a hashtag you’re using? One day a week is doable for so many people. I mostly ride my bike.
~ Anne Marie