We're facing a global emergency, but the great majority of Americans are acting as though everything is fine. The Climate Mobilization is creating tools and props to help each of us intervene in the trance of collective denial in our daily lives.
As I elaborated in my recent article in Common Dreams, climate change creates a situation of "pluralistic ignorance," in which we all look to each other to determine whether there is a crisis that we should react to, and because we see each other acting calm and normal, we determine that there isn't one.
If we are to instigate the society-wide crisis response that is necessary, we need to collectively accept that we are, in fact, in a crisis — and then decide how to act on it beyond just shifting our consumer choices.
The Pledge to Mobilize is a tool to empower individuals to accelerate this collective awakening into an effective political response. It incorporates many psychological principles (the power of relationships, the power of public commitments, and the hope of a viable comprehensive solution) that fight denial.
But conversations about the climate crisis can be uncomfortable, and unless you're surrounded by people who are highly informed about it, it can be tough to figure out how to spark meaningful conversations in a way that feels natural.
So we're suggesting a few "props" that can supplement outreach efforts, and help cut through climate denial, minimization, and silence with people in our daily lives.
All of these props are meant to start conversations specifically about the climate crisis, and how YOU and the people around you can be an integral part of building a large-scale mobilization against it. These ideas can also be modified by people who like the idea but don't want to promote the Pledge to Mobilize specifically.
One great — and free — denial-fighting prop is the email signature. After seeing a few Mobilizers do this, I added one myself. Every outgoing email I send is now appended with:
"Are you concerned that climate change threatens the collapse of civilization? If so, lets talk about the way forward, and the crucial role that you can play in creating a safe and stable future.
Using this type of inviting yet blunt signature can cause many people to stop and think. It may make some uncomfortable, but it also creates an opportunity for them to engage further. I encourage anyone who's alarmed about climate change to create an email signature that works for you!
Climate Denial Intervention Cards, aka TCM Business Cards
Any TCM member can personalize and order these cards. With your personal info on the back and a bold statement of climate truth on the front, these are sure to inspire a reaction, which can hopefully lead to a meaningful conversation! If you want to order these, let me know and I will add you to the list of people who can access them.
When attending political events (or just in daily life), you can be a walking advertisement for climate change awareness and The Climate Mobilization with this t-shirt, available from UberPrints.
Some Mobilizers rocking these t-shirts at the People's Climate March a few months ago:
A book (the old fashioned kind) can be a great conversation-starter with someone who's intrigued to see you reading it.
Here are some of our top recommendations for a deeper understanding of the climate crisis, the scale of mobilization that's necessary, and the obstacles we must surpass to get there:
Of course there are many more that are worth reading — we're working on compiling a longer list of books that we highly recommend, with notes about how each one relates specifically to The Climate Mobilization's mission.
We will continue to develop props to assist Mobilizers' efforts at spreading climate truth and the Pledge to Mobilize. What materials would be helpful to you in your personal mobilization?
I think the next thing to develop will be a bumper sticker. If you have ideas for how to phrase one (...perhaps addressing the apparent contradiction between driving and fighting climate change), let us know!