In the middle of an email exchange with someone in the UK.
Wondering when the next uprise in climate activism will happen.
My semi-serious offering –
when the next sexy topic after cuts loses its sheen AND that coincides with some picturesque disaster that can be tied to climate change AND involves the death of some Britons (preferably young and photogenic). Flash fires in Spain? Some young Duke of Edinburgh Schemers squished by a melting glacier?
This will also have to coincide with
a) Friends of the Earth having some money and
b) the Trots having figured a way to Blame it on Capitalism without blaming Industrialism and
c) the “anarchos” having figured out how to blame it on big nasty companies without blaming ‘normal working people’. (see especially Heathrow 2007).
The next IPCC report, not due until 2013, won’t be enough.
What opened up the opportunity last time (2006 – 9) was the confluence of
a) Climate Camp 2006 (at Drax power station)
b) the Al Gore film (An Inconvenient Truth)
c) the Stern Report (late 2006)
d) IPCC 4 (Feb 2007)
in the middle of that Stop Climate Chaos had its 20,000 ish people march/rally.
All in the space of 8 months or so. And the momentum took it on to Copenhagen, which was monumentally poorly handled by all the liberals, the revolutionary socialists and the direct actionists. In all three cases their actions in the lead up to and around Copenhagen spoke to their strategic, intellectual and logistical bankruptcy. A “successful” Copenhagen conference – that is, something that delivered a warmed-over Kyoto – might have masked the weaknesses for a little while, but the long-term trajectory was set.
The problem is, of course, of “once bitten, twice shy.” Most potential recruits, bar the very young, will be cynical and pessimistic…
It would also be worth throwing in something about Issue Attention Cycle (Anthony Downs) – a much underutilised concept, IMHO.
Could this process be jump-started? (No, methinks)
What can we do to be ready when/if similar moments come up?