ONE: Last Friday I invited members of the Canadian Writers Union (TWUC) to my house for an informal but themed supper I called “stories of climate change.”
My idea was that these are the best story tellers that Canada has to offer and nothing is better at changing hearts and minds than stories.
I figured if more people understand more viscerally the challenge that climate change represents, we’ll be more likely to make progress on the problem.
I also invited several climate scientists (lead authors for the IPCC 5th Assessment Report) and seasoned climate change campaigners. Both fiction and non-fiction writers can communicate more naturally and more effectively if they have a collection of real world stories in their memory banks.
There were 20+ guests and we had a great time.
One of the guests was Franke James, the artist whose European tour was interfered with and cancelled because her art questioned Stephen Harper’s approach to making polluters pay. She has a great story about that. That’s Franke’s poster up there admonishing us not to talk about it. She’s raising money to pay for an ad campaign with billboards all around Parliament Hill.
So, idea one is that you could have a party, invite people who are good communicators, and people who have climate change stories to tell, and let the magic happen.
TWO: On Tuesday at the Sunnyside library some mild mannered citizens held a screening of the film Do the Math which is based on Vermont author Bill McKibben’s efforts to get a carbon industry divestment movement going. McKibben had a viral sensation last summer with his Rolling Stone article Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math.
The Tuesday organisers idea was to kickstart an Ottawa chapter of 350.org. There were about 60 people in the room and the film certainly got people talking. I was there because I figured like minded people should at least know about the efforts each other are making and work together where they can.
So idea two is that you could screen a movie like Do the Math or any of a number of other videos freely available on the web, invite people to come and discuss, but most importantly have some kind of plan for what you’d like them to do (like support Ecology Ottawa or 350.org or some other group).
THREE: I bought a copy of Chasing Ice and am having some friends over for popcorn and beer. Ditto the “talk about it” but also ditto the have something you’d like them to do.
This idea isn’t so different from #two but I’ve paid for the movie; these are mostly my existing friends (few of whom are active in agitating for more action on climate change); and the setting is more intimate.