...without a Hard Place?
ACT: Active Climate Transition
Bringing about change by changing our daily habits.
One of the key catalysts for change is money, and no amount of protest can change that. Economic sanctions, boycotts and disinvestment have been used as the ‘hard place’ to the ‘rock’ of protests, in campaigns like anti-apartheid movement against South Africa.
Extinction Rebellion, School Strikes for Climate, Fridays for The future… these have become the ROCK that daily batters the establishment, by regular protests and demands, building up real-world pressure on companies, governments and institutions organisations,
But, without any compulsion to act on these demands, Corporatocracy continues with business as usual, unwilling or incapable of responding to the climate crisis.
The impact of climate activism is limited to a loss of face that can partly be countered by PR and, over time multinationals rely on the public’s short memory or becoming inured to images of protesters bearing banners denouncing Fossil Fuels and in time these lose their shock value.
In parallel the RIght is working in several Countries to criminalise Climate protests illegal and arresting any who participate.
But the secret to making the rock of Climate Activism effective, is to provide the hard place of divestment and massive loss of custom and investors.
The reality of watching hundreds and thousands of accounts closing and moving to ethical providers is the only alternative to regulation, and far more immediate, with no lengthy debates in Parliaments, Senates and Congress.
Non-violence of ordinary people voting with their wallets and bank accounts, investing in new agricultural, co-operative markets that create employment, without relying primarily on meat and dairy. Manufacturing of new transport technologies, like Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicles, that make fossil fuels redundant. Industry that is thrifty with resources, building durable, quality products, that can be repaired, refurbished, and even upgraded.
Remember the Bank Transfer Day, by the Move Your Money Movement?
Ending the vicious circle by financing a virtuous one instead could create enormous value and offer attractive returns. Once a pool of money looking for ethical investment vehicles floods the markets, alternative technologies can access finance to help them with R&D, ‘seed money’, distribution and marketing, to help them gain a credible market sector and so attract more investments.
Future-ready enterprises that can achieve just that:
- Converting our vehicles to be powered by electric motors
- Transitioning from meat and dairy to plant-based farming
- Changing shopping habits to make sustainable choice in food and other products
- Facilitating ethical shopping by creating delivery networks that use electric vehicles
… to name but a few.
But all this takes money for R&D, to set up and equip factories or garages, hire and train staff, build and test prototypes, launch production lines, establish outlets, advertising. For enterprise to be willing and able to do this, they must have a fair guarantee, or at least a good chance to gain loyal customers in sufficient numbers.
That is where Climate Action must get down to work with growers, producers, manufacturers, wholesalers and retail to build alternative supply chains and then they will need digital advertising, ordering and distribution vehicles.
This is what GEM is trying to achieve by:
- Launching a centralised website to act as a master index.
- Recruiting activists willing to build a network of local, regional and national websites
- Inviting enterprise to sign-up to market their ethical business and initiatives
Some of these enterprises do not yet exist, and so GEM in the near future will need to also act as a catalyst, inviting cooperations, collaborations, new firms and joint ventures:
- manufacturers of batteries and fuel cells, willing to supply the technology to replace engines and recycle the metal into more motors and batteries
- manufacturers of electric motors and control systems, willing to work with suppliers of batteries and fuel cells to produce standardised kits, to a range of ratings
- mechanics and garages willing to tool-up and skill-up to replace internal combustion engines with electric motors, powered by batteries or hydrogen fuel cells
- wind and solar farm operators willing to start producing Hydrogen electrolytically, for fuel cells and even invest or collaborate with manufacturers of H2 fuel pumps to create supply networks around the world
- farmers and other growers, willing to switch to organic, sustainable growing techniques, mixed farming and permaculture, supplying ethical wholesalers
- neighbourhood-based food co-ops willing to order organic, sustainably grown food from local independent organic producers and co-ops, online, as part of a group, through ethical wholesalers
- ethical food wholesalers and retailers, to build distribution networks of organic, sustainable produce that allows food co-ops to order directly from them
- transport & haulage operators willing to deliver goods and produce using sustainable vehicles converted to electric motors, powered by a battery or hydrogen fuel cells
The list goes on, check out Planet Co-op for more ideas!