Lobbying, petitioning, letter-writing (Day 79)…

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If you go way back to the beginning of this blog and read my second post, you’ll see that one of my friends, upon hearing about this challenge, commented, “You know how you can REALLY help the environment? Start writing letters to China.” So, Craig, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

All right, maybe instead of China, I’ll start with Environment Minister John Baird. Or even easier: sign this online petition by the Save Our Climate blog, or this one asking Kraft to stop using genetically modified ingredients in their food, or this one to protect the Arctic Refuge.

Or I could even draft my own petition using the Auditor General’s handy guide (complete with flow charts, government jargon and, in case you’re really confused, this example of a typical petitioner: “A northerner who would like to be involved in consultations over harvesting of the forest resource north of 60°” — that is totally me).

Now I have to admit, I’m not much of an activist, at least physically speaking. The thought of draping a heavy, unflattering sandwich board over my shoulders, yelling the same sentence over and over, waving a big sign on which at least one word is spelled incorrectly and marching around Parliament Hill really doesn’t appeal to me. But then I can’t just do nothing and be cynical about it, either.

So my change today is to use the power of the pen — or more accurately keyboard — to voice my concerns. I’m going to make sure that at least once every week I write a letter to someone, sign a petition or join a campaign for a cause I believe in and make my voice heard, no matter how feeble it may be.

4 Responses to Lobbying, petitioning, letter-writing (Day 79)…

  1. lis says:

    Hi, well done. I’ve been doing a personal and a political action every day for a month now … sometimes the political has more to do with influencing groups of people rather than political parties but I don’t think we can stop what’s happening unless we do combine both personal and political. Governments are happy if we’re busy trying to be green – it allows them to keep doing their deals unhindered, and by not speaking up we are implicitly allowing them to do so. With only 8 1/2 years to the tipping point, as NASA’s James Hansen says, we need to bring government, community and business to account in every way we can. It would be great if bloggers in Australia and the US and Canada, the three largest emitters per capita, united to demand political action… especially as I hear a rumour that Canada may be pulling out of Kyoto (is this true?) … we’ve created a blog called A Year In A Day in which we’re doing both personal and political actions daily. We’re hoping 365 people subscribe (it’s completely non-commercial) to make the point that people are willing to change, to choose a less consuming lifestyle, and are determined to bring politicians to account… with 365 doing this we are creating the actions of A Year In A Day … who knows, if more subscribed we might be able to move ahead at the rate of 10 years in a day. We have the fierceness of a lion protecting her cubs as we fight for our children’s futures and we invite all who care, to click on our site at http://www.stoplaughing.com.au/wordpress so that they can receive a brief daily reminder that people around the world are taking a personal and a political action daily.

  2. Greenpa says:

    “Dear Grandma- I’m writing you today to explain how to suck eggs…” 🙂

    I should perhaps explain that I work in China sometimes; have very good friends there. At the moment there’s a lot of noise in our press about how dirty and unsustainable China is; but it’s worth while noticing that China is the ONLY surviving ancient culture. Greece, Rome, Egypt, Babylon- all killed themselves off- partly through environmental corrosion. China- growing crops in carefully regulated terraces, for thousands of years- was doing fine until they had the idea forced on them, with guns, that they needed to get “industrialized” in order to have the respect of the world. It’s Western transplanted habits they need to get rid of. I don’t envy them the struggle- but there’s a huge number of wonderful people there, who are trying their hardest to do the right thing. Along with the new corporate greed folks, of course. It ain’t easy, being China.

  3. Lori V. says:

    Good action, Vanessa. I will recommend, however, that you sign up for an email address that you will only use for this purpose, because you will suddenly be inundated with emails from every politician, organization, etc. for which you sign petitions.

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