Forms and Opportunities for Engaged Practice
Despair is paralysis. It robs us of agency. It blinds us to our own power and the power of the earth. Environmental despair is a poison every bit as destructive as the methylated mercury in the bottom of Onondaga Lake. But how can we submit to despair while the land is saying "Help"?
— Robin Wall Kimmerer
No small part of our challenge is the pervasive poverty of agency. How often do we hear, including from ourselves, “but I’m just one person”? Yet both Dharma and sociology disagree. Our words and actions matter so much and indeed they are all we have.
Yet whether or not our actions make a big difference that we can actually see, feel, and touch is, in a way, none of our business. Our opportunity is to meaningfully respond. We can speak in ways that actually help. We can act in ways that are deeply rooted, skillful, strategic, and unattached to specific outcomes.
“You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.” -Angela Davis
Featured Action Organizations
This month, we’re featuring organizations who are working to stop the Willow Project and fossil fuel extraction across the Arctic.
- Sovereign Iñupiat for a Living Arctic – SILA’s mission is to create space for healthy communities—spiritually, mentally and physically—and foster the connection between people, culture and land.
- Alaska Wilderness League – AWL works to preserve Alaska’s wild lands and waters by engaging citizens and decision makers with a courageous, constant, victorious voice for Alaska.
- Trustees for Alaska – Trustees for Alaska protects Alaska’s lands, waters, animals, and communities impacted by government decisions, oil and mineral extraction, and the climate crisis by providing legal and strategic counsel within diverse coalitions of Alaskans.
- Earthjustice – Earthjustice was created to fight—and win—for our planet in court. They wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, preserve magnificent places and wildlife, advance clean energy, and combat climate change.
Featured Calls to Action
- Amazon Watch is proud to announce the publication of Respecting Indigenous Rights: An Actionable Toolkit for Institutional Investors. The Toolkit is an Indigenous-led guide for pension funds, asset managers, and other institutional investors on their responsibility to respect the rights of Indigenous peoples. The toolkit can be accessed at https://respectingindigenousrights.org/
- World Resource Institute’s complete guide to kelp offers myriad reasons why kelp’s conservation is critical to people, nature and the climate. Read more to find out why you should care about kelp.
- This World Environment Day, join in the global effort to beat plastic pollution. World Environment Day on June 5th is hosted by Cote d’Ivoire in partnership with the Netherlands.
- The Inclusion Imperative in Climate Change, a free webinar on the sidelines of the United Nations Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, is taking place on Thursday, June 15th. The purpose of this webinar is to provide environmental practitioners, journalists and the wider community of sustainability professionals with knowledge and resources to make their climate advocacy initiatives more inclusive and accessible to persons with disabilities.
- Save the Date: In Defense of Earth – June 21-25th in Basel, Switzerland. Join the People’s forum for climate justice and financial regulation in Basel to stand against fossil finance.
- Send an email to the top decision-makers and executives at The Hartford and make it clear: if they want to be a climate leader, they must stop insuring new fossil fuel projects.
- Join WECAN for a national week of action June 8th – 11th to demand Biden use his executive powers to end the era of fossil fuels and declare a climate emergency. Starting this June, they’re mobilizing to turn up the heat and make Biden take real climate action – by ending the era of fossil fuels. Find an action here.
- With extreme weather threatening farmers and food supplies around the world, now is the time to speak up for climate-smart farming policies. Tell your Members of Congress to make climate a priority in the 2023 Farm Bill by preserving funding and maximizing United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs’ impact.
- Submit a comment to the EPA to encourage them to adopt the most protective multipollutant rule possible and show your support for clean cars.
- Tell our representatives to heed the call of the Grand Canyon Tribal Coalition and protect the Grand Canyon’s watershed from toxic uranium mining.
- Urge the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to prioritize our water, wildlife, communities, and climate as they clean up Abandoned Mine Lands (AML).
- The Eco-Solar Home Tour – This tour of energy-efficient and solar homes shows what homeowners are accomplishing with energy-efficient technologies and will give participants a chance to talk to homeowners and hear about their experiences with them.
- Ocean Week Canada June 2-11, 2023. An annual national celebration of ocean events, learning, and engagement held during the week of World Ocean Day.
- We the Nuclear Free North – Plans are being made and studies conducted into burying radioactive nuclear fuel waste in Northwestern Ontario. The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) has revised the siting decision date to 2024. You can help raise awareness of these plans here.
- Shift Action for Pension Wealth and Planet Health provides resources for pension beneficiaries who want to engage with their pension managers on the climate crisis. Reach out to learn more about how your pension fund is handling climate-related risk, and to get involved.
- The David Suzuki Foundation (Canada-based) offers comprehensive resources for engagement at the local government level. View guides on assessing your local government’s climate plan and working with local leaders on climate action. You can also check out their Act Locally page.
- Take a step from Don’t Look Up’s resource page (U.S. and International). Click on a step and scroll down to see some helpful tips for each one.
- U.S.-based Interfaith Power and Light shares upcoming actions on their Public Policy Page.
- Take one of the many steps listed on Stop the Money Pipeline’s current calls to action (U.S. focused). Some of these are ongoing and some are time-sensitive; check back regularly for updates or join their newsletter (linked at the bottom of the page) to stay current.
- Specific Stop the Money Pipeline actions that can be applicable to people in many countries:
- Move your money and divest from fossil fuels.
- If you are a college student, learn about and launch a reinvestment campaign.
Featured Calls to Action
- #StopLine3: Check out the @stopline3 linktree for information about how to join the movement by donating, attending a workshop or rally, helping allies on the frontlines get supplies, and more.
- Oak Flat: US residents can ask your members of Congress to support and co-sponsor the Save Oak Flat Act.
- Sign the Multi-faith Climate Statement to be presented to world leaders at COP26 in November 2021.
- Stop the Money Pipeline:
- Move your money and divest from fossil fuels
- If you are a college student, learn about and launch a reinvestment campaign
- Tell your government representatives and local financial institutions to put people and planet before polluters
Faith Climate Action Week 2023
Faith Climate Action Week 2023
A call to defend sacred land of the Western Apache
Opportunities to Counter Structural Greed
Restoration is a powerful antidote to despair. Restoration offers concrete means by which humans can once again enter into positive creative relationship with the more-than-human world, meeting responsibilities that are simultaneously material and spiritual. It's not enough to grieve. It's not enough to just stop doing bad things.
— Robin Wall Kimmerer