The Personal and the Political: Rise for Climate Action
Grounded in compassion and right understanding, the People’s Climate Movement is coming together once again to insist on bold, clear, and pervasive structural change. We invite you to take your place in this moment by organizing or joining gatherings in San Francisco and around the world. On Saturday, September 8, join the Rise for Climate Action.
It’s easy to feel beset by the daily barrage of issues and events that come across our screens and our streets, from hostile immigration policy to attacks on human rights and voting rights to scandal and corruption. As these concerns touch our hearts and worry our minds, the well of energy for response can run dry. Yet the same, far in the background, global temperatures continue to rise. What’s more, the world has yet to curb green-house gas emissions at the rate required to reverse this trend and enable a just and sustainable future. Captivated by the acute, we can lose track of the chronic. Decisive action is needed and all whose circumstances allow it are called to insist on structural change that is deep, broad and justice-centered.
Yet we are not starting from scratch. Whether in accordance with the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, We’re Still In or Living the Change, significant movements are well-underway among governments, corporations and everyday citizens of this world to align the way we live with the needs of livingkind. Our opportunity is to embody the fullness of decisive action across the scale of our own lives, integrating both the personal and the political, calling on both the Buddha and the Sangha.
In parallel with Living the Change, our campaign with GreenFaith for aligning our personal, everyday lives with the reality of climate change, we invite you to turn towards the political and join the Rise for Climate Action. The movement platform calls for rapidly reducing greenhouse gas pollution to combat climate change and improve public health while ensuring that investments are targeted to improve the lives of communities of color, indigenous peoples, those with low-incomes, small farmers, women, and workers. As members of the global community, we hope you will join with us in calling for the courageous actions that are long overdue.
If you are local to the San Francisco Bay Area or able to get there, we encourage you to fill every seat in your vehicle (“Buddha Bus”!) and get thee to the main Rise mobilization! For those outside the Bay Area, there are sister Rise events around the world as well as the opportunity to live-stream the multi-faith service and our daylong with Spirit Rock.
Rise for Climate Action in San Francisco: Events and Resources
- RSVP for the California Rise for Climate Jobs and Justice event here
- Join the faith contingent. Articulating the moral call for climate action, GreenFaith, Interfaith Power and Light and a host of other faith communities are gathering before of the march in order to affirm our grounding and walk together.
- Get the meeting place, schedule and all the detail for this assembly here. You can also follow the facebook faith contingent event here.
- As part of the opening of the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) the next week, you’re also invited to join the multifaith event at Grace Cathedral at 4 pm on September 12. This event will fill up fast so reserve your seat here.
- Join the Buddhist-mindfulness contingent. San Francisco Insight along with other Dharma and faith communities have been working hard to build a strong presence. Connect to the Mindfulness/Buddhist contingent here.
- On September 15, join us at Spirit Rock! Post-GCAS, we’re offering along with Spirit Rock Meditation Center a day of practice and teachings on Saturday, September 15th. There we’ll be joined by Julia Butterfly Hill, Joanna Macy, Anam Thubten, Verlinda Montoya, and a host of other voices. This event will feature an on-stage conversation between Christiana Figueres, the architect behind the Paris Climate Accord and our own Lou Leonard and Jack Kornfield. Learn more and register here.
Rise for Climate Action Around the World: Events and Resources
- Join or organize a local gathering, no matter the size. There’s something powerful and poignant about even six people gathered on the doorsteps of a city hall calling for the changes necessary for healthy cities around the world. Find or create a general Rise for Climate event here.
- If you’re creating a local event and want to gather Buddhist / Mindfulness communities, register it with us and we’ll add you to our map below.
Gather your people and live-stream these live-streamed events
- In collaboration with Spirit Rock, One Earth Sangha is hosting a day of practice and teachings featuring Jack Kornfield, Joanna Macy, Anam Thubten, Verlinda Montoya, Julia Butterfly Hill and architect of the UN Climate Accord and Plum Village practitioner, Christiana Figueres. Sign up for the live-stream event here.
- Multifaith event at Grace Cathedral at 4 pm on September 12. Register for the live stream here.
Gatherings of Buddhist/Mindfulness Contingents within Rise for Climate Action Events
- The People’s Climate Movement has a number of signs for printing and customizing. Find all the good stuff here.
- And part of the joy of these events is the creativity, humor and clarity they inspire. So don’t be shy and no need to be “an artist.” Share your message!
- For those in the Bay Area, come paint your own banners & signs for the march and meet other members of the interfaith community at the Faith Art Party & Final Organizing Meeting on September 4 from 6pm to 9pm (St. Columba, 6401 San Pablo Ave, Oakland). Art materials (and snacks) will be provided for you! RSVP here.
- Be sure to follow or create an event page for your gathering. Someone you know might be going!
- Reach out to your local Dharma and Eco friends asking them to save the date, help with organizing and/or join you at an event.
- Talk this up and share online (you can tag with #RiseForClimate)
- Most importantly, at these events, connect, share, listen, learn, support others, lead where you’re needed and resolve to go forward together. More on that below …
Make a Difference
Are leaders actually listening? Will the Rise event change any policy? Do protests really matter?
Of course, our tradition teaches that every action matters, conditioning all that follows. In addition, there may be a kind of entitlement operating when we insist on knowing that our actions, especially those that principally benefit others, will make a difference, one that is discernible to us in advance. We can remember that early abolitionists lived their entire lives without ever knowing the results of their actions.
But on a practical level, the reality may be that these mass protests provide a forum less for speaking to our leaders and more for signaling to one other, and that, dear ones, is the beginning of durable movements and lasting change. By taking our deep concern about climate change to the streets and town halls, we’re actively normalizing engagement itself. From this place, we can share, learn, affirm, challenge and create new opportunities for deeper engagement.
Our present conditions require that we both normalize a different way to live, one characterized by sufficiency and contentment, as well as, for those who feel called, a sustained, benevolent and determined call for systems change. We hope you’ll take some time to make some plans, make some art and hopefully make some friends as a way to make all the difference we can in this unspeakably precious world.