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December 11, 2010 / Assembly for Climate Justice

Discussion notes

Climate Justice – what would it look like if we had it?

River – clean and swimmable

Trees – and more trees


  • Bikes – everywhere
  • Better and Free public transit
  • Street cars
  • Auto free zones


  • Local and know who produced it
  • Community gardens
  • Green roofs and living walls


  • Affordable and green


  • Independent and green
  • Subsidizing for retrofitting existing buildings
  • Sustainable development
  • Infill

Education System:

  • Change curriculum

Different Government System

  • Municipal, Provincial, Federal, Planet (Climate Justice for entire Planet)

Eco-socially connected

  • Locally, nationally, internationally

Waste Free

  • Zero carbon plan

Drop in birthrate

Limits on fossil fuels industry can use

No petro or petro-chemical industry or infrastructure

Social justice and equality

  • Justice decided by the people

Abandon big box stores

  • More parks and natural area

Live well – Not better

Banks controlled by people

  • Power to create money used for public benefit



What are the obstacles to achieving climate justice?

Cult of cheap

  • Especially with respect to food
  • Fetish of technology and growth

Trendy fads, popularity e.g. green capitalism



  • Unwilling to face limits
  • Individual lack of willingness to change
  • Too many conveniences

Faulty model

  • Overcoming existing institutions and power
  • Failure of legal system
  • Development including golf courses

Political System

  • Overreliance on government
  • Mainstream environmental organizations
  • Power to create $$$
  • Development

Diversity of opinion

  • Most thinking they are right and everyone else is wrong
  • Arts not on board to propel movement forward

Fear of loss

  • Material and personal security
  • Persecution of environmental activists
  • Cynicism and apathy


Education System

  • Nature deficit
  • Media provides fake information
  • Not informing people what is happening

False solutions

  • Advertising not held accountable for messaging
  • Brainwashed
  • Short term thinking



Categories of discussion

Consumerism (no discussion occurred since everyone migrated to the other groups)

  • Lifestyle
  • Waste
  • Willingness to change
  • Psychology and behaviour
  • Diversity of opinion
  • Fear

Movement Building

  • Define the movement and the direction

Political System

  • Failure of legal


  • Advertising
  • Media
  • Arts

Economic System



Actions that can be taken to overcome the obstacles in each of the previous categories

Political system
Corruption, stupidity, greed, ambition
Work within and without
Ethics – fossil fuels
No party system
Growth e.g. amish
Future vs. Immediacy
Make it palatable
Parallel: global, local, community based, societal, forum
Nunavet, Territories
No toxics
Independent committee, mandate: communicate, elect
NDP, Liberal, Green (communicate, support), Conservative, Bloc ?
Support polls, measure group, environmental groups, Sean Hurley

Prepare a climate justice statement for electoral candidates

  • Short term: have a meeting
  • Medium term: ask the candidates to sign on to the statement during upcoming elections

Economic System

Collapse of US economy, will bring us down, not climate, gold/silver, Max Kaiser,
$20 off the back of truck
Monetary policy
Use Bank of Canada to provide interest-free loans. Trying to get social justice/enviro groups to demand this of our governments. MacKenzie King, scare them.
Oppose austerity measures in streets,
Retaliation sign of interest
Massive contact list
Withholding money
UK/France – mortgages, taxes, cash from bank
Military/political retaliation not known (military budget)
Big businesses are subsidized
Discourage big box (unions)
Tax structure in London, ON – cheaper is bigger
Shopping – small taxed more
Misjudging climate claim, build new from within
Local cooperative, credit unions investing
Interim measure – effects depend on larger context
Beware of greenwashing/tailpiping
Potsdam Institute: rich nations one decade to get to zero
Globe and Mail – who pays for climate change, Change reparations
General strikes still has democratic capacity

Movement Building – Define the movement and the direction
Encourage discussion
Endorse declarations
Incorporate organizing in your lifestyle
Build bridges
Inform and educate the public
Make information more available to general populace
Convey urgency
Meet on common ground
Change relationship with political system, more than vote

What are actions we can do locally to affect global issues?

  • Link local to global
  • Educate and mobilize the masses

Critical mass

  • Multiple organizations supporting ideas
  • Relay goals and work in solidarity “localization”
  • Fix problems in our own communities
  • Use existing models from other communities and adapt to fit ours
  • Consider international objectives
  • Global common goals
  • Do global declarations have the same effect as grassroots statements?
  • Are these declarations substantial?
  • Articulate specific goals

Feed and grow from positive energy to create momentum
Small steps in lifestyle changes
Keep it simple
Find common goals and perspectives
Do we share objectives of other groups, countries, etc.
Can we advance these objectives
Unify and unite!

A project to work on: ask organizations, etc, to sign on to the Cochabamba accord

  • Call a meeting to discuss this further

Alternatives to Capitalism

  • Trading
  • FNB
  • Gift economy
  • Teaching
  • Really, really, free markets
  • Local independence
    (e.g. Freecycle)

Education: Nature Deficit, Arts, Media, Advertising

Long Term Actions:

  • 60% of education outdoors through entire school years
  • Need parents involvement to assist the kids to go outside
  • Get more people involved in the education system instead of leaving it to institutions
  • Exposure to more fundamental laws and principles of nature in all education/learning
  • To fall in love in nature again
  • Basic skills in growing plants
  • Skills in the cycles of life – growth and how life works
  • Seeing gardening as an art and a social skill
  • Edible landscaping – take the nature models and use for human society
  • More practical skills: cooking, arts, woodworking, sewing
  • Experiential learning
  • Allow for the creativity of the individual
  • Bring arts back into the learning as we are all creators – need to bring back integrity and inclusiveness of the arts.
  • Identify how the education system has been modelled on the production model
  • Reintroduce the creativity as the essential aspect of making it through these difficult times – need individual experience to help be creative
  • Teachers do want to facilitate some of the things suggested above but need to be subtle and creative about implementing their ideas
  • New educational facilities with new opportunities to learn outside the system with funding so everyone has access
  • Afterschool programs – begin 1 day a month or 1 day a week with free programming to teach children basic skills
  • Need to go back to “I don’t know how to do this….I need a professional” and change to “I don’t know how to do this….let me try and learn”
  • Alter the grading system
  • Bringing aspects of holistic health, into education, which are empowerment processes in maintaining your health
  • Teach our kids about propaganda of advertisement
  • Education on community building e.g. compassion and forgiveness
  • We need to bring people together in community without technology that include people of all ages, dancing, music, poetry, cooking
  • Re-educating children about the importance of elders – because that’s where the values are laid down (geographically disconnected in some cases)
  • Don’t segregate the different ages
  • Look at and learn from school in Russia – all kids learn together – all know 3 languages, cook, crafts
  • Build the school nature based psychological skills
  • Kits to facilitate afterschool programming
  • Program leaders who are paid – not just volunteer because people need money
  • Set programs – guides for walks etc
  • All climate change solved – at least 60% of education is outside
  • Adults need to go to school so the kids can teach them
  • Integretaion of heart and mind and being experientially focused
  • Alternative education systems.

Mid-Term Actions

  • Creating new educational opportunities which support our reconnection with nature
  • After school programming – try one school first
  • Build community gardens and use them as class rooms – a place to do artistic performances
  • Herb-walk
  • Use nature as inspiration
  • Use nature as a teaching model for children and adults together – draw on library resources and others
  • Train group leaders/facilitators
  • Find funding sources

Short Term Actions

  • Get involved in the education system and see what the teachers need that would help to promote something you care about – go into the classes and find out what is going on.
  • Offer to give a talk
  • Offer a program in your community – nature walks, bbq
  • Creating beautiful gardens – designing it
  • Determine what you love to do and carve time out to do it and reclaim your creativity – dance, sing, play, do art
  • Ask our youth what is important to them instead of telling them
  • Visioning of what kinds of things kids would like to do as an adult

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