2022 New Year’s Resolution: Amp Up Climate Activism

The pandemic still rages. The omicron variant has infected friends and family.

The film Don’t Look Up has racked up over 152 million hours of viewing time on Netflix, making it the most viewed show ever, with more views than the nine next most popular shows combined. Think it struck a nerve? The creators of the film are smartly pointing viewers to a website where people can find out how to get involved in climate activism:

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the January 6 attack on the Capitol and everyday more information comes out about how the attempted coup was planned at the highest level. (In Santa Barbara, there will be a candlelight vigil at 5:30pm in front of the Superior Court. Rep. Salud Carbajal will speak about his experiences at the Capitol on that fateful day.)

Voting rights are under attack in many states and the Senate is gridlocked (with the help of feckless Democrats, Senators Manchin and Sinema) and incapable of passing voting right legislation–let alone the climate bill, the Build Back Better Act.

Welcome to 2022.

Now is not the time to give up. Now is the time to commit to even more intense climate activism. If we are staying home trying to avoid Covid, then we still have our phones and our pens or computers.

It takes work to write a letter to the editor. But letters to the editor probably reach more people and are perhaps more coherent than a mass of people carrying signs at a rally or a march. Don’t get us wrong–we love on-the-streets activism, but it’s time to do whatever works. (Three Fearless Grandmothers recently put their heads together and penned a letter to Edhat pushing back against several articles that spread climate misinformation.)

Similarly, it is uncomfortable to speak at a public hearing and a pain to figure out what to say quickly, hoping that in a minute or two your speech will make an impact, but fearing you may actually sound like an idiot.

But that’s just what we must do this year. Coming up soon–scheduled for February 8, 2022–is a County Supervisors meeting that will decide the fate of our coastline and freeways, our air quality, and our countywide CO2 footprint and contribution to the climate crisis. It’s our big chance to stop Exxon’s dangerous plan to restart three aging oil platforms by trucking out oil over county roads, at the rate of 70 trucks a day, everyday, day and night. So steel yourself to make a public comment at the Zoom hearing. Tell your friends about the issue. Encourage everyone you know to make a comment either at the hearing or by email (send an email to the Clerk of the Board at: sbcob@countyofsb.org –here is a sample letter suggested by the Sierra Club Los Padres Chapter.)