Email your councillor. Talk to your neighbours, co-workers, friends and family.
You might be surprised by how key this is to making change happen. The protests are, of course, important. It matters that in this weird time – when society is silent on the threat that faces us – that we are visible and vocal in standing up for our futures. It matters that our children are part of that, that they will know that they and we try to change things and fight for a liveable world for them. It matters that there are people in Extinction Rebellion willing to get arrested, to spend weeks living in a tent to blockade London and get climate breakdown into the news.
But in between the protests and big events – the majority of the time – we cannot be silent. There are so many different reasons and ways that people manage to ignore climate breakdown but to even have a chance we need to get people talking and the way to do that is to talk!
Councillors – each individual councillor matters in this. We need them on our side and fighting with us because right now our councils are just adding to the problem.
Step one – email your three councillors individually. Ask them where they are at in terms of thinking about climate change. Tell them how you feel and what your worries are. Don’t worry about penning something hugely eloquent, just write as you might to a friend, no facts for now. Example here. You can find out who your councillors are and their contact details online. If your council is Manchester that information is here.
Let us know who your councillor is and what response you get, or even of they don’t respond. We can help you with follow up emails but either way it would be great to know where councillors are at, so we can effectively lobby them to support us.
Neighbours, co-workers, friends and family – With people you feel able to share worries with, something like “I’ve been thinking a lot about climate right now, I’m worried” can be an easy way in. “Did you see/have you read/I’m going to a climate strike/I’m part of Rising Up etc…” The petition calling on the council to declare a climate emergency is a useful tool for people you might not feel on this level with.
Talk to groups you’re part of about whether people would join you in being active on this.
The biggest thing is just to do it. It gets easier every time you do.