Changing Climate Change.
LAST YEAR, about this time, I began a fool’s errand. Having just returned to Reno, horrified by its explosive growth—doubling in just 12 years—and struggling to find any local climate action groups, I designed a poster and some fliers and began “Fasting for the Future” by the Truckee River on Saturdays. It appeared to make no difference, but one person happened to hear about it and also began fasting one day a week, on Fridays. We met up, made signs and stood out by City Hall and over time a few more joined in until we became a dedicated group of five elders, more or less acting as Reno’s placeholders for the international, youth-led Fridays For Future activists. And yet, still not making much of an impact.
Then Covid hit. We abandoned the sidewalk and continued to meet on Zoom, trying to figure out what to do next. Regrettably, the criminally negligent federal response guaranteed Covid would expand its death march through the country, unabated, for the indefinite future; we were not going to be returning to the sidewalk any time soon, whatever that might be worth.
Then we got lucky. An activist high school student along with a newly-minted Climate Studies PhD and UNR instructor joined in, taking us into a new direction online via Instagram. We fused ideas and inspirations to launch a new vision and Instagram account: Climateers.
The idea is to inspire “pod” groups of 2 to 5 “Climateers” to gather and create actions that can be done virtually or in small, safe settings, then upload their videos to our Instagram site. We’re starting with our UNR instructor’s summer class and will see how it goes. There’s not much there yet; we’ve just begun.
Two critical issues we are addressing: 1) Although Covid’s relentless toll is dominating the news, the climate crisis continues to worsen, irreversibly threatening everyone’s comfort, convenience and even survival; and, 2) Covid is forcing everyone to act virtually.
So maybe we’ll inspire people to create pods, sharing their results and inspiring others to do the same. And maybe not. Hard to predict. But we do have a dedicated group of seven to try and make it happen. That’s a good start. And maybe you can help spread the word or even create your own pod.
It’s up to me and it’s up to you…