The Coalition of Ratepayers and Independence Institute’s Energy and Environment Policy Center are partnering with My Climate Pledge, a project of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, to encourage Climate Strike participants to do more than just strike. They should actively demonstrate their commitment to our climate and do so every day.
My Climate Pledge partners urge strikers to lead by example and sign their own climate pledge, which includes promises to turn off home air conditioners and heating systems, refuse to ride in or drive a personal vehicle every day for a year, refuse air travel, and choose to conduct business virtually.
This approach has merit. A 2016 Climate Change study found that people who actively try to reduce their own CO2emissions are perceived as more credible when advocating for climate change policies.
Strikers say the situation is dire. For some people, climate change is an existential threat so grave that they are pledging not to have children. Their fear is real. They must take bold action and tell elected officials, “You are too slow! We aren’t waiting for you!”
In fact, here’s a challenge to Colorado’s climate change strikers. Eight of them have already been arrested, and tonight, they’re demonstrating at Suncor Energy Refinery in Commerce City, which won’t really impact business at the refinery although they may annoy commuters. Instead, strikers could impact demand for fossil fuels if they themselves just stopped using them! Turn off the AC. Stop driving or riding in a car. Don’t use a cell phone. Plant trees. If they actually did all of this, they may not have to get angry and scream at people producing a product that strikers themselves still use!
Said another way, strikers don’t need politicians outlawing activities in order to reduce their own CO2 emissions. Take the pledge and act.
For those willing to hear other perspectives, there are dissenting scientific and academic opinions on the matter as well as data that indicates the situation is not as dire as some suggest. Whether you believe in anthropogenically caused climate change or are just curious about the debate, please visit myclimatepledge.com.