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Harvey, Borrowed Time & Climate Philanthropy

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August 31, 2017 by John Crapper

Simple Definition of Philanthropy

the practice of giving money and time

to help make life better for other people

culture-of-philanthropy

Harvey marks the most extreme rain event in U.S. history.

The rain from Harvey is in a class of its own. The storm has unloaded over 50 inches of rain east of Houston, the greatest amount ever recorded in the Lower 48 states from a single storm. And it’s still raining.

People in the path of Harvey are hurting.  In the midst of this catastrophe we are seeing and hearing of story after story of people helping others in need.

I found this song appropriate for all of us to listen to right now.

After this immediate crisis is over I hope you will consider some long-term ways to help mitigate what we are currently seeing.

There are many ways to give back to society or pay it forward in some way to help others less fortunate.  There are scores of organizations asking for your time and/or money.  A person can help feed the poor, educate the young, rescue animals, preserve our natural resources, help house the homeless and a myriad of other worthy causes.

Here at the Church of the Holy Shitters we believe it imperative for individuals to prioritize their philanthropy efforts and put climate change at the top of their worthy causes list.

The reason why we urgently stress this prioritization can best be articulated by Naomi Klien taken from her recent book This Changes Everything.

… climate change, if we don’t change course, if we don’t change our political and economic system, is going to change everything about our physical world. And that is what climate scientists are telling us when they say business as usual leads to three to four degrees Celsius of warming. That’s the road we are on. We can get off that road, but we’re now so far along it, we’ve put off the crucial policies for so long, that now we can’t do it gradually. We have to swerve, right? And swerving requires such a radical departure from the kind of political and economic system we have right now that we pretty much have to change everything.

What can an individual  do to be most effective in positively influencing our climate change trajectory?  There are a myriad of things a person can do to reduce their carbon footprint.   They can switch to LED lightbulbs, turn down their thermostat, add additional insulation, put in double-pane windows and install a heat pump and solar panels for example.    All these steps are laudable.

But the amount of change an individual can make is miniscule.    It will take large numbers of people coming together and acting in a concerted fashion.  .  There is no way around it.

So what can an individual do in a broader context to bring about large-scale changes? When people consider this many times their eyes gloss over and their brains seem to turn away from the daunting task.

One of the goals of our Church is to help alleviate this quandary and provide guidance.

At present the Church of the Holy Shitters recommends 3 avenues an individual can take to contribute in a more effective collective way.  They are (in no particular order of priority).

1.  For a global yet local focus with an emphasis on social justice aspects.

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350.org

350 is building a global grassroots climate movement that can hold our leaders accountable to the realities of science and the principles of justice.

That movement is rising from the bottom up all over the world, and is uniting to create the solutions that will ensure a better future for all. Our online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions bring together a global network active in over 188 countries.

2.  For a U.S. political focus working to elect candidates willing to prioritize climate change.

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Climate Hawks Vote

 

WE ARE CLIMATE HAWKS

We’re seeking to elect leaders willing to take on the greatest challenge facing the next few generations of humanity. Too many Democratic politicians consider climate to be just another issue bubbling below the surface of top priorities, and too many advocates are willing to excuse Democratic politicians who tout their states’ coal and oil resources. We need aggressive, progressive champions of climate justice—climate hawks.

The Republican Party is so deeply entrenched in denying the existence of climate change and protecting the fossil-fuel industry that if a Republican climate hawk were to emerge, we would look hard at a Republican’s willingness to buck leadership as well as the Republican’s position on climate.

We work to engage and educate voters, advocate on climate change in general election contests, and back climate hawks in Democratic primaries. We engage and train younger climate hawks interested in running for office. And we work on campaigns to mobilize the American people and our elected officials to act aggressively to end greenhouse pollution and build a renewably powered, just society that is resilient to the threats of a changing climate.

3.  And for a US political focus with a more bi-bartisan approach trying to influence those already in political office.

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Citizens’ Climate Lobby 

Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change.

Our consistently respectful, non-partisan approach to climate education is designed to create a broad, sustainable foundation for climate action across all geographic regions and political inclinations. By building upon shared values rather than partisan divides, and empowering our supporters to work in keeping with the concerns of their local communities, we work towards the adoption of fair, effective, and sustainable climate change solutions.

In order to generate the political will necessary for passage of our Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal we train and support volunteers to build relationships with elected officials, the media and their local community.

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

 

 

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Our climate is changing. I'm humorously serious about addressing it. I'm convinced my ego is the main culprit. My religion, Holy Shitters, demands I humble myself and celebrate the fact my shit stinks.
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