How to conduct a successful climate change strike

Recent efforts to organize a climate change "strike" have brought together countless thousands of young people, supposedly across 4,500 locations in 150 countries, to demand that action be taken to address climate change.  The total number of people involved has been estimated to be several million.  After all of the protesting, it has been admitted that the entire activity has accomplished essentially nothing.  There is a better way to conduct a climate change strike so that it is more successful, even if it does not produce the same level of media coverage.

The genuine way to conduct a climate strike is to do nothing.  This sounds like a surrender and an attitude of apathy.  However, what I mean is not that everyone simply continue their daily life and routine as though there were no problem to be faced.  That is never what is meant by a strike.  What I mean is that the way to conduct a serious climate strike is really to do absolutely nothing.  Let me give some details to help the climate change striker to have a measurable effect on reducing fossil fuel usage and the production of carbon dioxide during the strike, and also to have a real impact on the world.

On the day(s) of the climate strike, it is best not to get out of bed at all.  Any physical activity by humans results in the emission of more carbon dioxide anyway, which is counterproductive.  It is best not to eat or drink anything, because large amounts of energy are used in the production of food and water, and these must be kept to a minimum.  In this case, zero is probably an unattainable goal, but it is necessary to aim low.

Next, the climate change striker should not turn on any lights or use a phone or computer or television or any other electrical device or appliance.  Anything electrical obviously uses electricity, the majority of which is produced by the burning of coal or natural gas.  If electricity use is curtailed, then less carbon dioxide and other pollutants will be produced.  Electricity generation from solar cells and windmills will continue as usual, unaffected by the strike.

Not using electricity also means that no charging of batteries, such as those in a cell phone or laptop, should be allowed, either.  In fact, any device or equipment that uses a remote control should be unplugged, and the batteries should be removed from the remote controls, because these devices still use electricity when they are not actually turned on.

Electrical equipment such as air conditioners uses huge amounts of electricity and absolutely must be turned off in a climate change strike.  This would also apply to refrigerators and freezers.  Humans are using a large amount of electricity to cool air, water, and food, and these are mostly unnecessary, especially during a climate change strike.

Heating systems, whether they use electricity, natural gas, or oil, must also be turned completely off.  This includes water heaters also.  Enormous amounts of energy are being used to heat things, and this unnecessary usage must be stopped during a climate change strike.

Traveling in any kind of vehicle should be eliminated.  It does not much matter whether travel is by car or bus or plane or train or motorcycle or scooter, since they essentially all use either electricity or some type of carbon-based fuel.  If one does not even get out of bed, this should not be much of an issue.  Even walking or riding a bicycle requires the consumption of additional food and water and at least indirectly increases the production of carbon dioxide, so even walking and riding bicycles should be avoided during the strike.

In case anyone thinks the above outline of a method for conducting a climate change strike would not be effective, let me point out some of the other effects of this type of activity.  The big corporations in the petroleum and electrical power industries would immediately take notice of any significant reduction in consumption.  The big social media companies would go into a panic if the number of users plummeted suddenly (if they support the climate change strike, they should turn all of their servers off anyway).  Government and society generally would both feel a major impact of such a strike, especially if it lasted more than a few hours.  Suppose that it went on for a week.  Does anyone honestly believe that a week-long near-total stoppage of human activity by millions of young people would have no significant effect?

Since I am not a young person, I am unlikely to participate in such a climate change strike.  All I can do is to make some suggestions on how to be more effective.  What is needed now is for a talented and connected organizer to plan and coordinate the strike.  Climate change strikers of the world, unite!

Image: Anders Hellberg via Wikimedia Commons.

Recent efforts to organize a climate change "strike" have brought together countless thousands of young people, supposedly across 4,500 locations in 150 countries, to demand that action be taken to address climate change.  The total number of people involved has been estimated to be several million.  After all of the protesting, it has been admitted that the entire activity has accomplished essentially nothing.  There is a better way to conduct a climate change strike so that it is more successful, even if it does not produce the same level of media coverage.

The genuine way to conduct a climate strike is to do nothing.  This sounds like a surrender and an attitude of apathy.  However, what I mean is not that everyone simply continue their daily life and routine as though there were no problem to be faced.  That is never what is meant by a strike.  What I mean is that the way to conduct a serious climate strike is really to do absolutely nothing.  Let me give some details to help the climate change striker to have a measurable effect on reducing fossil fuel usage and the production of carbon dioxide during the strike, and also to have a real impact on the world.

On the day(s) of the climate strike, it is best not to get out of bed at all.  Any physical activity by humans results in the emission of more carbon dioxide anyway, which is counterproductive.  It is best not to eat or drink anything, because large amounts of energy are used in the production of food and water, and these must be kept to a minimum.  In this case, zero is probably an unattainable goal, but it is necessary to aim low.

Next, the climate change striker should not turn on any lights or use a phone or computer or television or any other electrical device or appliance.  Anything electrical obviously uses electricity, the majority of which is produced by the burning of coal or natural gas.  If electricity use is curtailed, then less carbon dioxide and other pollutants will be produced.  Electricity generation from solar cells and windmills will continue as usual, unaffected by the strike.

Not using electricity also means that no charging of batteries, such as those in a cell phone or laptop, should be allowed, either.  In fact, any device or equipment that uses a remote control should be unplugged, and the batteries should be removed from the remote controls, because these devices still use electricity when they are not actually turned on.

Electrical equipment such as air conditioners uses huge amounts of electricity and absolutely must be turned off in a climate change strike.  This would also apply to refrigerators and freezers.  Humans are using a large amount of electricity to cool air, water, and food, and these are mostly unnecessary, especially during a climate change strike.

Heating systems, whether they use electricity, natural gas, or oil, must also be turned completely off.  This includes water heaters also.  Enormous amounts of energy are being used to heat things, and this unnecessary usage must be stopped during a climate change strike.

Traveling in any kind of vehicle should be eliminated.  It does not much matter whether travel is by car or bus or plane or train or motorcycle or scooter, since they essentially all use either electricity or some type of carbon-based fuel.  If one does not even get out of bed, this should not be much of an issue.  Even walking or riding a bicycle requires the consumption of additional food and water and at least indirectly increases the production of carbon dioxide, so even walking and riding bicycles should be avoided during the strike.

In case anyone thinks the above outline of a method for conducting a climate change strike would not be effective, let me point out some of the other effects of this type of activity.  The big corporations in the petroleum and electrical power industries would immediately take notice of any significant reduction in consumption.  The big social media companies would go into a panic if the number of users plummeted suddenly (if they support the climate change strike, they should turn all of their servers off anyway).  Government and society generally would both feel a major impact of such a strike, especially if it lasted more than a few hours.  Suppose that it went on for a week.  Does anyone honestly believe that a week-long near-total stoppage of human activity by millions of young people would have no significant effect?

Since I am not a young person, I am unlikely to participate in such a climate change strike.  All I can do is to make some suggestions on how to be more effective.  What is needed now is for a talented and connected organizer to plan and coordinate the strike.  Climate change strikers of the world, unite!

Image: Anders Hellberg via Wikimedia Commons.