Political organization, not light bulbs, is the way to fight climate change

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Political organization, not light bulbs, is the way to fight climate change

By Joe Ware


Bill McKibben started 350.org. Here he is at Le Trianon, Paris at the same time as the climate summit, COP21. © Kristian Buus

Bill McKibben spoke at the Greenbelt Festival near Kettering, England. He said that there was progress on climate change but it is not certain that we will win the fight.

‘We need to do more,’ he said. ‘Individual actions are no longer the most important thing to do. Solar panels and energy saving light bulbs are great, but these are not the solutions on their own. We need to take action on the causes, we need to organize.’

McKibben is also a Methodist Sunday school teacher. He was one of the most popular speakers at the festival. He led the successful fight to stop the Keystone XL pipeline and he led the global fossil fuel divestment movement. He has also spoken against institutions like the Church of England about their financial investments in the fossil fuel industry.

He said that time was so short individual lifestyle choices are no longer enough.

He gave the example of the unexpected success of the Keystone XL campaign. The campaign saw President Obama stop the construction of an oil pipeline from the Canadian tar sands to America’s Gulf Coast. He said it showed what people can do when they organize and fight against big organisations like the US oil industry.

Renewable technology is becoming cheaper and this and the climate movement gave him hope. “We must stop the fossil fuel companies for a few more years so renewable energy can come in,” he said.

Joe Ware is a journalist and writer at Christian Aid. Follow him on Twitter. For next year’s Greenbelt festival you can buy tickets at greenbelt.org.uk.

NOW READ THE ORIGINAL:https://www.newint.org/blog/2016/09/07/political-organization-not-light-bulbs-says-bill-mckibben/ (This article has been simplified so the words, text structure and quotes may have changed).