We've read the studies and we've heard the numbers. With NASA reporting that 97% of publishing climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming and climate change – there's no denying that the time to act has long been upon us. At SXSW, we've been listening. New for this year we've created the Climate & Social Action Track where we can put all kinds or community organizers together – because no matter what it is that we're fighting for, we're always better when we come together.
We already know certain sustainable habits – like avoiding plastic straws and single-use water bottles – but what other actions can we incorporate into our lifetimes as we drudge on in this mortal coil? Over a lifetime, there's multiple opportunities to circumvent the current popular practices to opt for a more climate-friendly option. These sessions will explore how to take advantage of these opportunities when they present themselves.
Action In Life
It's easy to feel like there's no course forward when politicians and even the White House actively dispute the evidence produced by climate change researchers. In How Companies Fight Climate Denial With Progress, we invite you to join the conversation with Suzanne Dibianca (Salesforce), Rachel Konrad (Impossible Foods Inc), Joseph Lake (The Economist), and Ravi Sunnak (Porter Novelli) as they discuss how to keep the focus on addressing climate change even as others actively fight to push it off the back burner.
When you're wondering how you as an individual can make a difference – learn more about approaching climate action as a moral responsibility with Elizabeth Dias (The New York Times), Veerabhadran Ramanathan (Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego), Matt Russell (Iowa Interfaith Power & Light), and Melody Zhang (Young Evangelicals for Climate Action) in Can Religion Embrace Climate Action? In 2015, Pope Francis released Laudato Si, an encyclical on climate change, which called for developed nations to take immediate action on reducing greenhouse gases. The encyclical was rooted in the argument that the world’s poorest three billion people are going to suffer the worst consequences of climate change, even though they had little to do with the actions that are contributing to sea-level rise, extreme heat waves, and more. When we shift the conversation to a moral issue rather than a political debate we have the opportunity to move towards change on an individual level.
One of the most extraordinary instances of this is the way that young people have mobilized their anger at older generation's inactions and the state of the planet they're set to inherit. Young women, in particular, are revolutionizing the climate movement and leading the youth on all continents in their fight to get the adults in power to act. Hear from one of these remarkable young people, 13 year old Haven Coleman, who started her journey as an activist at age 10 in Youth Rising: Girls Will Solve the Climate Crisis.
Action In Death
If you've never thought about how the funeral industry could be impacting climate change, that's how they would prefer it. This industry thrives on public ignorance and is one of the most toxic and manipulative businesses, dumping 1.6 million tons of concrete, 4.8 million gallons of embalming fluids, and 178 tons of carbon dioxide into our land and atmosphere every year. Gain the knowledge they don't want you to know and learn about alternative options for after death in There’s Something in the Water: Aquamation in 2020 with Alex Casas (Pale Hearse), Allie Garcia (Pale Hearse), and Melissa N. Unfred (The Modern Mortician).
The first step to action is education, but will all the media coverage being full of fire, flood, politics, and very little room for solutions – it's not hard to see why #climategrief has become a popular hashtag. In How to Scale Local Climate Success Up and Out, this brainstorming session will explore fresh tactics and tools with Molly Mowery (Wildfire Planning International), Ozgem Ornektekin (KO2 Consulting), Andrew Revkin (Columbia University Earth Institute), and Shavonne Smith (Shinnecock Indian Nation) who are sparking change in New York City’s antiquated schools, the wildfire zones of the West and along the Shinnecock Indian Nation's eroding coastline. These tangible takeaways will be actionable starting points on everyone's individual journeys to curb climate change!
Browse More Climate & Social Action Sessions
Learn more about the climate activists and climate focused programming coming to SXSW 2020 as well as the programming focusing on social action by diving in deeper to the Climate & Social Action Sessions. This Convergence Track is open to all SXSW Badges.
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Photo by Tico Mendoza