The Best Way to Fight Climate Change — Hit Corporations with Global Boycotts that Bring Economic Systems to their Knees
Welcome to the war — the war that we’re each able to fight and help win.
All hail 16 year-old Greta Thunberg who has awakened the world to the urgency of acting now on the climate crisis. It is a beginning. It’s the awareness phase. But we must begin the fighting phase.
It sounds like a threat, something that everyone would and should be afraid of — but indeed, in a capitalist-driven crisis the consumer must exercise their power. In America, the consumer has all of the power. More power than even your voting right is your decision to buys stuff. What you buy determines the market. The resources you use determine how many of the resources must be provided. We think the government is the only entity that can make change but in fact, it is really our collective power that will cause the biggest shift in how things are done. We are the ones making the richest people rich. It isn’t trickle down, it’s trickle up and it’s time we claimed that untapped resource of power.
And make no mistake about it, this is war. Under attack is the entire planet. Climate change is here — it’s moving faster and harder than ever predicted, already wreaking inconceivable havoc with vast fires, relentless super-storms, and “500-year floods” happening every 5 years. Democrats are responsible in their own way for inaction; after all, but for a handful of disgruntled liberals in Florida two decades ago, we could have had Al Gore as our president in 2000, but instead he wasn’t seen as green enough for the Greens. Even if you don’t blame Ralph Nader voters for Gore’s loss, you have to admit that Gore was never thought by far-left purists to be good enough, just as Hillary Clinton wasn’t good enough, just as Joe Biden isn’t believed by many progressives to be good enough.
Really? 19 years later, after two terms of fossil fuel loving Bush and now, one term of Trump’s disastrous environmental policies — are you sure about that? The Republicans have systematically turned climate change into a partisan issue, you know, like abortion, and have done so to manipulate their gullible electorate into believing the lie that there is no such thing as man-made climate change. They spew the dumbo rhetoric any time they can, that “oh the weather changes all the time.” Or “I don’t believe climate change is real — even if the planet is warming, it isn’t our fault.”
Yeah, it is. You dig up fossil fuels and you burn them, that warms the planet. They were buried for millions of years which, in turn, cooled the planet, making it an ideal atmosphere for all kinds of different forms of life, including us. What’s coming next is uncharted territory for humanity. We have no idea how bad it’s going to get. We just know it WILL be bad. How bad? Well, like people will drop dead on the street from the heat, large areas of the planet will be rendered uninhabitable, which will send millions of refugees fleeing for the few relatively temperate countries that have a Plan B (aka, a plan for how the rich will survive and the poor will suffer). Bad enough that sea levels will rise, putting coastal cities under water, coral reefs will die, ocean acidification will kill fish and sea mammals.
There are too many of us crowded onto this fragile sphere. We consume too much of precious commodities that have a finite and dwindling supply. But that’s especially true in the biggest countries, like the United States and China. We consume meat at a rate that, by now, is nothing short of barbaric. The only way to meet the demand is to push the animals through gestation straight to the table — babies — to kill as many as possible as fast as possible, to pump their flesh out all over the world, which also burns forests, wastes water, and warms the planet one burger at a time. And that’s just the beginning of what we do without regard to the future.
Heartfelt speeches matter. Marches matter. Awareness campaigns matter. You can do a lot by cutting down your own personal carbon footprint for sure. Each of us has the individual power to dramatically reduce on our meat consumption, travel less, use less energy. We have the power if we can muster the willpower.
But nothing — and I mean nothing — will get governments and corporations to listen like massive, well organized global boycotts.
You can get people who plunder the planet to stop and listen when you prevent them from making money.
The reason we’re in this mess is that corporations long ago learned how to manipulate consumer demand, and then give us, the consumers, what they’ve trained us to demand — more and more of everything. More meat, more plastic, more pills. More cars burning more and cheaper gas. Internet, 5G, A/C, Uber, fast food. 500 channels of 24/7 distraction at 300 mbps. Cheap everything bought at Walmart then discarded like trash a year later. Our trash heaps are overwhelming us and the ocean all because they want to sell us a lot of stuff we don’t need but the freedom to buy and consume is the American dream they’ve hypnotized us all with. They give us what they’ve taught us to want.
Here’s the good news about that: in a Capitalist society the consumer rules.
Nothing gets sold when buyers balk. We stand up and prove that we can resist the hard sell. We stop getting hooked whenever we stop taking the bait. So we hit them where it hurts. We break the cycle of ads that create the demand that pays for the ads. We stop increasing supply when we reduce demand. That’s the only thing that can scare corporatrions into action. It will scare the government into action because they’ll be afraid of an economic collapse. All it takes is a little organizing and now we know that it’s possible. We know from seeing the effect of nationwide marches, from product boycotts that convince companies to stop paying the bills for TV racists.
If your answer is — well, that’s fine for people who can afford alternatives to, say, boycott gas or electricity for one week. That excuses people who can’t afford it. But for those who can, why not? This is war and you don’t go into battle with nothing but words and signs, hashtags, tweets. You force them to do something and the only way to do that is exercise your power to NOT BUY THEIR SHIT.
Here are some examples:
If you care about the welfare of pigs — nothing would get the attention more than a global boycott of all pork products. It was recently announced that the government is going to speed up the slaughterhouse process for pigs . It isn’t enough that they are kept in horrific conditions in warehouses, where they never see the light of day, many of them spending their entire lives immobile, giving birth to multiple litters of pigs all so that Little Johnny can chow down with his microwave bacon bowl. BOYCOTT will make the corporations WORRY in the way that we need them to worry. Boycott pork, globally, for one month. Imagine what that would do to shake up the industry.
A gas boycott. Everyone who drives find an alternative form of transportation for one week. If possible. Of course it works best if everyone does it, but even if a third of us can and do, that’s enough people do it for the big oil companies to feel it. There are bikes in every city and there are subways and buses. Good old- fashioned carpooling can transport four carloads of solo drivers into one vehicle.
A Christmas splurge boycott. Boy, wouldn’t the Republicans love that? It would be like their grotesque orgy of plastic straws and slurpees and bacon and “freedom fries” ratcheted up to level 10. Boycott Christmas — don’t buy unnecessary shit. It’s as simple as ceasing to regard luxuries as necessities. Bring the economy to a screeching halt. Pull the plug on that mess. Blackout on Black Friday. If we threatened to boycott Christmas — what do you think Trump would do in December of 2019? If one day is going to dive-bomb the economy, send it into a screeching recession — you bet the Walton family would be on the phone, trying to negotiate a better way forward.
MONEY TALKS, my friends. In fact, it swears. It screams. And dialing back our addictions to cut off the flow of cash is the best and fastest way to get the attention of those who already hoard too much of it.
Millennials, I know you got this.