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Climatecamp.org
 
The Camp for Climate Action
 
- The Camp for Climate Action
- Aims of the Camp for Climate Action
- Our view on the symptoms, science and solutions to climate change


The Camp for Climate Action 2007

We hope that the camp will be many things to many people, from exploring what the problems are, and the changes and challenges we face, to gain the skills we will need as we prepare for a future that burns less energy. We’ll also be joining forces with Heathrow residents fighting the third runway, linking a critical local battle to the need for systemic change. And finally we’ll be taking direct action to turn things round, and create lasting communities of resistance.
 
The camp is not just about pointing fingers – though we have to identify who and what is making the problem worse. It’s not just about rehearsing disaster scenarios – though we have to understand what ‘business as usual’ really means. It’s not just about creating a spectacle to entertain ourselves – though we have to be able to dance even as we resist and debate. What the camp is really about is doing what we need to do to tackle climate change.
 
Of course these days everyone agrees that reducing carbon dioxide emissions is necessary, but are they serious? If governments and corporations were serious about climate change they wouldn’t be threatening us with terrorism laws and Orwellian injunctions. And of course nobody really believes their idea that we can buy our way out of the climate crisis by all being green consumers. Imagine a planet of 6 billion Toyota Prius eco-cars. We simply can’t have an endlessly expanding economy on a planet that’s not getting any bigger!
 
The real battle is about change as its coming whether we like it or not. Capitalism loves a good crisis. The crisis of climate change provides an opportunity to change the world, to sweep away existing barriers to growth and to realise new profits. Markets for carbon and the farce of carbon-offsetting are ingenious new ways to make profits. It’s hard to see them delivering 90% cuts in carbon dioxide emissions before 2050. But easy to see them delivering bumper profits, insane inequality and a PR-disguised drift towards climatic catastrophes.
 
Mainstream solutions to climate change are no solution at all. Catastrophe beckons unless we get our act together. It’s up to us, the public acting together, to push solutions that fight against climate change and for social justice together, to develop attractive solutions, to adopt different measurements of value, to turn things around. The good news is that most of the changes needed are social, psychological and political. They aren’t about technology. They are questions to be answered by the public, not the expert.
 
Of course the camp won’t just be a single event, a week in a field – it’s come out of an ever growing movement of diverse people who are alive to the fact that radical changes are essential, and are making them happen. And its up to all of us to work out what happens next.
 
We hope that you’ll come to the camp. We can choose what the future holds. We have the power right here in our hands. If only we’ll use it.
 
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Aims of the Camp for Climate Action

It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the problem of climate change. It's easy to feel that we can't make a difference. Our aim is overcome feelings of isolation and helplessness by bringing people together to create a community of resistance. We hope the camp inspires people to take action, share ideas and beyond the camp, make a start in their own localities and spheres of interest. The camp will...
 
- Be a place where we explore grassroots solutions to climate change through workshops, skill-sharing, education, debate and entertainment. The camp will also bring together people already campaigning on this and related issues.
 
- Take direct action against the root causes of climate change. Yes we need to change light bulbs and stop flying to Spain for the weekend, but we also need to act collectively. This is the only way to stop the actions of those vested interests that watch the planet burn while counting the money they make from the fire.
 
- Demonstrate and live the alternatives by bringing diverse groups and individuals together to live in an ecologically sustainable, cooperative way. The camp will aim to be as carbon neutral as possible and all energy, except perhaps gas for cooking, will come from renewable sources.
 
- Be a space for celebration, for kids and families, a place to socialise with friends old and new. Western civilisation has tried to answer the eternal question of what it is to be human by surrounding itself in a cocoon of objects, an endless stream of meaningless stuff. This is a chance to show the opposite, that less can be so much more.

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Our view on the symptoms, science and solutions to climate change

- The environmental problem.
 
Emissions of carbon dioxide, mostly from oil, gas and coal are rapidly raising the temperature and changing the weather. This is happening faster than at virtually any time in the Earths history. Most scientists, and even governments, agree that if we keep to business-as-usual then people, society in general and the ecosystems we all rely on for food and water will not be able to adapt to such rapid changes.
 
The scale of the problem is mind-boggling: the new report from the United Nations Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change says that if we continue with rapidly increasing fossil-fuel use, global average temperatures may rise by 6 degrees Celsius. The last time this happened was 251 million years ago and some 99% of all living individuals died. We must rapidly and radically reduce oil, gas and coal use.
 
- The social problem.
 
Almost everything we do produces carbon dioxide emissions: work, travel, housing. To cut emissions, as many scientists suggest, by 90%, means serious changes need to happen. Who is going to solve climate change? The usual answer is either governments and changes in regulations, or individuals affecting companies by changing the products and services we buy. This is not going to work for one simple reason: the world is geared towards the extraction of profit, and increasing economic growth, and not lives of dignity for all. Just ask any of the 800 million people who will go hungry today. Profits come first. With this reality in mind, it's easy to understand why only the rhetoric changes. And emissions keep rising.
 
We, so-called ordinary people, will have to solve the worlds problems, largely in spite of the actions of governments and corporations. This social problem - the logic of economic growth superseding all else - is not new. The solution - that widespread grassroots social movements are key agents of change - is also not new. There is just a new urgency. We believe that climate change is effectively a referendum on what kind of world we want. A lot is going to change, whether we like it or not. So we'd better be involved in the creation of something much better than the world as it is now. To do this we must search for solutions that both reduce emissions and make our lives better.
 
- Solutions?
 
Too big a problem? Too small a person? Join with others! The Camp for Climate Action is uniting people into a community taking collective action on climate change. The emphasis is to reduce emissions and have a 'better life' in many different ways. At last years camp, over 600 people converged outside Drax power station for 10 days of living, learning and making decisions together, all powered by renewable energy. The camp culminated in a day of mass action against Drax, which shook up the UKs biggest carbon dioxide emitter, and got the attention of the worlds media.
 
The camp, "a blend of Glastonbury and open-air science seminar" as The Independent put it, was an incredibly inspiring event that catalysed a new wave of radical action on climate change across the UK. This year, the camps effect will be amplified by simultaneous camps across the US. Who knows what changes thousands converging again will create. See you there?
 
(2007)
 
 - More info: www.climatecamp.org.uk
 - Klima-Camps 2008 in Deutschland: www.klimacamp.org
- Video zum Climate Action Camp 2006 (deutschsprachig): www.cinerebelde.org
 
 
 




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