Last month, approximately 800,000 people took to the streets in Washington, D.C. to protest against gun violence. By some estimates, they were joined by about million more across the United States. All told, the March for Our Lives was likely one of the largest single-day demonstrations in US history, surpassing the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam in 1969 and the Million Man March in 1996.

While those protestor numbers are impressive on their own, what’s truly incredible about the current gun reform movement is the ways in which they’ve entered—and stuck around in—our daily news feeds and conversations. Emma González, David Hogg, and the other survivors of the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have become familiar faces and voices in the media leading this movement. Moreover, Never Again MSD has been able to influence the passage of specific legislation, such as Florida’s new law raising the minimum legal age to purchase a firearm. Unlike the aftermaths of Columbine, Sandy Hook, Pulse, Las Vegas, and countless other mass shootings, ongoing debate and change appear to be happening. For once, political differences aside, everyone’s paying attention to the same issue.

Wouldn’t it be great if climate change activists could coalesce around common goals, policy, hashtags, and specific calls to action, too?

I’m not suggesting we haven’t spent decades trying. Yes, groups around the world are dedicated to promoting environmental public policy, awareness, education, and advocacy. Yes, journalists write stories every day about scientific research showing harrowing evidence of humanity’s catastrophic impact on the planet. And yes, about a million people turned out last year for another massive demonstration, the March for Science, which was largely focused on climate change.

But when was the last time our movement became a trending topic? When was the last time someone told you they had changed their mind about climate change? And when was the last time the US enacted a transformative climate and energy regulation—one that might actually alter environmental practices and behavior?

I’ll tell you: it was the Clean Power Plan, which the Obama Administration created in 2015… and which the Trump Administration will soon try to eliminate.

It’s no wonder nonprofit and for-profit organizations have taken it upon themselves to tackle what lawmakers seem incapable or unwilling to address. Today, there are hundreds of foundations, associations, alliances, trusts, funds, conservancies, councils, coalitions, and networks (not to mention B Corporations) pursuing various, important missions related to, well, saving the world.

There’s just one problem: there are hundreds of them, and they all have important, world-saving missions, but there are no coordinated messaging, goals or interest in Collective Impact. What can we as socially conscious businesses and individuals do to make a difference? And what organizations’ should we support?

We’ve had several conversations about what our agency can do to keep track of the myriad climate groups and help activists understand where to focus their attention. So, to make sense of the constellation of organizations—from those that operate on a global scale to those in our backyard—we put together an infographic:

I’m not going to lie, this was a tough exercise. To develop this infographic, we started out with a massive spreadsheet charting dozens of local, regional, national, and global organizations. Pretty quickly, we came across two major challenges: one, determining which groups to include; and two, determining the specific stakeholders, mission, and goals of each organization. Sure they all want to reduce global warming, but how? And how will we know if and when they’re successful? In the short term – not in 2050.

We wound up picking ten organizations that we believe represent a diverse, high-quality selection for anyone seeking to address climate change today. This infographic is far from exhaustive, but hopefully it can help you navigate your journey as an activist in this admittedly overwhelming movement.

Let me know what you think! And check back later in the week for Part 2 – our suggestions for things you and/or your business can do to support the climate change movement and reduce global warming.

Post Date
April 10, 2018
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