Empowering Merri-bek

Climate Action Merribek supports “Think Global, Act Local”.

In the Merri-bek community, there is a high level of support for strong climate action. The actions that we take in Merri-bek can inspire others to act.

Climate change is a collective problem that requires us to act collectively. We need strong leadership from governments. However, the actions we are seeing from our governments fall desperately short of what is required.

Many people ask: “What can I do about climate change?”. We are often told to reduce our own emissions and to buy greener products. Certainly such individual action is vital. But it is not enough. We want people to share their ideas with others. We also need people to be active as citizens – to put pressure on our political leaders, business and other organisations.

Annie Leonard – who developed the Story of Stuff project describes us as having a Consumer Muscle and a Citizen Muscle. She calls for people to flex their Citizen Muscle. Check out her short video on the Story of Change. As Annie Leonard says, we need more than individual responsibility. We need people to work together to tackle the problem.

Believing that our Actions can Make a Difference

Generally, people will take action on something only if they feel their actions will make a difference. (This is called “efficacy”.) If people don’t believe this, they will probably become disengaged.

As Saul Alinksy said: “If people feel they don’t have the power to change a bad situation, they stop thinking about it”.  And as Margaret Mead said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”.

Climate change is such a huge problem. So how can we take action that we will believe will make a difference? Clearly we must set goals that are both achievable and challenging. When we win, we need to celebrate our wins, share them with others, and move onto bigger goals.

Merri-bek can Make a Difference

In Merri-bek, we can:

  • Reduce local carbon emissions by using less energy, ending fossil fuel use, and increasing renewable energy. We can contribute to broader campaigns on this such as the growing movement to stop coal.
  • Protect people, animals, ecosystems – since climate impacts have already begun.
  • Interact with other people: influence others, empower, and build widespread support for political action.

Climate Action Merribek believes we need to do all three. Our community ranks as one of the top few in the country in wanting strong climate action. We can, and need to, set an example to other communities, and strengthen actions by other communities

Sharing our Experiences with Others

Individual action to reduce emissions can be effective if large numbers of people take action. We ask you to share your experiences on reducing emissions with family, friends, colleagues, neighbours and other contacts. And you can join lobby groups, such as Solar Citizens.

Things you can do right now to take real climate action in Merri-bek

Below we have listed some of ideas for taking action on climate change. Some ideas are about individual action (and please share your experiences with others); others involve us working together as citizens to drive political change; and some are a bit of both. And if you have more ideas or case studies, or links that we can add, please email us at climateactionmoreland@gmail.com

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