A discussion about climate action and civil disobedience

Inspired by Tim DeChristopher’s Fourth Friday talk in January, a discussion group met February 16 to share thoughts and consider what meaningful climate action can be.

Facilitator Debbie Mytels posted several questions for the group:

What was one thing that DeChristopher said that’s stuck with you?
Have you ever felt a conflict between your moral values and your actions?
Are you inspired to further action?  Of what sort?

Here is some of what participants expressed.

What stuck with you from Tim’s talk?

  • Tim’s presence was elevating and inspiring.
  • Importance of bringing heart and soul into the movement
  • It’s time for bold, courageous acts
  • Willingness to become vulnerable is powerful
  • If people push on a wall in many places, some will find a soft spot, then others can gather there to push the wall down together.
  • We must be disobedient, disobedience can be sacred.
  • Tim: “I could live with gong to prison, but couldn’t live with doing nothing”
  • Love and anger can both fuel activism, sometimes at the same time.
  • Tim wasn’t a martyr. His imprisonment was a different experience, where he met different people, and it changed his life, gave it more meaning.
  • Music (from Tim’s friend Brian Cahall) speaking to the soul
  • We need to do something real, not let Tim down

Ideas and questions from the group:

  • What does a “win” look like?
  • What is an effective outlet for civil disobedience?
  • Think about other movements, like women’s suffrage. Acts that seem spontaneous are often a long time in coming. Rosa Park prepared for years before her “spontaneous” act.
  • A challenge now is that we’re short of time.
  • What actions are authentic and meaningful to each of us?
  • We need more people willing to take risks
  • What might be most effective? Price on carbon? stopping oil trains, marching, pushing electric vehicles, education, personal choices, protests against Koch brothers and others?

The group expressed interest in additional follow-up. Debbie will create a Google Group, and a future meeting will be held. Please contact Debbie (dmytels@batnet.com) if you’d like to participate.


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