By May Boeve
“What can we do to create the public outcry that we need?”
That’s the big question President Mohammed Nasheed of the Maldives asked me when he was in New York City last week. His country, just 1.5 meters above sea level, is in imminent danger of disappearing beneath the Indian Ocean. Nasheed is an inspiration and a true climate champion, and his question has stayed with me as we prepare for Climate Impacts Day on May 5.
We have just one month to go until 5/5, the next big global day of action where together we will try to answer President Nasheed’s question. Already hundreds of local communities are on the map for Climate Impacts Day on 5/5, all of them busily planning actions that will help wake the world up to our new shared reality.
All sorts of local events are in the works—from presentations to protests, from climate solutions to community rebuilding. In Jammu, India, a local group of 350 activists will spend 5/5 rebuilding homes destroyed in record-breaking storms. In New Mexico in the U.S., a group of firefighters who are fed up with drought are switching to solar energy, and will put up big "climate dots" on their fire station where they'll be installing solar panels. The list of incredible events just goes on and on—and it’s growing every day.
Each event will feature a huge "climate dot" representing the local impacts being felt around the world—and together we will connect those dots to make something truly unignorable.
A month might not seem like much time, but organizing a local event doesn't need to be hard. Our team will provide you with everything you need in our downloadable "Event Toolkit," complete with customizable posters, banner templates, sample press-releases, action plans and an easy way for your friends and neighbors to sign up to join you. We’ve also got a guide to making you can take a great photo of your local Climate Dot, no matter the size of your event.
Perhaps the most useful way to think of a month is as four distinct weeks, more than enough time to plan a great local event. Here's how:
Week 1: You just need to get your community on the map by registering your event on ClimateDots.org. It only takes five minutes and you can change your information later, so if you've been thinking about hosting a local action you might as well register your event right now.
Week 2: Link up with friends or neighbors and decide what kind of action you're going to have—it could be a climate solutions project (like planting a community garden) or some grassroots climate education (like presenting the "Connect the Dots" slideshow our team is putting together.) Or really anything that connects the dots between extreme weather and climate change.
Week 3: Work out the logistical details, spread the word in your community, and start planning out your big "climate dot" to display at your local event.
Week 4: Make sure absolutely everyone knows about your local event (including media and local politicians) and get ready for the big day.
(All of this is covered in the super-helpful 10-step Action Plan in the Climate Impacts Day Event Toolkit)
That's it. And while the month might pass by in a flash, the real ticking clock is the looming climate crisis. We must do everything we can with the time we have to rise to this planetary challenge—to move from disbelief and desperation to solidarity and solutions. As a global movement, we can help answer President Nasheed's question by raising a public outcry on climate change too big to be ignored.
We’ll start by connecting the dots. All of us, all together, all around the world.
Join us on May 5 and help Connect the Dots.
For more information, click here.