Piecing the community together

Post by: Sara

Our usual farmers market schtick centers around photo petitioning and sign up sheets for environmental groups both existing and potential (and passing out Boloco ping pong balls). In Winchester we took it to the next level: a way to involve everyone, whatever their passion.

So many people to talk to, so little time!

We invited each passer by to chat with us about what Climate Summer is and what that person’s involvement with climate change action has been. Each person had different concerns. There were those who feel that political action is the key. We asked them to photo petition. There were some who saw a solution in local action. We were conveniently set up next to the Sustainable Winchester table, where Alan Field was signing folks up to participate in Cool Winchester, a carbon footprint reducing program. Those in the local camp all seemed excited to talk with Alan. Some people wanted to learn more, or to talk more. We invited them to our movie night that evening, where we screened a film and then held a discussion. When we struggled to make a connection, “are you a biker?” tended to work well. We could then tell them about our bike ride this upcoming Thursday  (see the website for more details!). For those who didn’t want to ride, or already committed to another event, or knew Caroline, or just seemed awesome, we plugged Western Mass’ Climate Vigil. Finally, for those in a rush or those who were interested in nothing we had to offer, we sent them off with our business card.

On the cynical side, you could call what we did a great application of the hard ask: “Can you make it to this? No? Well, how about this?” I, however, would argue that it was really in keeping with the mission of Climate Summer. As climate change is a phenomenon that has never before happened, we do not know for certain what we can expect or what the best solution is to combat it. We do know that we need to take action from many different levels and that we must all get involved. And as activists, we know that it is when people take action in accordance with their passions that can make truly great changes. On a small scale, we engaged people around their passions and helped people connect with other passionate people. It felt sort of like fitting piece of a puzzle together. These people and these ideas and these actions fit with each other and it was just a matter of piecing them together.

Singing for slash promoting our cause

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One Response to Piecing the community together

  1. Bill Wilt says:

    My thinking about such enrollments now goes something like this:

    First you got the greeting card; then you ate the cereal; then you slept on the pillowcase(s); then you saw the YouTube; then you read the web log; then you read the book (the cover of which was made with compositing software (dunno a particular name) that makes a picture out of the thousands of petition pix you collected, like each person/petition-holder becomes as but one pixel in the image, but you can zoom, zoom, zoom in); and THEN you saw the movie; and then you had a movement; and then you collected money; and then you sent yourselves to Congress, the State Houses, the governors’ palaces.

    And then you got married, worried about getting you kids into the right pre-, kinder-, el-hi/prep schools/ college/post-grad/post-doc schools, apologized to your grand-kids for what you’d left undone.

    OR: you watched George Carlin’s 3-min riff on the Club You Don’t Belong To (The American Dream bit in “Life Is Worth Loosing”–here’s one link–all seem to have some difficulty w/ either audio, video, ‘r both. This one has good audio, and the artsy video is meant, I think, to defeat the claim of “unauthorized youth”–or is that unauthored use?

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