Climate Walkers aims to be a grass-roots movement of walking, talking, and optionally singing about climate change. Its objective is to provide a fun, easy, healthy, social method of climate change activism.
The general public and their politicians are always slow to respond to a changing future, but there is one group of people who bring a lot of money and expertise to dealing with the future: investment bankers. Increasingly, company after company publicly recognises the growing huge impact of climate change. They know that by the time drought, fire, and hurricanes are causing terrible havoc, the world will collectively demand a limit to greenhouse gas. They know that at that point, greenhouse polluters will be taxed out of existence unless they can become green enough fast enough. Investment specialists' job is to re-shape their corporations to be greener before their investment dries up and the corporations become unprofitable.
Our job is to make the general public demand climate policies sooner rather than later, so that the droughts, fires, hurricanes etc don't cause as much damage as they would if we wait until they are on our doorstep, which is much sooner than most people realise. The stakes are high, because if we are late fixing the problem, the world could become a selfish miserable place riven by water wars and displaced climate refugees, and folk bitter at saying 'I told you so'.
But many people feel uncomfortable or put off by waving placards. And who has the time?
What we would like to do is to find a way of labelling activities that we routinely enjoy (i.e. socialising & exercising) as climate activism. If Climate Walking reminds us of small positive changes we all can make to limit climate change, good. And if Climate Walking gets us ready for larger walks, then when COVID-19 permits, we will be ready for a large fraction of people to tell their governments what they want.
The idea of Climate Walkers is to find ways of doing regular walks (or runs or bike rides) under the umbrella of advocating action on climate change. There are a variety of social media tools that could help facilitate this, but I only know of one tool that automates regular exercise showing the location in real-time (so that stragglers can catch up, or you know whether to show up if the weather is bad), and that is strava.com. I have enjoyed Strava so far, but I have zero association with them, and would not hesitate to use different methods of coordinating Climate Walking if Strava later introduce fees or become invasive of privacy etc. The link to Climate Walkers on strava.com is Climate Walkers
You can join Strava.com for free. (They make their money by providing a good free service to attract new users, and charging reasonable fees for advanced features that keen athletes are happy to pay.) You can use Strava.com anonymously and/or hide your routes and/or hide your routes near your home or work place.
As well as chatting and gentle exercise, we have been trialling some unaccompanied climate songs, but singing is not compulsory! What is compulsory is that if you sing while there is any danger of COVID-19, then wear a mask, for good reasons. And, of course, follow all legal requirements re social distancing, which as at Sep/2020 in NSW are 3 m apart for singers, and 1.5 m apart for non-singers. And of course of course, if you have any symptoms of Covid 19, stay home until you are tested negative. The songs have been surprisingly fun, especially given that most of us don't sing very much.
We are also looking for other ways of making 'climate walking' routine enjoyable fun, so if you have any ideas, please let us know!
JohnBrady adapted the logo and graphic for ClimateWalkers from existing material at:
- creazilla.com/nodes/36630-family-is-walking-for-exercise-clipart and
In 2020, John Brady claims copyright of these his adaptations to ensure they will only be used to identify the relevant club(s) and website(s).