Frequently Asked Questions

Our Purpose

What is this general strike supposed to accomplish? How do we enact change when the upper class holds all the cards?

Our strike is a wake-up call to the upper class, that they depend on us as much as we depend on them.

The companies that contribute to climate change have little incentive to do otherwise. This is deeply unfortunate, but it is due to the demands of their stockholders and the influence that their wealth gives them over their regulators. Protests are great, but to the oil barons they matter less than their next million-dollar paycheque.

Our goal isn’t to convince them that they should ignore their own personal incentives for the greater good. Our goal is to change these incentives, so that they have no choice but to do what’s right, or risk losing their jobs and their livelihoods.

This is the purpose of a general strike. We force the hands of power by refusing to partake in the system propping them up. They hold most of the cards, but they can’t take away the power we have to withhold our labour.

Shouldn’t we focus on reducing our own carbon footprint and our consumption as individuals?

We should do all that we can, but the blame must fall first and foremost on the powerful elite. With great power comes great responsibility.

An environment-friendly lifestyle is a good thing, and any positive action to this end is better than no action at all. However, these individual lifestyle changes are negligible on an ecological scale. Our problems are bigger than demand-side change can solve.

A small handful of companies are responsible for the overwhelming majority of greenhouse gas emissions. Big-money fossil fuel interests and mass agriculture have enormous power in the political sphere, and can pretty much enact legislation at will to keep their businesses afloat and their growth steady. As an example, the significant recent trend towards veganism has done little to slow down the meat production industry – they’re willing to manufacture demand to compensate, so long as they can keep pumping out that methane.

Putting the blame in any way on individual consumers, who are often economically incentivized into a larger carbon footprint for fear of bankruptcy, only serves to distract us from the real malefactors of climate change – the businesses, and their regulators who have failed to do their jobs.

Often, this distraction is done on purpose, by the corporate media who are entrenched in this system as well. Don’t fall for it.

Do you really think this has any chance of working?

Historical progress has never happened by wallowing in pessimism. It is our duty to address drastic problems with drastic solutions.

We know the odds are stacked against us. Most of us have grown up in the so-called “End of History” era, where the extent of our collective influence has been insufficient to fix, in any meaningful way, the problems of the world – insufficient to disrupt, in any meaningful way, the power structures that exacerbate them. We’ve been thrust out of the naivety of our youth, jaded enough by “realism” that we’ve all now got that same defence mechanism against disappointment that we instinctively deploy when faced with optimism:

“I admire the effort, but realistically, it’s just not going to happen.”

These thoughts and feelings are not alien to us. It’s how we’ve been conditioned to respond – by those who simply wish to save us from disappointment, as well as those who thrive on a general public acceptance of the status quo.

Our movement is made up of people who, for whatever crazy reason, have decided to put those nagging thoughts aside, give this thing a shot, put our heart and soul into it, and see where it goes. We’re spreading the word to everyone we can, trying to convince them to take that same leap of faith. But whenever anyone proposes this kind of collective upheaval of the system, they’re going to be met, either explicitly or implicitly, with the same refrain of “realism” in response.

And yet, we persist. We continue to give our all to fight for our planet. Why? Because it’s our planet.

Climate change is already affecting millions around the world. Every year that we, the majority of the population who want immediate climate action, remain paralyzed by indecision and infighting, conditions will only worsen for the poorest people in the most destitute places on Earth.

You have a chance to maybe, just maybe, help prevent the greatest disaster humanity has ever faced. To help save the masses of people who are – and will continue to be – victimized by the effects of climate change. To support the thousands of eager, ambitious, selfless, committed and optimistic volunteers who have built this movement and put their trust in people like you to make it work. Our fervent hope, for all of our sake, is that this trust is not misguided.

We’ve chosen to take the word “realistic” out of our vocabularies. None of the most significant positive changes in humanity’s history have been through “realism”. Reality is what we make it.

Isn’t anthropogenic climate change a hoax?

The scientific consensus that climate change is real, man-made, and existentially dangerous to life on Earth is overwhelming.

According to a 2014 report from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the link between human activity and climate change is as scientifically strong as the link between smoking and lung cancer. The myths that prop up the typical “climate skeptic” view are propagated primarily by politicians, lobbyists, and think tanks, and they crumble under the slightest scientific scrutiny. SkepticalScience.com has debunked dozens of these myths, and is an excellent read for those who are still on the fence about the issue.

For more information about climate change, check out our Climate Briefing page and the Further Reading section at the bottom.

How to Help

I want to get involved! Where should I start?

That’s great! Check out our Get Involved! page for some first steps you can take.

How can I find my local campaign?

Head over to our Campaign Map to see if Earth Strike is organizing in your area.

What if I need to work to survive?

It’s not our mission to moralize to the working class. There are many ways for you to work with us if you’re hesitant about striking.

We recognize that everyone’s situation is different, and we have no shortage of sympathy for the perils of the poor and the middle class. A growing number of people are living paycheck to paycheck, and the power of organized labour is diminishing in many parts of the world. If you want to join us, but you’re worried that striking might not be within your means, here are some ideas:

  • Contacting local unions! Depending on how draconian your city’s labour laws are, you might be able to receive financial support through other means while on strike.

  • Work-to-rule! In many cases, those who can’t strike can still make a disruptive statement in their workplace by doing only the bare minimum required to follow their contract to the letter. This can cause slowdown, inefficiency, and bottlenecks in the workplace to a lesser but still significant extent. When you’re off the clock, you can refuse to check your email or do any extra tasks.

  • Recruitment! If all else fails, focus your efforts on helping our movement grow. Show up to our protests, and spread the word amongst your friends and family. If you recruit, say, five new workers to our cause who are able to strike, then that’s a net gain for us!

Contact Us

Any more questions? Get in touch with our spokespeople!

 

Email: [email protected]

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