One of the features that distinguishes much climate change activism from all the other clamoring activisms around us is that it frequently seeks to be carefully and consciously internationalist. This only makes sense; the threat that human activity is on the way to frying the planet obviously doesn't respect borders. Though rich societies have contributed the most to the problem, everyone's lives are on the line.
Still, this focus on building an international movement is something a little new, an effort to spark a kind of populism that is has only weak antecedents. Various iterations of popular demands for peace, such as nuclear disarmament campaigns and the February 13, 2003 outpouring against the Iraq invasion, have mounted sporadic coordinated transnational actions. The anti-neo-liberal, anti-globalization movement is also, of necessity, multi-national. But an assumption that campaigns must be international strikes me as new -- at least since socialism proved unable to unite the workers against the nationalist war-makers in Europe in 1914.
Today the Climate Reality Project, founded and chaired by Al Gore, is trying to make entire world "focus its attention on the truth about the climate crisis." A series of web talks in various languages will go on over a a 24 hour period. You can see the whole schedule and links here. The effort claims 5 million members.
Who knows, maybe a former U.S. vice-president can launch (or relaunch) an international sense of urgency about man made global danger and the hope for global solutions. It seems a long shot, but campaigns like this must explore all possibilities.
Since I would do almost anything before I'd watch a webinar (it's a personal prejudice), I'm just glad that promoting this has Gore back in circulation, giving interesting interviews. Here he is talking with Bradford Plummer:
I don't know whether Al Gore's reality-insistent presentations can make a difference, but there is something attractive about his giving the presenting of simple information another try.