Three weeks ago, I found out I needed to raise £1040 in order to get to Poznan, spend 16 days at the UN climate change conference as part of the UK Youth Delegation, and get back to the Hope Valley. (That’s not a pun – I really live in the Hope Valley, and my going to Poznan doesn’t mean leaving Hope behind. In fact, with all the donations people at home have been giving me, along with their messages of support, I reckon I’ll be taking quite a bit of Hope with me. That is a pun.)
It seemed like a mammoth task, to raise that amount in five weeks. However, I had to start somewhere, so I emailed pretty much everyone I know – and some people I don’t but whose emails I happen to have – and within 24 hours I’d raised two hundred quid. Three weeks later and my target amount is looking a lot closer. It’s overwhelming – not just the money (although that’s incredible), but the messages people left me, which have been so important in giving me a sense that people really wish us success. It makes me more determined to make all the difference we can at Poznan.
Point is, £1040 is a lot for one person, but £2 is not a lot for 500 people. All the individual donations may have seemed small to each person giving, but
donation + donation + donation… [etc] = Amy going to Poznan in December.
Collective action has made a big difference; it has created something that wouldn’t have existed otherwise.
So, think big. Be ambitious. And don’t think of yourself as just you, on your own, not amounting to much (wow, puns galore!). Think of yourself as an integral and essential part of a large community. I’m not just Amy: I’m part of a growing movement of people who will not sit back and let climate change wreck the planet and ruin millions of peoples’ lives. It turns out there are a lot of people whose hopes for the future do not include, say, extreme shortages of freshwater forcing loads of people to become “environmental refugees”, or strains of malaria becoming established in southern England. We want something better than that!
We obviously can’t all go and campaign at a UN conference. But there’s other stuff you can do! Write to your MP. Phone them. Or your MEP – find out who it is here. Go on the Climate Change March in London on Saturday 6th December, the International Day of Action (I’ll be marching in Poznan!). Try and reduce your carbon footprint, and tell people why you’re doing it. Get inspired!