Antidote to despair is action

Our Green Neighbours 21 meeting held on November 3rd was titled Beyond the People’s Climate March: Next Steps in the Fight against Climate Change. We saw the film Disruption, a powerful depiction of the science behind the present climate emergency and the movement that launched the worldwide People’s Climate March. If you missed the meeting you can watch the film at

Following the film we heard an inspiring talk by Kai Reimer-Watts, the Creative Director of He told us about 5 campaigns his organization is working on:

i. Campus Divestment Campaign (Currently focused at U. of T.)

ii. Energy East Campaign (A grassroots campaign targeting the National Energy Board.)

iii. Public Divestment Campaign (To take divestment beyond universities.)

iv. Fossil Free Futures Campaign (To make it easier for people to invest in renewable energy.)

v. Paris COP21 2015 (To focus attention and mobilize action on these important U.N. talks)

More detail will be available soon at Toronto350 welcomes new volunteers in all of these projects.

I felt inspired by both the film and the talk. The film conveyed the excitement and impact of people’s movements. And Kai pointed out that the antidote to despair is action. It’s hard not to feel despair in the face of climate change, but I believe the best response is to get involved and do something.

This was the first in a three-part GN21 series, “Let’s Talk about Climate Change”. Our second meeting, scheduled for Monday, December 8, will actually be the launching point for a separate series of discussion group meetings on Naomi Klein's new book, This Changes Everything.

Our third meeting will be in January and will be a participatory discussion aimed at helping each of us determine the best way for us to take action on climate change. Should we join an existing campaign run by another Toronto group? Should Green Neighbours 21 make the transition from a mostly educational to a more action-oriented focus? What’s the best, most effective way to use our time? What are the barriers to getting more involved? What would help us get past those barriers?

I hope you will join us to discuss this critical issue.

Stay tuned for more details on these two meetings.


Judy Vellend