7.4 Campaigning

Local and regional climate-change-related groups may focus on campaigning (such as the local Greenpeace groups mentioned above) or may take a different approach, such as awareness-raising and working with local decision-makers. Examples of these can be seen in local climate action networks, which range from small, fluid networks to more formal organisations with issue-specific subgroups and some paid staff. Local groups, whether independent or forming part of a larger organisations, provide a way to meet like-minded people and take action beyond that of the individual. Many climate-change-related groups and networks can be found on the Internet, and exactly which one(s) an individual becomes involved with depends on personal preference and practicalities. Many networks aim to engage the general public, while others may be aimed towards particular sectors such as students. Part of networking involves keeping up to date with issues and events, and many run email lists, newsletters, online discussion forums, blogs and vlogs, networking sites (e.g. via Facebook) and post regular updates on their websites or via text messages. Many have comprehensive sets of web links, both climate-change-specific and more widely; for example, via news services, both mainstream (such as Reuters) and less so (such as Indymedia). Links to an effective and diverse set of information sources allow you to learn quickly about developments internationally, with public-access news providing an interactive platform where the reader can also post news.

Also, environmental groups clearly link action at different scales (compare local group campaign events, large national demonstrations and international online petitions). This can also be done by Government, linking policy to individual action. Arguably, online governmental resources have evolved by following the new media lead taken by environmental organisations, many of which have eagerly embraced developments in communications technology and created ‘cyberactivism’ – taking action online, generally on behalf of a larger organisation, with many environmental groups offering opportunities to do so via their websites. Affordable digital recording and DVD technology has led to short films being made by many groups, a concept recently expanded by the professional production The Age of Stupid, which links to online resources, including an integrated climate change campaign, information sources, mailing list and action pack.