We Are Saners

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We demand an immediate worldwide emergency program, led by climate scientists, to slash fossil fuels, end climate abuse and repair our planet.

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Thinking About Movement Strategy and A Few Tactics To Get Us Started

by | Jun 12, 2024 | General

Photo by Arjan de Jong on Unsplash

How do we change and save the world? Start small, but make every effort part of a bigger strategy.

One of the most famous and successful movement tactics in history consisted of a bunch of unarmed citizens marching to the sea and boiling water to make salt. It doesn’t seem like much and it wouldn’t have been — except it was designed to fit into a bigger strategy. In the end, the people of India ousted the occupying force of the mighty British Empire — without firing a shot.

Today, we are faced with a planet-wide crisis. Leaders and systems everywhere have failed to prevent climate collapse — indeed they are actively protecting and promoting it! And people live under exploitive systems, used like chattel by either plutocrats or despots, depending on where they live. Neither the destruction of Earth’s biosphere, nor the abuse of human beings and the cruel waste of lives can be allowed to continue.

These actions of destruction are both evil and stupid. Neither is necessary and the benefits — even to the exploiters — is illusory. There is no “victory” for anyone when the outcome is a destroyed biosphere and an inhospitable planet upon which it’s a struggle for anyone to survive. In a very real sense, our foolish oppressors should be rooting for us. Because WE are their children’s only hope.

By WE, I mean the sane and caring people of Earth, people who are in fact or simply in spirit, Saners — members of the movement to protect the planet and establish a humane and sustainable society, one very much unlike the one we have today.

By “WE”, I mean YOU.

The Bigger Strategy and Some Tactics

Gandhi and the Indians did not start their effort to free their country from British rule with The Salt March — an effort that ultimately garnered direct participation of tens of thousands of people. Some early effort centered on just a few people, and sometimes even one — Gandhi himself.

Today we are enamored of big visible events — rallies or marches showing hundreds of thousands of people (ideally) out in public together making noise for their cause. But effective movements use a variety of tactics and large public gatherings are usually not the most effective ones. But they are hypnotic and once a movement has been successful, it often culminates with very photogenic mass public actions. For example, the tearing down of the Berlin Wall — that was the culmination of a movement, not a one-time mass event that changed the world all by itself.

So, like any movement reaching for success, The Saners needs to be guided by an overall strategy and a variety of tactics to propel us to victory. Here, I will introduce some specific tactics. But do not say “is that all”?! These small steps and many more like them are necessary and important.

What’s the Strategy?

The underlying premise is that there are many, many people worldwide — at minimum, we are talking about a billion people — who love their children and/or care about the Earth and the future. This is kind of obvious since so many people spend much of their lives providing for their children and working to ensure their futures.

The idea of The Saners is that we can awaken these billion (or perhaps two or three billion, who knows?), and get them to back a worldwide emergency plan, largely designed and managed by climate scientists (with assistance from other experts), to prevent climate collapse and stabilize the biosphere. The movement would also establish better values and systems to create a more sustainable and humane civilization.

In other words, there is already a latent movement, a HUGE latent movement that is missing a few key things to actually flourish and succeed.

  1. The possibility of action to take control of the crisis and fix things without the help or consent of governments and corporations is not even being discussed, much less proposed.
  2. People underestimate their own power, and this feeling of powerlessness is promoted and reinforced by all authorities, both in (nominally) representative governments and openly authoritarian regimes.
  3. There is no known movement, or plan, or vision for making this badly needed change.

Our immediate challenges are to build this latent movement, begin to get this group to learn to “exercise its muscles” and to start spreading our message and vision. People must be made aware that THERE IS A GROUP that THEY CAN JOIN. That there is a PROVEN METHOD for changing society, and that WE HAVE AN APPEALING VISION to reach for.

These small tactics enable us to build the movement and spread the messages. We can have fun doing this, and tweak the silliness that is our current society. Indeed, fun and humor are part of the appeal of the movement. People will join, in part, because of Fear of Missing Out (FOMO).

Tactic #1: Create A Local Saners Group

Currently, The Saners are spread widely, very often with only a single Saner in each location. We need GROUPS of people. Sign up to The Saners, get help in understanding the basic principles, strategies and vision. Then find friends (or strangers!) in your area who share these concerns. Create a local Saners group. You can request direct personal assistance from The Saners via a one-to-one video chat.

As a group, you will meet regularly and also have a monthly group video chat with “national” Saners to keep things going. Ultimately, the various local groups will coordinate on national and international actions.

Tactic #2: Recruit and Spread the Message

Depending on your personality, your situation, and your comfort level, you can engage in various activities to recruit new Saners and spread the message. You can:

  • Write letters to the editor and include a specific call to action, including the URL of The Saners at WeAreSaners.org.
  • Wear a green dot and have Green Dot conversations.
  • At events and meetings and social gatherings, when an opportunity arises, mention that “I’m with a climate group that wants to build a better and more human society. The group’s tactics are based on historically proven strategies, pioneered by Gandhi and others. We intend to prevent climate collapse, and harness the power of people everywhere who have been frustrated by the ineffectiveness of voting and protest to generate the needed changes.” Or something like that.
  • Create notes, flyers, stickers or other materials and post them on telephone polls, leave them at coffee shops or otherwise distribute materials in public where they can be seen. Or use materials produced by The Saners and available on the website.

These simple steps are what are most needed right now. Do you like these ideas? Do you have other ones? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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