1) Don’t change your light bulb, not just yet. For a long time green groups told us that our individual carbon footprints were the critical focus. But this is wrong; climate change is a structural and systemic problem, so the most important thing to do is not be an individual. It’s to join together with others in a movement big enough to counter the power of the fossil fuel industry. 350.org is one easy way, and there are other groups as well, from the Sierra Club to the Indigenous Environmental Network.
2) Pressure your local utility, and its regulators, to make sure they’re making it easy to put up solar panels. Too many utilities are starting to cut deals with the bad guys, restricting renewable energy. The state’s public service board too often operates in darkness, but this can change.
3) Get your institutions—colleges, churches synagogues, local governments—to divest from fossil fuels. Already endowments totaling $2.6 trillion have sold their shares in coal, gas and oil stocks. Gofossilfree.org is the organizing hub.
4) Prepare yourself for civil disobedience, perhaps this spring in the worldwide day of action against the biggest carbon deposits on earth. As Rev. Lennox Yearwood of the wonderful Hip Hop Caucus always says, “this is the lunch-counter moment for the 21st century.” Peaceful resistance can have huge effect, and the better trained you are the more useful you’ll be.
5) Okay, now go change your light bulbs, insulate your house, change your diet so you’re eating lower on the food chain, and inflate the tires on that bike in the garage. This stuff matters too!
Read about how Bill McKibben is sizing up the climate talks in Paris: Scenes From the Beginning of the End of the Fossil Age - Bill McKibben