Why We’re Walking Off The Job Tomorrow (And You Should, Too)

Why We’re Walking Off The Job Tomorrow (And You Should, Too)
Image: Pedestrian Group

Obvious truth: the planet is in the grips of a dire climate crisis.

Science tells us that we have a decade ⁠— at the most ⁠— before the Earth hits a point of no return: a rise in global temperatures 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. If we don’t prevent that from happening, coastal communities will be destroyed by rising sea levels. Extreme heatwaves will become more commonplace, causing water and food shortages. The planet’s biodiversity will suffer. And so will we.

But don’t just take our word for it: those are the findings of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose 2018 Special Report urged governments around the world to take urgent action to avoid an environmental disaster of unprecedented proportions.

Our leaders, simply put, aren’t listening. They’re willfully ignoring the facts in front of them, and routinely caving into their own pig-headed interests. Making them pay attention to us, to the will of the people, to the will of the planet, is not going to be easy. That’s why we’ve got to be loud.

This Friday, September 20, Pedestrian Group ⁠— home to PEDESTRIAN.TV, Business Insider, Kotaku, Gizmodo, POPSUGAR and Lifehacker ⁠— will participate in the Global Climate Strike, taking a long (long) lunch to join the worldwide call for climate justice in planned strikes around the country.

We won’t stop there. From September 20 – 27, our six sites will bring you content we hope will educate and empower you to do your bit for our planet — from how to ask your boss for the day off to attend the climate change strike in your city to tips for reducing your food wastage.

Earth is our home. And now, right now, it’s on fire.

Time for us to act.

Civilization Has Helped Me Feel Slightly Less Terrible About Climate Change

A large part of my day involves sitting on Twitter watching news break, and so a large part of my day is spent surrounded by people justifiably freaking out over climate change news. It’s depressing as hell, but help has come in the last month from the most unlikely of places: Civilization 6.

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  • Okay guys, why is it against the community guidelines to point out that [relevant media group] cooperates with [large corporations] that may have interests contrary to [stated interest]?

    • Note how the rest of Nine Media Group isn’t doing anything and are getting on with their day. The cynic in me says that ‘joining’ the strike was a decision made by suits to further appeal to the ‘youth demographic’, the majority of which isn’t participating in the strikes.

    • I couldn’t really guess based on how intentionally vague your comment is, but a few possible reasons might be “it’s not true”, or “cooperation doesn’t imply endorsement”. Might be worth tagging/asking Alex if you’re genuinely stumped.

      • My initial post outright named said media group and took said large corporations from their own ‘about us’ page, and also mentioned a small but well known Australian social media user who highlighted said links. “Cooperation doesn’t imply endorsement” is a hollow slippery-slope response.

        • “Cooperation doesn’t imply endorsement” is the opposite of a slippery slope argument. The slope is “if you work with X then you support Y”, which can slide down to nonsense statements like “if you work with anyone who voted LNP then you support fracking” or the like.

          I don’t know who the ‘well known Australian social media user’ is, but skimming Pedestrian’s about page none of the companies jumped out as having anti-climate change interests. Do you think you could mention either the Bad Company or the Famous Twitterer so I can read more?

          • You can read their brand partners for yourself but none of them have a particularly great climate change record, especially the banks (though I’ll acknowledge they’ve made progress dealing with coal as a single point of progress). Said YouTuber has been the subject of Pedestrian articles, and is openly critical of Pedestrian, Buzzfeed, and Vice in Australia. I won’t post much else in case that’s why it was removed.

            “Cooperation doesn’t imply endorsement” is the opposite of a slippery slope argument.It isn’t, it just works opposite to how it’s presented. At what point does my ‘cooperation’ with a company that engages in something I disagree with compromise my moral stance?

          • I’m not saying cooperation can’t exist without endorsement, I’m saying endorsement isn’t a consequent of cooperation. They’re separate logical assertions. South Korea cooperates with North Korea on plenty of things, doesn’t mean the former endorses the latter’s gross mistreatment of its people.

            I don’t read Pedestrian so I have no idea who this Youtuber is. I doubt anyone’s going to remove a comment that just mentions a name, perhaps you can recommend a random channel to watch? Worst case a comment gets removed, it’s not like anyone gets banned here.

          • I’d love to give you some Friendly suggestions but I have no idea what they could be talking about.
            Hey, did you ever read those Beano comics? I liked the one with the Jocks and the Jordies. Oh sorry, Geordies. I must have been thinking of something else.

          • Cheers for the tip. I hadn’t seen that particular issue of Beano, but I was able to find it thanks to your description. I couldn’t find the particular page I was after, but I’ll keep looking.

          • There’s a difference between cooperating with a rogue state who have missiles lined up along your border, and reaping the financial rewards of working with big business who have interests counter to your stated morals. It’s THA LIB’RL GUBBERM’NT method of ‘Hey this should drum up support, just ignore the business behind the curtain.’

            I’d have made the YouTuber a bit more obvious but I’m pretty sure I’m close to getting banned at this point, and everyone else has made it blatantly obvious. Sorry I couldn’t be more specific.

          • I’m sorry if my comments sound like they’re challenging your line in the sand, that’s entirely your call to make and one I respect. For what it’s worth I’m firmly pro-environment and I think it’s disgusting to be opening up new coal mines now (or trying to stoke dirty industry again, as certain US policy seems insistent on). I was strongly against Adani and I still hope it gets abandoned before it opens.

            The original comment was speaking generally I suppose, but it is something I believe in. When you start going twice- or thrice-removed as some of the subjects of this conversation are, it can be difficult to disconnect from all relationships that manage to track back to an offender. It’s a bit of Six Degrees of Separation, except in the business world often it only takes three or four. Sometimes (not saying this time, necessarily) it’s better to work with companies and use that relationship to pressure them, than to sever the relationship completely.

          • @zombiejesus Fair response. I disagree given the amount of moralising to readers (not businesses) that comes out of Pedestrian in general. It’s more that which frustrates me about articles like this – acting as though it’s such a big moment for them when refusing to do business with corporations that have much more impact on the climate would send a better message. I can’t take this seriously.

          • Sure, I understand that. I know basically nothing about Pedestrian other than what I’ve found during this conversation. What little I’ve seen of their article content and style isn’t something I care for.

  • These type of climate protests would mean a lot more if they were held on a weekend.

    I mean, what kid wouldn’t want to score a day off school?

      • Thanks Bud,

        I and many others pushed the companies status quo and fought to use a volunteer day for the cause, however ‘the man’ said no – because it didn’t fall in line with the policy being ‘only for not-for-profit’, charity or community causes.

        Despite a multitude of people highlighting the paragraphs in our Enterprise Bargaining Agreement and indicating that many charities, non-for-profit-groups & community organizers ‘the man’ said no.

        As much as I’d like to stick to my morals, the idea of paying food & rent outweighs that 🙁

  • So your shutting down the web site for good? Because you know, all that evil coal generated power required to keep the servers running 24/7. All that evil coal required to manufacture the steel, aluminium etc to build the servers in the first place? All those evil diesel powered trucks etc to help build your building. Come on Kotaku I expect you top be operating out of a naturally form cave running on happy thoughts projecting your web site with pixi dust by the end of the week.

  • Don’t get me wrong, we have to try, but the reality is we have already lost. Nothing less than a global effort at a resourcing level comparable to the combined efforts of WW1 and WW2 is really going to be able to have the required impact. When global leaders are still in denial phase that seems highly unlikely.

    • Our political systems have slowly been eroded to trust-less entities that are run by anonymous corporate donations behind closed doors. While there is, and continues to be, an orange narcissistic c*&$ in the most powerful position in the world (god knows how) who continues to reverse any good that’s been done previously. I’m really struggling to be optimistic in this situation.

      • I think you’re giving a little too much credit to a certain orange idiot and the position he holds.
        The job these days is basically that of a mascot.

        As for how he got in, once you strip away the emotions and political theatrics of it all, he was basically an inevitability.

        • I’m not sure I agree when he continues to make decisions and changes in legislation that are clearly based on his own dumb arse prejudices.

  • I agree. Except for the part about trying – there’s no point. We’re addicted to consuming, and there is simply too much inertia to make any significant change.

  • ok so i’m bracing myself for some serious downvoting here….

    I’m not one of those people that think global warming is a myth. But the reality is, we have made some serious changes over the years to the point that the Ozone layer is LITERALLY repairing itself, and should be completely healed by 2060.

    Source: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-ozone-layer-is-on-track-to-completely-repair-itself-in-our-lifetime

    I’m all down for protecting our planet, but its not greenhouse gases causing rises in temperature, etc, that we should be concerned with assuming we maintain our current emissions standards.

    I would be more concerned with our continual destruction of forests without any real worldwide commitment to renew, wildlife, poluting our drinking water and so on.

    • The Ozone layer blocks UV but doesn’t have much of an effect on Infrared.

      The Greenhouse Effect is the build up of greenhouse gases that trap and redirect Infrared radiation and prevent it from bouncing it back out into space.

      So while it’s great news that the Ozone layer is repairing itself.. it isn’t really an indicator that the rest of the atmosphere is fine.

      I would be more concerned with our continual destruction of forests without any real worldwide commitment to renew, wildlife, poluting our drinking water and so on.

      Yes, but if we can do that AND reduce our greenhouse gas emmissions then we’d be in an even better place.

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