As the effects of climate change start to become more obvious year after year, we are faced with a conundrum. Today, progressives need to address both climate change and its effects, like heat waves and flooding.
What we need is a political movement that links people’s needs to their capacity to have more control over their lives. When people fight for greener, cooler towns and cities, they also help to build the capacity for more democracy where they live. By campaigning for cooler cities, activists can combine climate justice, anti-austerity organizing, anti-racism and migrant justice, housing justice, and radical democracy.
Fighting for cooler cities while battling climate change may seem like a contradiction, but it’s precisely through taking advantage of these contradictions that we can start building collective power, by demanding material well being for all. One bonus: this isn’t just the domain of urban planners, technocrats, or politicians. Everyone can get involved.
Photo: Ralph (Ravi) Kayden