Online Activism Cartoon

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We are in the midst of a terrible election campaign in Australia. Neither major party is looking attractive right now, with climate change action (an important part of Kevin Rudd’s campaign) having fallen off the agenda. It makes me feel really frustrated with the system (though I can’t vote here, as I am not a citizen) and I wish that the parties would respond to the mounting tide of organisations fighting for action on climate change. Perhaps they just aren’t doing it right.

online petition signing isn't going to change the world

Oscar takes action, via a mouse click

Groups like Get Up have been successful in effecting change through online activism, but overall, people seem to be zoning out over the emails they get from campaigners. This article in the Guardian summed it up

The truth is that as the novelty of online activism wears off, millions of formerly socially engaged individuals who trusted digital organisations are coming away believing in the impotence of all forms of activism. Even leading Bay Area clicktivist organisations are finding it increasingly difficult to motivate their members to any action whatsoever. The insider truth is that the vast majority, between 80% to 90%, of so-called members rarely even open campaign emails. Clicktivists are to blame for alienating a generation of would-be activists with their ineffectual campaigns that resemble marketing.

How do we change the world for the better now?

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3 thoughts on “Online Activism Cartoon

  1. Good question. I wish I had an answer! This kind of links up in my mind with the article I read on Grist the other day about how environmentalism won’t fix climate change. It’s more about how our methods need to transcend the ones we’re already using on other environmental issues. Clicktivism uses new technology to do the same things only faster.

    I just feel like we’re doing it wrong, somehow. We need a new vision for how to achieve change. I hope I recognise it when I see it!

  2. And tell me when you do!

    I was encouraged to read a column by Jo Chandler in the Age today about how more and more climate change sceptics are having the “scales fall from their eyes”, even in publications like the ultra-Conservative, slightly loopy and always incendiary Daily Mail. Moving in the right direction….just all too slowly.

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