Sunday, October 21, 2007


There's been a huge amount of publicity recently about how the web, blogs and social networking sites can play a significant role in galvanizing action for sustainability, justice and peace. Are they a vehicle for political change? Mobilisation of action to back democracy protests in Burma is a recently cited example. But in a way the pioneers in using the net as part of the effort to challenge corporate power were the McLibel activists who took on the might of McDonald's on a range of issues, from poor labour practices, public health (diet) and animal mistreatment, right through to environmental disregard. On a number of key points they won, and those they lost were largely due to the massive imbalance of power tilted against them. Groups like Speak (the student Christian initiative) are also harnessing the web to positive global campaigning ends. Christian Aid has the excellent Pressureworks. And of course Ekklesia exists substantially on the web, both as a think-tank on religion and public life and as a place where reporting and comment on events goes on. One of the factors here is the blurring of lines between blogging and other kinds of traditional and/or web-based action. A relatively new initiative in this field, fairly broad and inclusive in its remit, is Blog Action Day, which took place on 15 October 2007 - and which I'm afraid I missed. But they are now registering people for 2008. Blogger, the system I used, have recently highlighted some of the sites powered by them that focused on the environment, climate change, and sustainability during the day. Here (below) are some examples. Obviously I'm not endorsing them all, just giving a flavour. Others can be found on Blog Search.
  • Cleantech Blog - Commentary on technologies, news, and issues relating to next generation energy and the environment.
  • The Conscious Earth - Earth-centered news for the health of air, water, habitat and the fight against global warming.
  • Earth Meanders - Earth essays placing environmental sustainability within the context of other contemporary issues.
  • Environmental Action Blog - Current environmental issues and green energy news.
  • The Future is Green - Thoughts on the coming of a society that is in balance with nature.
  • The Green Skeptic - Devoted to challenging assumptions about how we live on the earth and protect our environment.
  • Haute*Nature - Ecologically based creative ideas, art & green products for your children, home and lifestyle, blending style with sustainability.
  • The Lazy Environmentalist - Sustainable living made easy.
  • Lights Out America - A grassroots community group organizing nationwide energy savings events.
  • The Nature Writers of Texas - The best nature writing from the newspaper, magazine, blog and book authors of the Lone Star State.
  • Rachel Carson Centennial Book Club - Considering the legacy of Rachel Carson's literary and scientific contributions with a different book each month.
  • Sustainablog - News, information and personal meanderings related to environmental and economic sustainability, green and sustainable business, and environmental politics.
  • These Come From Trees - An experiment in environmentalism, viral marketing, and user interface design with the goal of reducing consumer waste paper.
[Picture: (c) Pressureworks]

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