How's this Change gonna happen anyway?

Since the B-man was elected, it seems like Change has become either a dirty word or just a guardedly-hopeful word, but I think it's worth a discussion above and beyond just the top-down, presidential stuff. So what about bottom up?

The New York Times reports on a video about consumerism called The Story of Stuff that's being shown in tons and tons of classrooms, created by a former Greenpeace employee and "unapologetic activist". And let's be honest - it's pretty spiffy and cool.

And it could make a real difference. I've been an advocate of encouraging small changes to start swaying people's minds, and there've been some great changes as a result of children. In Curitiba, Brazil (a great case-study for a lot of successful urban planning policies) elementary school recycling outreach achieved what are, essentially, wonders.

And the video has been successful, as the NYTimes documents. Kids who've seen it start having a better idea of the problem of garbage build-up and the linear supply train that our economies of scale are based off of. Sure, it's critical of capitalism, as some parents have noted - but at the same time, the video doesn't seem to be motivating kids to revolt against corporations and form a new Soviet Union. It's just raising awareness that throwing something away doesn't really get rid of it - or that burning coal or gasoline doesn't make the carbon that is a large part of it disappear. And that's good.

Because it's really the only way we'll start changing. Cap and trade is a great idea, but what we really need is a shift away from the entire concept of a linear supply chain. Part of that is climate change mitigation and achieving 450 by 2050, but it goes beyond that. Circular supply chains, renewable energy, and all of these great mitigation strategies are also the next step in sustainable development - something we're going to have to learn if we want to create a post-carbon world.

And if it's successful, then that's good activism.

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