The end of the year is traditionally a time for giving -- money. Since people want some bang for their buck, some green for their green, I have compiled my list of 12 organizations that I recommend this year for your end-of-year donations. They are a dozen non-profits that I believe are doing critical work toward reversing climate change. The hyperlinks below take you to the donation page, but please check-out these groups and their work for yourself by visiting their websites. I also included a renewable energy company to help you minimize your carbon footprint in the New Year.
Climate Ground Zero -- If you're seeking the single, most effective way to reverse climate change, it would be to stop building, even dismantle coal-fired power plants. Climate Ground Zero is not another environmental organization. It's an ongoing campaign of non-violent, civil disobedience in southern West Virginia to stop mountain top removal coal mining. They are currently working to stop Massey Coal from destroying Coal River Mountain, where local people prefer to build an industrial wind farm, which cannot be built if Massey Coal blows up the mountain in search of dirty coal. The Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition is another worthy group working on the issue and deserving of your support.
Center for Climate Strategies -- While we must ultimately have a federal solution, you've likely heard that progress is being made on the state level on climate legislation and plans for reducing greenhouse gases. The Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) has been the catalyst for much of that work by helping many public officials and stakeholders in the United States and other countries respond to the challenges posed by global warming and related opportunities for economic development, clean energy, and a safer environment. They have helped more than 42 U.S. states, territories and foreign governments by offering a host of solutions like: energy efficiency and conservation; clean, renewable energy supplies; transportation and land use improvement; and forest and farm conservation.
Native Forest Council -- Another of the most effective ways to reverse climate change is to stop deforestation and destructive land management practices, like drilling for fossil fuels. The Native Forest Council's mission is to fully protect and preserve every acre of publicly-owned land in the U.S. They believe a sound economy and a sound environment need not be incompatible, and that current land management practices are devastating to both. They are working to stop logging, mining, grazing and drilling on our public lands, all of which contribute to the destruction and degradation of air quality, wildlife habitat, and of our wilderness areas.
Public Citizen -- is part of a coalition of environmental organizations that are opposing the pending, federal climate legislation, Boxer-Kerry in the U.S. Senate and Waxman-Markey in the U.S. House, because they do not believe it will reverse climate change. They believe that the greenhouse gas cuts and "solutions" like cap and trade in the legislation are inadequate. They offer ideas like a carbon tax that they believe will work. Public Citizen also advocates for consumers on a host of other issues. With their bold, grassroots, big-banner approach to direct action, Greenpeace is getting the word out on the need for urgent action on climate, opposing current U.S. climate legislation, rallying an alternative voice in the UNFCC's Copenhagen talks and working for real solutions.
Commondreams.org -- With the advent of alternative media, the inadequacies of corporate, mainstream media's coverage of issues like climate change, have put them on the verge of extinction. Commondreams.org publishes a mix of progressive news and opinion, building a progressive community and standing up for progressive values. They do an exceptional job of providing news and opinion on climate change. Focusing not on climate change, but on related environmental issues, another source for hard-hitting, investigative news stories and opinion is Counterpunch.org, called "America's Best Political Newsletter." They expose compromise and corruption on both sides of the political spectrum. And Opednews.com is a hybrid news, community blog and article aggregation site which publishes opinion-based articles, news stories and diaries.
Mobilization for Climate Justice -- Since our political leaders are not getting it done on climate change, it is up to the people to take the lead. Mobilization for Climate Justice is a North American-based network of organizations and activists working to build a climate justice movement that emphasizes non-violent direct action and public education to mobilize for effective and just solutions to the climate crisis. The Copenhagen climate meetings will be a major focus for international mass actions this winter and the MCJ is linked to these efforts as well.
Avaaz.org - Avaaz.org is an independent, global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people inform global decision-making. They are organizing to reverse climate change.
The Climate Security Project -- A February 2004 Pentagon report said that with 400 million people living in poor, overpopulated regions, "climate change and its follow-on effects pose a severe risk to political, economic and social stability," which could lead to serious national security issues for the U.S. The Climate Security Project is a joint project of Friends of the Earth and Voters for Peace to highlight the inter-relationship between global climate change and global conflict. The Climate Security Project seeks to encourage a shift from an outmoded militarized economy to a green economy which is more efficient, more localized and better distributes its resources and bounty, while restoring the natural world upon which it depends.
Clean Currents - is not an organization, but rather a renewable energy provider operating in Montgomery County, MD. You can go to their website and sign-up for 100% clean, renewable energy to power your home, like wind and solar, at the same price you now pay for fossil fuel-based energy, and lower your carbon footprint. Just have your utility company account number ready. Clean Currents makes it easy being green.
Your feedback is welcome. Please share your suggestions for groups you think are making a real difference on the climate issue.
Karyn Strickler is a political scientist, grassroots organizer and writer. Karyn is the producer and host of Climate Challenge, the first and only TV show in the nation focused exclusively on climate change and related issues on a weekly basis, on MMC TV.You can contact her firstname.lastname@example.org.