Outdoors People for Climate Action is a new group that was launched on the 1stof March 2020 following what was, for many outdoors people, a climatically confronting summer.
The launch also followed a period of growing climate change concern and action in Australia and around the world, marked by protests, actions, mass engagement, media coverage, and some major climate wins. Because the only thing lacking in addressing the climate crisis globally is political will – it’s now widely recognized that climate activism is essential to achieve a safe climate future.
Outdoors People or Climate Action follows in the footprints of other Australian climate action groups like Australian Parents for Climate Action and Farmers for Climate Action, just two of many.
By viewing the climate crisis through our lens in the outdoor community, we can consider how climate change affects us directly, both in our work and in our personal pursuits, and build a sense of urgency and certainty in our need to act. Climate change impacts will increase over time and we will see greater damage over the coming years. The severity however, of these coming impacts will be determined by the adequacy of the global response to the climate crisis.
Already, we are seeing the Australian outdoors hit hard. The climate change fueled fires of this past summer had direct impacts on business and leisure in the outdoors including cancelled, postponed and relocated trips, evacuations, destroyed property, damaged landscapes and, likely, a changing public perception about risk in the outdoors. And if worsening fire seasons weren’t concerning enough, other climate impacts affecting the outdoors include rising sea levels and beach erosion, shorter snow seasons, higher average temperatures, increased extreme weather events, increased drought conditions and biodiversity losses.
The group is niche – it’s about climate action and it’s for outdoors people (as in educators, guides and enthusiasts). Outdoors People are just one group of many calling for climate action and so the group collaborates with the wider climate movement, drawing on all the resources and opportunities already available. Outdoors People for Climate Action aims to reach out to individuals of the outdoor community by highlighting our stakes in the matter, gives outdoors people a way to ‘fit into’ the climate movement, creates a community, and provides a voice for our concerns.
There’s no doubt that outdoors people have ample reason to act on climate change already, and many people are. But it’s in our best interest to increase our participation as a community. There are barriers that can limits outdoors peoples’ participation in the climate movement. For one, we tend to spend a lot of time in the outdoors, places where the news and world affairs aren’t as present, and yes, we love it that way. But as the climate crisis, and people’s response to it, is rapidly unfolding, it’s often the responsible media sources that can alert citizens to its urgency. That’s why we need to talk to each otherto make sure we’re all aware of how climate change affects us. Also, people who work in the outdoors, often live in remote places, move around, work a lot, and have unpredictable schedules which can make many forms of climate action tricky. That’s why this group aims to make the climate movement more accessible to us.
And of course, outdoors people have endless strengths to contribute to the climate movement. These include an intimate connection with our landscapes; a diverse geographic spread across Australia, both rural and urban; and passionate, can-do, altruistic dispositions.
Outdoors People for Climate Action hopes to help outdoors people overcome barriers and utilize their strengths to have a role in the safe climate future that will protect our outdoor places, our outdoor work and our outdoor lifestyles.
So, what does the group actually do?
The first priority of the group is to provide a call to action to outdoors people across Australia to engage with climate action. Climate action can look different from person to person and could include learning about the climate crisis and solutions, spreading climate information (for example, by having meaningful conversations), taking independent direct action (say, writing to your MP), participating in climate activism with larger groups (Extinction Rebellion, Friends of the Earth etc.) and of course assessing your own personal impact.
To make all of this more achievable, the second goal of the group is to provide resources to empower outdoors people to take these various forms of climate action. The group doesn’t intend to reinvent the wheel and so the group’s website, outdoorpeople.org, provides links to reputable resources throughout the climate movement. Find a way to learn about the climate crisis that suits you – from lengthy reports to quick podcasts. Check out the list of climate action groups including climate specific groups, related issue groups, environmental NGOs and others. Descriptions are provided to help you track down a group near you, with opportunities that appeal to you – even remote activism from home is possible. There are other resources as well, including footprint calculators and toolkits for independent action.
As the group grows it will create a community of outdoors people campaigning for climate action and in turn represent outdoors people in their pursuit of a safe climate future.
What can you do?
Join Outdoors People for Climate Action by signing the statement of concern. https://www.outdoorspeople.org/join-us
Follow Outdoors People for Climate Action on social media:
Join the Facebook Discussions Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/826711194463998/
Spread the word! Tell your friends/colleagues about the group. Use our promotional material. https://www.outdoorspeople.org/promotional-material
If you work for an outdoor business (outdoor gear or tourism/education) ask them to become a supporter. https://www.outdoorspeople.org/become-a-supporter
And most importantly take climate action. Check out our Take Action page to learn more. https://www.outdoorspeople.org/take-action
Finally, if you have any feedback, questions or want to get more involved – get in touch. https://www.outdoorspeople.org/contact