The Most Important Petition You’ll Ever Sign

Note from the author

The Visionary Fiction Alliance is dedicated to fiction, but since it’s fiction with a purpose, its authors necessarily care deeply about what human beings are doing to themselves and the world in which they live. In a a sense that is unique to these writers, their stories are always rooted in something very real; and any real life issues that might stand in the way of unlocking human potential become the obvious obstacles or personified as the villains in visionary fiction.

Climate change is obviously the greatest threat to all life (not only human) on this planet, so it’s not surprising to find VF authors placing environmental themes at the heart of their stories: For example, Starhawk’s The Fifth Sacred Thing, James Cameron’s Avatar, and our very own VFA site designer Sandy Nathan’s Earth’s End trilogy, to name a few. With this in mind, below is the post that I wrote at my blog a few days ago on climate change and a related petition being made to the UN on 23 September 2014.

Please share this post and sign the petition.


The Most Important Petition You’ll Ever Sign

By Saleena Karim

We are fast reaching a crisis point that affects us all, wherever we are. It’s more important than the economy, local or international; it’s more pressing than any war; a greater threat than any government, religious group or financial giant; it matters more than anything happening in any country. It’s the biggest issue of our time, and it affects not only our generation, but future generations as well. In short, it’s a question of life and death for every single person in every single country, and in fact, for every living thing on this planet.

I’m talking, of course, about climate change.

The great tuning out

Global WarmingWe’ve all been aware of climate change for a few decades. Many of us, myself included, have been hearing about it since childhood, and more and more often as we grew up. Unfortunately, these days we hear about it so much on the news and through other media that we’re tuning it out, treating it like some annoying advert that we don’t need to hear again and again.

But we do need to hear it. More importantly, we need to act. Immediately.

The well-known social activist site Avaaz.org has described it in these sobering words at their site and by email:

Scientist Julienne Stroeve has studied Arctic ice for decades. Every summer she travels to north to measure how much ice has melted. She knows that climate change is melting the ice fast, but a recent trip surprised even her. Vast areas of Arctic ice have disappeared, beyond our worst expectations.

This is what the experts warned us about. As the earth warms, it creates many “tipping points” that accelerate the warming out of control. Warming thaws the Arctic sea ice, destroying the giant white ‘mirror’ that reflects heat back into space, which massively heats up the ocean, and melts more ice, and so on. We spin out of control. In 2013 everything — storms, temperatures — was off the charts.

Scientists are screaming from the rooftops that climate change isn’t just a bit of warming and some more storms. No exaggeration, our actual *survival* is at risk — this is a fight to save the world.

UN Emergency Meeting

The situation is serious enough that the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has arranged an emergency Climate Summit at the UN New York headquarters to be held on 23 September 2014. Social activist groups such as 350.org and Avaaz.org are already in the process of rallying ordinary people across the world to collectively call for affirmative action before it’s too late. They will be part of an international People’s Climate March on 21 September.

Add your voice

The ultimate aim of the march is to deliver a petition calling for the international community to make a concerted move away from dirty fuels like oil and coal, to 100% clean energy sources. If you think this sounds unfeasible, consider this: 20% of the world’s electricity is already generated from renewable sources, and solar power is now cheaper than coal in many countries, including the USA and Australia (in the case of the latter, consumer choice in favour of cheaper solar has made coal entirely unprofitable, prompting a British newspaper to declare: “Solar has won“). While this is all good news, we need to push for more.

The petition will be delivered to leaders at the summit, and it needs to have as many signatures as possible to make a positive impact. Avaaz has set up its petition online with a target of getting at least 3 million signatures. To add your voice, sign it here:

Avaaz Climate Petition

To help spread the word, you can share this post through the usual social media channels or email, simply by clicking the big “share” button at the bottom of this post.

This is not a climate change petition. This is the climate change petition. So make the call to save our planet. We have to.

Link to this post:

http://www.libredux.com/blog/2014/09/07/the-most-important-petition-youll-ever-sign

Further reading: 

Noam Chomsky | Owl of Minerva’s View: ISIS and Our Times

Postscript: Both my websites site will be observing a “blackout” in the days just before the summit. This post will display at both sites’ home pages to help raise awareness.

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About Saleena Karim

Saleena is a writer and publisher, best known for authoring the political biography "Secular Jinnah & Pakistan". As well as being the co-brainchild of the Visionary Fiction Alliance, she is the author of the award-winning visionary fiction novel "Systems", which is also part of the curricular reading material and the Marghdeen Learning Center, Karachi.
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21 Responses to The Most Important Petition You’ll Ever Sign

  1. I signed the petition with the following message:

    Even if climate change is not the "survival of life" issue touted here, I am signing on because the actions called for are the right thing to do. A shame the human race requires a weapon of its mass destruction to our head before we adopt a community life mode that is eminently logical.

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  2. Tui Allen says:

    I signed with a message something like , "Because I live on Planet earth and I believe my grand-children's welfare is more important than the wealth of the dirty energy producers."
    Thanks Saleena.

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  3. Tui Allen says:

    I also tweeted the link and shared on facebook.

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  4. shared and off to sign. x

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  5. Signed. As Sonya Trees said on our VF Facebook page, VF is fiction with a purpose. And VF, without being preachy, is one of the best ways to experience and integrate purposeful messages. I liked your author examples. This purpose is so important.

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  6. I liked the way you said that visionary fiction is "fiction with purpose" and "rooted in something very real." Would make a great elevator pitch for the genre.

    Being a farmer in California during the third year of drought makes me even more aware than usual of the climate and weather (farmers are always sensitive to the weather, since it affects our survival). I worry that if this continues one more year, hundreds of farmers will be forced to fallow their land, even go out of business.

    Water and Air Quality are coming down hard on family farms (with paperwork and fees, rather than meaningful action), yet allow the big corporations (the big offenders) to get away with huge environmental transgressions.

    Our governor is trying to pass legislation banning plastic bags and is meeting huge resistance. The building of new homes in our town (without local jobs to prevent people from commuting long distances to work) continues. Swimming pools are still going in. Yes, we're wearing blinders, tuning out.

    On a positive note, our town has acquired many solar fields (unfortunately on prime farm land, but it's a start).

    Yes, something needs to be done. But I fear the onslaught of unrealistic rules ordained by people from behind desks without any idea of how small farmers, etc., are supposed to understand and apply them, let alone afford them. So far, what I've experienced are an influx of rules, paperwork, and fees that do little to improve the environment and cause confusion and sleepless nights for the farmers trying to make a living with an already small profit margin (during a good year!). Yet, the big processors and big offenders (yeah the ones making the big bucks) get off with a slap on the hand.

    I won't even get into Monsanto. That would take a book!

    Yes, save the environment. But don't make useless rules and fees and piles of paperwork just because it makes people FEEL like something is being done. Make it real. Work with rather than against farmers. They're not the enemy! And force the big guys, as well as the small guys, to comply.

    Start with the biggest offenders and work down. Dirty fuels first, then encourage small (and large) farmers to acquire better farming habits without putting them out of business.

    Okay, that's enough for today. Almost time to harvest the corn. Yep, raised from genetically altered seed (there's no other corn seed available to us anymore) and using dirty fuel in our harvesting equipment (again, nothing else available).

    If you got this far, thanks for listening.

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    • Margaret, it's funny – I was thinking of the email conversations we had at the beginning of this year (much of the US was under snow, while you were going through drought) when I decided to re-blog this post. Yes, I agree that any changes have to be made in full and direct consultation with people on the ground rather than from faceless people behind distant desks.

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  7. I signed the petition, shared it on FB and on Twitter. My novel, I Call Myself Earth Girl, has an environmental message and through dream sequences gives a small picture of living in the future when local wars break out because of environmental devastation. I am working on the sequel and it focuses mostly on drought and the privatization of water. I believe that we can prevent the kind of future that I write about, but I also believe we are running out of time to do so. I appreciate both Saleena and the VFA for spreading the word about the petition. I will be at the People's Climate March in NYC. I hope the "powers that be" hear our voices.
    Margaretduarte, thank you for your well-reasoned response. It makes me sad to know that you have no other options for seeds and fuel, but I totally get it. The farmers are not the enemy. "Make it real. Work with rather than against farmers. They’re not the enemy! And force the big guys, as well as the small guys, to comply." Right on target in my opinion. Good luck with your farm. I know it is a struggle to make a go of it.
    Please, let's all work together for a solution to climate change, and let us continue to use our writing to do so. I think fiction often reaches people more than facts and figures do.
    Peace!
    Jan

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  8. Admin - Eleni says:

    I was just telling my daughters the other day about all the waste of energy, all the cars in traffic, sitting around and burning all that fuel. If you sit back and watch the scene, it's sheer madness.

    I've heard critical scientific analysis from the global warming naysayers, so I am not convinced by the global warming position. It is obvious that climate change is happening, but there may be other underlying reasons. I hope scientists remain skeptical of any either/or position and continue to investigate and explore what is happening. There are many things we do not understand about our solar system. Even the sun is not yet fully understood.

    The one thing I do have a strong position on is a clean environment. That would include one that does not burn fossil fuels. It would be healthier on the ecosystem, not to mention it would bring an end to all these senseless wars. So yes, I'm signing the petition! For peace and all life on Earth!

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  9. Glad to see so much support for this petition here in the VFA. After reading the Guardian article linked to above, I had a very visionary moment in which I realized that, contrary to being anti-technology or anti-industry, the Universe or big Nature is the epitome of High Tech. Think of the amount of computation and technology that went into the human genome or a simple acorn, then take off from there to the galaxies and stars. It is designed so we can all prosper without crapping in our own nest. As you mention, Eleni, there may be other reasons contributing to global warming, but none give us the right to not have to clean up after ourselves. Time for the human race to get potty-trained!

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  10. ranu802 says:

    Global warming is a concern,I am also signing.

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