To Save the Planet, Use Your Cash Like a Vote

As I see it, there are two ways we can do that:

Vote  with one’s purchases.

Vote with one’s donations.

The first is using your personal Market Power to influence others (wise, because you were going to use cash to meet your needs anyway and might as well choose wisely)

The second is a way to work through others:  We fund sustainability charities or to help political leadership with correct views, again, to influence others. Matter of fact, as a busy person, working through others is a VERY high-leverage thing to do.

In this blog  post, will deal with the latter:  One’s donations.  Use your cash like a vote.

Some have been able to give to charity for years… but for others, cash is short.  And for young people even donating to worthy causes at all is a new thing, though one which can become a virtuous, lifelong habit (like voting).

The good news:  Supporting the good works of other, via donation, really is satisfying.  And once you do it for a while, life just wouldn’t be right without it.

But the nice thing about cash is that it is scalable:  Only give what one can afford, and even if it is only $20 per year, know you are making a difference.  (Studies have consistantly shown that the poor give more than the rich, as a percentage of their incomes!)

What donations are, really, is working though others… an efficient strategy for busy people. That is the point of this website and blog:  Be effective, make a difference, all while respecting that we are asking busy people to mobilize.

Our delegates can be busy working on what we want to support, while we are off doing other things like living our lives.   (In effect, this is all the essential business manager, voter, or shareholder skill really is:  They delegate.)  And it doesn’t take much time for the donor, say several hours once a year to research and identify worthy, effective organizations.

Here are examples, from my own recent experience.  It takes me about two hours each year (in December, full confession, as time runs out for getting the tax deductions).

As the years progressed some things dropped off and were replaced with others I thought would be more effective (capitalizing in particular on the climate change Encyclical which Pope Francis made Catholic dogma on June 19, 2015, called “Laudato Si, On the Care of our Common Home.”)

(Note, for 2016:  I knew that keeping climate change blockers out of government is a high payoff activity, and so gave to Tom Steyer’s NetGen Climate.  I specifically earmarked my donation to fund their voter-turnout team by and for Millenials who believe passionately in fighting climate change into the election.  Sadly, they got hacked on election day by shadowy voter supression criminals… but thousands of new, young voters who signed on now have the climate-advocacy and voting habits for a lifetime.  Paradoxically, I’d be willing to bet the loss means they are even more motivated to continue the fight to decarbonize our economy and further our adaptations.)

STRATEGY:  WHY IS THIS EFFECTIVE? PRIOR YEAR’S DONATIONS WENT TO:
Climate morality in faith communities is new and a massive, massive gamechanger Catholic Climate Covenant
Climate morality in faith communties Global Catholic Climate Movement
Advocates Congress-only for a carbon tax Citizens Climate Lobby
Advocates for a carbon tax Carbon Tax Center
Science, climate education are key enablers Union of Concerned Scientists
Veganisim is a gamechanger Mercy for Animals
Advocates for a carbon tax, encourage baby-steps climate allies among conservatives Niskanen Center
Science, climate education are key enablers The Daily Climate, a daily news web site
Planet-scale gardening Environmental Defense Fund
Efficiency and Smart Cities bend the energy curve California Bicycle Coalition
 
STRATEGY:  WHY IS THIS EFFECTIVE? YEAR BEFORE DONATIONS WENT TO:
Science, climate education are key enablers Long Now Foundation
Science, climate education are key enablers Union of Concerned Scientists
Science, climate education are key enablers The Daily Climate, a daily news web site
Politics is a gamechanger Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate
Veganisim is a gamechanger Mercy for Animals
Planet-scale gardening California Native Plants Society
Planet-scale gardening National Resources Defense Council
Planet-scale gardening Environmental Defense Fund
Planet-scale gardening Greenpeace
Efficiency and Smart Cities bend the energy curve California Bicycle Coalition

Note on the recent change to add several Catholic climate organizations:  I have a feeling faith communities will be a gamechanger that flips American conservatives and a vast middle from being blockers or apathetics to advocates, and hence allies… (as well, notice I’ve started adding conservative climate change orgainizations, as I strongly feel we need to encourage them and make common cause – the adversarial stuff can stop, if we make it stop).

We are now at the point where ALL of the world’s major religions define human actions which cause global warming as immoral.  The only notable exception is the American Southern Baptist Convention, and several years ago even that group began to experience rebellion as several hundred leading evangelical leaders signed a letter affirming their strong faith and morality based support for slowing global warming.

The logic is sound, and persuasive, whether it comes from them, Pope Francis or the most hardcore back-to-the-land hippie:  We do NOT have the right to cause suffering for the weakest and poorest among us by our neglectful, unmindful, polluting actions.

Once one realizes that their actions harm another’s kids, one is morally obliged to change

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How does one get started saving the planet?  Start by deeply knowing your own sources of personal power:  1) To save the planet, Change Yourself First; 2) To save the planet, Invest Your Working Life; 3) To save the planet, Use Your Voice and take advocacy seriously!  Never miss a chance to vote, and never stop influencing your government and businesses locally, at the state level, and at the national level.  

And in all cases and at all times, cast aside the learned-helplessness that infects so much of modern life…

*                    *                    *

© William Murphy and Global Warming for Busy People™, 2016.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to William Murphy and Global Warming for Busy People with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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