Miami Diaspora, the online group of Miami refugees and people still living in Miami, has released their first call to action. Really, I should say our first call to action since I was on the committee. But I didn’t do much, just talk about the ideas and let the writers in the group write the actual text. I did get to see the text a few hours before it was sent out to the media, which was fun.
This is the first public statement that Miami Diaspora has made. The original idea of the group was just to have an online discussion of our experiences of Hurricane Florence and maybe eventually a conference. It was a personal support network, both in the sense of talking about our personal stories and in the sense of supporting people who were looking for food, shelter, medical care, and so on. But it quickly became more than that. Since most people have left Miami, and some of us have gone to other cities, the best way for Miamians to keep in touch is online. Since we’re the biggest group of Miamians online, it occurred to someone that we could be the unofficial voice of Miami.
And the voice of Miami should not remain silent.
The call to action asks people around the world to take action on global warming. It describes two broad strategies: the Resilience Program and the Resistance Program.
The Resilience Program is all about creating cities and states that are resilient enough to handle all of the changes caused by global warming. At this point, there’s no going back. Global warming has already changed the world and will continue changing the world for the foreseeable future. We need to accept that these changes are real and do what we can to adapt. This means things like preparing for rising sea levels, floods, droughts, food shortages, diseases, all of these types of chaos caused by global warming. Each city has to figure out its own plan and follow through with it as soon as possible. Some cities are already doing this, but we need much more work like this. All the troubles in Miami today show what happens if you put it off too long.
The Resistance Program is definitely going to be more controversial, at least among some people. It says that the entire world needs to stop using fossil fuels by 2040 and calls on the people of the world to do everything they can to make the governments and corporations meet this deadline. They stopped just short of saying anything explicit that would get us all arrested as Green Front militants. But they did talk about things like protests, boycotts, divestment, and so on.
So many of our major cities — New York, Tokyo, London, hundreds of others — are right on the edge of the water. They’re all starting to feel the effects. If the oceans keep rising, sooner or later, all of these cities will be underwater. We’ve seen it happen in places like the Maldives. Now it’s knocking on our front door. Miami is underwater, and other major cities will be too within my lifetime.
This press release just went out a couple of hours ago, so we still haven’t seen the full response yet. But it’s already starting to show up on the corporate news shows. That’s a pretty big deal since those shows seem to avoid talking about global warming whenever possible. They’re owned by the same people who own the oil and gas companies, so of course they avoid talking about it. But this is so big and new that they can’t help talking about it.
The call to action is open-ended. It describes what people should do about global warming in general from this point forward. But it also declares a global day of action on August 2. This is when we’ll do the Miami Meetups, which is a project by some of the same organizers. It will also probably involve a Resilience event and a Resistance event in each city.
I’ve been talking to Jess and Ermete about this. We haven’t decided yet if we’re going to do something here in town or go to St. Louis for a bigger event. It may depend on what other people we know want to do. Alejandra’s not very political, but she says she’s up for something like this and she’s fine with whatever we decide. We need her Tesla to get to St. Louis, so I’m glad she’s willing to help. And I haven’t been spending as much time with her lately, so a two hour road trip to St. Louis would be great.
That’s definitely the biggest news today. I’ll post again when I know more about our local plans for this day of action. In the meantime, Ermete has invited me to some type of trivia night fundraiser for Gaia House. I’ve never been to a trivia night, but it sounds fun and it’s for a good cause. I’m still trying to save up money, but ten dollars for a trivia night is a good deal. I’m not really a trivia person though, so I hope I don’t embarrass myself.