Resistance gears up for climate change, social change conference

Resistance is a co-sponsor of the Climate Change Social Change activist conference in Melbourne over September 30 to October 4. Green Left Weekly asked some Resistance members about their thoughts on this major event.

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Hannah Reardon-Smith, Brisbane

To me, events such as the Climate Change Social Change conference are essential for reigniting my enthusiasm and my energy for the good (but long) fight.

I’m going because I want to add much to my knowledge, get inspired, gain new ideas on the best ways to take action, challenge my perceptions, and surround myself with people that can see the injustice and destruction in the world around us as well as the causes — people who are willing to stand up and speak out.

There is no other event that brings together the two biggest crises of our time — global warming and social crisis. In doing so it highlights that the root cause of both is in fact the same — in Nina Power's words: “Capitalism! Obviously.” — and in order to fight against one we must take up the challenge to fight it all.

Unlike the despair displayed by activists in other movements, socialists are the ones who consistently have concrete answers and inventive ideas about what can be done and how to go about it.

So really, attending CCSC is absolutely essential. And quite frankly I can’t wait.

Liam Hanlon, Brisbane

The magnitude of the ecological crisis, and fact that time is running out fast, to me means that avoiding the question of system change is nothing short of suicidal.

I’m going to Climate Change Social Change because it’s the only conference in the country that is switched on to this reality.

Ewan Saunders, Brisbane

The time for piecemeal, incremental “solutions” that limit themselves within the bounds of the market has long passed. Capitalism is the elephant in the room in the environment movement and Climate Change Social Change is a space where real solutions will be discussed.

But importantly, it’s also where real effective action can be planned. There is no more important an event on the environmental calendar this year.

Dominic Hale, Brisbane

With the looming climate crisis, it’s more important than ever that we discuss and plan for a movement to win a safe climate. I’m coming to Climate Change Social Change for a chance to hear some of the best minds discuss socialist ecology and to get reinspired to continue the fight when I return back to Brisbane.

Sean Brocklehurst, Adelaide

I think we’ve reached a critical point in terms of what’s happening to the climate and also what’s happening around the world — with the massive attacks on workers, and war and imperialism that’s spreading due to global capitalism.

I think Climate Change Social Change is a great national forum for all different people from around Australia to get together and discuss these issues and share tactics and strategies for how we can fight it.

I also hope to learn a lot of things from the international speakers around these different struggles. I think as a young person it’s vital that I go and be a part of this.

I’m particularly looking forward to the workshops on topics on feminism and workers rights, but it will also be great to meet comrades from around Australia and actually get to know these people I only know through Facebook at the moment.

Mark Harris, Adelaide

I am going to Climate Change Social Change because it is a great opportunity to network with members of the left from across the country and find out how they are involved in the struggle for a fairer and greener world.

Gemma Weedall, Adelaide

I’m really excited to hear from renowned international speakers such as John Bellamy Foster and Ian Angus; I think their ideas around ecosocialism are so relevant and poignant at this point in history.

The world is in crisis, both environmental and social, and capitalism is the root cause.

A socialist system that puts people and planet before profit is the only long-lasting solution, and I think this conference will be crucial in working out collectively how we can move forward in the struggle to create this more just and sustainable world.

Ben Peterson, Sydney

Climate Change Social Change is going to be great. We’ll hear from really sharp speakers talking about how we can change the world.

But most of the people there will be activists like myself, so it will be a great opportunity to meet up with other activists to plan ways we can put these ideas into practice.

The conference is something that appeals to a lot of people. In Sydney, the Political Economy Society at the University of Sydney has sponsored the conference, and they now have a heap of people going as well.

People who want to come to Melbourne but need a place to stay should get in touch with their nearest Resistance branch about the epic “resistance billet-a-thon”. Don’t let not being able to afford accommodation keep you from going.

Duncan Roden, Sydney

I’m going to the Climate Change Social Change conference because I think it’s going to be very useful for any environmental activist, myself included.

I’m a member of Parramatta Climate Action Network and I’m also helping the creation of a Blacktown anti-coal seam gas group.

Climate and coal seam gas are closely related issues. The use of natural gas as a transition to renewable energy has the potential to increase carbon emissions, yet it is a stated goal of the government’s carbon price.

I think critical discussion of climate policies is necessary for the movement.

I’m also especially interested in workshops regarding climate change in the Pacific because I can trace my ancestry to several Pacific cultures. Small Pacific states are in danger of serious effects from climate change.

It’s immensely unjust that some people literally face complete destruction despite the fact that they have contributed a tiny part to global warming.

I think these problems can only be solved if environmental movements work towards solutions that will genuinely achieve a socially just sustainable society. That can only happen if we challenge the existing capitalist system and that’s the kind of discussion that I want to be involved in at this conference.

[For more details about the conference visit the conference website. ]