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G8 Ministerial Meeting: Climate Change Petition with AVAAZ.org

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2nd Oct 2008

A new social action group is organizing a petition on climate change to be presented at the G8 Environment Minister's meeting coming up in Germany. The group is AVAAZ.org, a global thought leadership group that uses multinational advocacy to help sway public policy. The group is small and managed in a diffused state with support from Res Publica and MoveOn.org, both of which have done a lot of public advocacy in the US over the last several years.

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Geldoff, making it happen
The actual people leading avvaz.org include Ricken Patel, Jeremy Heimans, David Madden, Eli Pariser, Tom Perriello, Tom Pravda and Andrea Woodhouse. Woodhouse is slightly more well known from her past activist efforts, but the rest of the group represent a new culture of internet savvy individuals undertaking crusades of social action. This form of activism is popping out everywhere and may represent a sea change in the US political and entertainment sphere that would probably be much welcomed by the global community. It ranges from Al Gore's personal environmental project on An Inconvenient Truth to Clinton's Climate Initiative (at the top end), to Eric Prydz's Pink Floyd remake Proper Education in the entertainment sphere that focuses on individual contributions to global warming, to this grass roots effort. The global avaaz.org petition will be presented to the German Environment Minister, Sigmar Gabriel on Thursday 15 March in Potsdam.

Set against the backdrop of the G8 Environment Minister's meeting, this global petition is designed to support efforts to combat climate change by setting new framework policies from the leading G8 countries.

The G8 meeting comes at a time of heightened awareness about climate change and a sense of snowballing efforts across communities, the media and corporations to take the issue of climate change more seriously.

AVAAZ.org is also running a related petition on peace in the Middle East, calling for new negotiations between the Palestinians and the Isrealis. This form of advocacy has yet to show much in the way of results, but is critical for unifying public opinion in the emerging third sphere - that of public opinion activism. The theory goes that public pressure sway political actions, and that the only way to create the public pressure is to organize normal people, which is done most easily through the internet. Seems to make sense... and over 40,000 people are already taking part.

Click here to sign the petition, pass along the link, and thanks to Maja Goepel for the tip!