On this week’s episode of Talking Radical Radio, Lyn Adamson, Dewan Afzal, and Rita Bijons talk about Climatefast, a group that uses fasting as a form of witness to call people to action on climate change, with the vision of contributing to a broader movement.
Though climate change is only one aspect of the multifaceted ecological crisis that human activity has triggered on the planet, it is a crucial one. Even as it is necessary to constantly fend off the ridiculous rhetoric of those who willfully deny the evidence (whether because of political allegiances or because of the lavish and skillfully channelled funding from fossil fuel industries), there is also a lack of clear consensus among those who don’t deny this terrifying reality about how to mobilize to actually make the change that the world needs. One approach to responding emerged in 2012, when a group of people — many informed by their faith — decided to engage in what might be called an act of prophetic witness by fasting for the climate on Parliament Hill. It was in the months after the 2013 version of this event that such an approach to action attained global resonance. That year’s annual conference of the parties to the Kyoto climate protocolo started just one day after supertyphoon Hayan (also known as Yolanda) devastated the Philippines. In grief and solidarity with his home half a world away, and in recognition of the connection between the increasing frequency of extreme weather events and human-caused climate change, the Philippine representative at the conference, Yeb Saño, publically and boldly proclaimed his intent to fast at the conference, and many others joined him. With a new format and more links domestically and around the world, Climatefast here in Canada is committed to building on this example and continuing its witness as one element among many of building a mass movement for the climate. Adamson, Afzal, and Bijons talk with me about the origins of Climatefast, its actions so far, and where they plan to take their work in the year ahead.
To learn more about Climatefast, click here.
Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada through in-depth interviews that concentrate not on current events or the crisis of the moment, but on giving people involved in a broad range of social change work a chance to take a longer view as they talk about what they do, how they do it, and why they do it. To learn more about the show in general, click here.
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Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Sudbury, Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.