Last week John invited me and Dave to a meeting at the office of Steve Webb, the Lib Dem spokeperson for the environment together with few other really interesting bloggers. Steve wanted our help with ideas on how to best utilise social media for influencing the political process of the Climate Change Bill.
The UK has the opportunity to show real leadership in combating global climate change by delivering a strong Climate Change Bill. We need to set a target that delivers the reduction in UK climate-changing gases that is needed – the scientific data tells us the target should be at least 80%, not the 60% the government proposes, which is based on out of date science (read more here).
Annoyingly, for most politicians, especially the Tories with their phony green disguise but the labour is not much better on this one, this is a petty political matter and they will probably vote as a herd.
So we had a nice improvised brainstorm and quickly realised that WE DON’T need another public awareness campaign, and we don’t need another pledge, and the email your MP mechanism has lost it’s steam.
We need something else. Something that might not involve thousands of participants as there is not only general green fatigue, but also the green activism sphere is highly fragmented. We need something personal and effective that will send MPs the message that this is a national and global matter and it’s not the time for political pettiness and herd voting. Vote as you believe you should.
This is how we came out with Canvas My MP. The final mechanisms are still being sorted out but the idea is that we want to reveal each and every MP personal stand on the bill and put as much pressure as possible on those who refuse to acknowledge the need for a stronger, more effective bill. So we are moving away from the rather ineffective email your MP to hopefully more effective action of meeting every MP in person to try to convince them to vote for stronger bill. In a nutshell we will ask people to set an appointment with their local MP and and nag them to vote for a stronger bill. These people (we are hoping that a dozen constituents meeting their MP in person can start making an impact.
Our efforts will of course be documented and all MPs opinions and replies will be reported. We hope to get all green organisations and initiatives like the brilliant The Nag, Do the Green Thing as well as BBC Green and Treehugger on board in helping promote this one.
This all happens in the speed of light with not much time to polish the details (the details are being sorted out as we speak) but with lots of great people cheeping in for help so if anyone has any more ideas on how this initiative can grow more teeth please get in touch or leave a comment below. The lovely
I’m trying to convince Steve Webb to go for some BIG PRish initiative to get a nice kick start t this and send the message that this is a cross-party a-political issue – something like 12 MPs Calendar-Girls-like project (Prescott in bikini anyone???)
Will keep you posted on further developments.