What would Martin Luther King have been without his flock of millions of followers? What would have become of Gandhi without the masses of underprivileged Indians who joined him in peaceful protest? Where would Grace Armitage have taken us without the countless thousands of older people who joined in her calls to act now on climate change?
Who is Grace Armitage? It could be any one of you out there, with an idea, a passion, a desire to change the direction we are veering in; but with no-one who will listen to you because, although so many people feel the same, they also have no idea what to do about it. If a strongly held belief is to be heard, a single voice is too quiet. Green Seniors need to join together to be heard.
There are many special individuals out there who can make changes on their own, and we completely respect the wish of those of you who are content to find out more, and do your own part as a letter writer, political lobbyist, spreader of good ideas or whatever you want to do to help make the environment better. You are welcome at Green Seniors, and we hope you will stay.
We do believe, though, that for every individual action that makes a difference, there are many more actions taken by a group of people with a similar purpose, that make a much bigger difference. The logic is simple : it is easy to ignore one letter, much harder to ignore a hundred; it is easy to ignore a lone protester at the factory gate, much more difficult to ignore a thousand people blockading the entire factory; it is easy to say one vote doesn’t matter, impossible to say 10,000 votes don’t matter.
Group action works because groups of people cannot be ignored.
But groups cannot be run on the basis of a single individual’s activities; they must be well organised, be able to cater for a range of opinions, and in most cases have the necessary funding to be able to provide services to a large number of people. Unless you already have a group in operation, or are a remarkably organised individual (and there are quite a few out there), then your best course of action to make a difference is to add your voice to an existing group.
Some groups use their membership as a single voice rather than a large number of individuals, and we won’t rule out listing one on that basis; though we prefer groups that want to mobilise their members in an active way, in letter writing or direct action, for instance.
We like to call these kinds of groups, “networks”, because they allow people to work collectively, as a network. We especially like those networks that want to join smaller groups and networks together for a common purpose, for these kinds of organisations have huge potential power.
At Green Seniors, we aim to take much of the confusion out of finding a suitable network to match your requirements. The links on the left hand side largely contain specially selected groups and networks that fulfil our basic criteria:
· They are of a broadly environmental nature, e.g. preventing climate change, preserving forests, reducing consumption.
· They are in line with the main body of scientific thinking, e.g. they are not climate change skeptics.
· They are not overtly commercial in nature, i.e. they don’t exist just to make money for someone.
· They are not funded by companies or bodies that contradict the aims of the group, such as oil companies, coal mining firms or aircraft manufacturers.
So if you are keen to take part, then use the links on the right, and find out more about something in your area, or further afield – you may find you have more in common with networks in another country than you realise.
And if you have a group that you want us to recognise, then drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org - we are always willing to spread the word.