If you’re wondering how to build a powerful, strategic movement that can make big wins for climate action, this is your guide.
The Climate Resistance Handbook brings together a wealth of learnings from the climate justice movement. It starts with breaking social myths about how social movements win. Then dives into campaign tools and frameworks you can use. It closes with how to grow your group and use creative, impactful actions and tactics.
This book is full of stories of climate warriors from around the globe and historical movements. It’s filled with practical wisdom and inspiration to make you more effective, more active, and ready for what’s next.
A crucial book for a crucial moment. If you’re wondering ‘How can I help change the world?’ this book will give you some powerful answers.
– Bill McKibben, founder 350.org
See below for the contents and introduction. You can download the full handbook from 350.org.
- Foreword by Greta Thunberg 3
- Introduction 5
- Chapter 1 – Movements 7
- Chapter 2 – Campaigns 19
- Chapter 3 – Growth 34
- Chapter 4 – Tactics 47
- Chapter 5 – Closing 61
I organised my first action in my quiet hometown. A group of us marched downtown. We sang songs. We chanted. We arrived at city hall. I hadn’t thought through what it would look like to confront our mayor. So we showed up and gave impromptu messages.
We triumphantly returned home, having delivered our message. Since nobody does activism in my hometown, this was front-page news. I quivered with excitement as I read my quotes in the city newspaper.
The following days I had two strong — and different — feelings. One feeling was proud excitement. I had a rush of adrenaline from the risks we had taken. I was proud of our song leaders. Our speakers. None of us had done anything like that before. I was proud of all of us who gave up time hanging with friends or catching up on schoolwork and, instead, participated in the action.
Over the next days, the glow of the action faded. I became aware of a second feeling. It was close to a stomach-clenching worry. I feared it wasn’t enough or that the action hadn’t worked as well as we had hoped. I saw that nothing immediately changed afterwards, even though we felt so powerful. I wondered if it was worth it. Doubt crept in.
I sat with two different feelings: the sense of success and the worry that we didn’t really make a change. I could have given in to either of them. But instead, I began to wonder: What’s strategic here? How do my local actions add up to real changes? How do we move from one-time actions to a whole movement, where all kinds of people from all walks of life are joined together in common cause?
This book is for those of you who, like me, have been part of an action and wanted to know: What’s next? How can I not only feel — but be — more powerful?
The sense of urgency on climate has never been higher than now. We are in a serious crisis. If humans want to have a planet like the one we have lived on for millions of years, we have to adjust. We have to change. We have to do it quickly.
Thankfully, we have a wealth of elders to learn from. Regular people have changed the course of history. They have overthrown iron-fisted governments, fought for inclusion, for more democratic and fair systems. While those in power resisted, those with less power used social movements to force change.
We can learn from them that change does not happen just because an issue is important. People have to wage a struggle to fight for the Earth’s climate. This is because the climate has an array of enemies: governments, corporations, media sources, and at times our own consumption and behavior.
So we need to bind together to create the strongest movement possible. Movements win because they channel the feelings of urgency, anger, fear — and our sense of this being wrong — into a force for change.
If you’re with me, then this book is for you. Let’s begin!
There are plans to publish the book in hard copy – for now you can download the full handbook from 350.org