Global (online) action on global warming
It looks like online campaigning can work to channel the groundswell of public concern over global warming into effective action to influence governments. According to Ben Wikler from Avaaz.org, at the G8 environment ministers' meeting in Germany a couple of weeks ago,
… Avaaz campaigners hand-delivered our 100,000-signature climate change petition to the environment ministers of the world's most polluting countries. It worked. The chair of the meeting waved the petition in the air, calling on his fellow ministers to act--and they agreed that climate change would be the #1 issue at the G8 summit in June.Apparently, Avaaz.org campaigner Iain Keith presented the petition to German environment minister, Sigmar Gabriel, who held up the petition in his closing speech, saying:
"Thanks to increased pressure from people around the world," he said, "the tide is turning. When an international NGO can gather this many signatures" (here he holds up the petition), "we cannot ignore this problem anymore... As Environmental ministers, we have a responsibility both to the environment and our voters to make sure our heads of state act!"German Chancellor and G8 President Angela Merkel has promised to put climate change at the top of the agenda for the G8 Leaders Summit. Remember, this is Germany's new conservative government – taking active steps to push governments to act on global warming.
With momentum on their side, Avaaz.org wants to "keep the focus on the climate issue by showing that the call for action is growing," and keep-up the pressure to ensure climate change gets on the agenda for the next G8 summit. They wanted to reach 150,000 signatures by Tuesday (yesterday) – which is today European time – so if you're in Australia or anywhere east of Europe, you may still have time to sign the Avaaz.org petition here.
There is more on the Avaaz.org campaigning at the G8 environment summit from their blog.