Monday, May 12, 2008

Armchair Activist

I find it easy now to do what once was inconvenient. I can become an activist. I can write letters to governors, congressmen, presidents, kings, you name it. I can even have them written for me by scribes I have never met. I ask them to support legislation, to save the whales or the wolves, to free those who have been unjustly arrested.

It's easy to do, and here's the secret: use the internet.

OK, you probably knew this already.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) runs a program called Save Biogems which mobilizes internet denizens to act to protect natural resources and ecosystems. In their own words:

In response to this escalating threat, NRDC launched the BioGems Initiative in 2001 to help ensure that the most exceptional and imperiled wild places in the Western Hemisphere -- our BioGems -- remain wild for the sake of a sustainable planet. Each year, the BioGems Initiative mobilizes hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens to take action via the Internet in defense of these irreplaceable natural treasures and the wildlife that depends on them for survival. Bringing the full power of citizen activism to bear on government officials and corporations, our online activists -- known as BioGems Defenders -- are making extraordinary strides.

So if you want to protect Patagonia (or even just learn about Patagonia) which is on the south tip of the Americas, you can send an email to President Michelle Bachelet of Chile and ask for her support. To do so, go to click on 'Pick A Biogem', go to Patagonia, and pick 'Click Here to Save This Biogem'. Fill out the form, and your letter is off to President Bachelet. Biogems will save your settings for you, so you'll only have to enter your email address from then on. Every week or so, you may get notified about another important part of nature which needs some help. Occasionally you may get an email back from the person who receives your plea. Unfortunately, it will probably be even more of a form letter than what you sent and not directly address your topic. Rarely, you will get a paper reply in the mail from your government representative.

Armchair Tip: Go one-by-one and select each the Biogems on their site and take action. Skim the text. No need to study up, no need to read the whole letter.

That's the easy life as the Armchair Activist.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous14.5.08
    very good