The People’s Best Way to Achieve Climate Action? A General Strike

Frustrated environmentalists throughout the planet have got to be asking themselves, “What’s it going to take for international leaders to finally tackle climate change?” So many avenues have been explored in order to spur meaningful action, to no avail. Science, logic, elections, protests and the general threat of extinction should be enough to motivate governmental change, and yet…

Actually, there is one unexplored tactic that could still manage to move the needle: a general strike. A time when the people of the world band together to say, “We refuse to work until we set better goals for an inhabitable planet.”

Think about it: the #1 reason why the dangers of climate change are being ignored is because of money. Fossil fuels companies are raking in billions by slowing a transition to renewable energy.

By stopping or at least seriously impeding labor, we’re messing with money, which is the most important thing to the existing power structure. Hit ‘em where it hurts and they may finally get how seriously we take this issue.

Massive strikes certainly attract attention. In March, teenage activist Greta Thunberg led a movement to have kids skip school for a day to alert their leaders to their passion for climate change action. That was a good way to engage the youth, but even Thunberg acknowledges the real next step needs to be a general labor strike.

When it comes to climate response, time is of the essence. It’s not a problem that we can keep discussing and maybe decide to do something about it in another couple decades. If the calls for a change in political course continue to go unheeded, it’s imperative to do something that actually changes the game now when action is still useful.

Interested in making this action a reality? There’s a campaign already underway called Earth Strike. This global, grass roots movement has set September 27 as the beginning of such a strike.

Per the site: “Our goal isn’t to convince [the upper class] that they should ignore their own personal incentives for the greater good. Our goal is to change these incentives so that they have no choice but to do what’s right, or risk losing their jobs and their livelihoods.

“This is the purpose of a general strike. We force the hands of power by refusing to partake in the system propping them up. They hold most of the cards, but they can’t take away the power we have to withhold our labor.”

As I see it, anyway, it’ll take a lot of collective action in order to be successful, and the first attempt might not be sizable enough to get the results they are hoping for. That’s not an excuse not to participate, however, since even a decent showing is the kind of thing to get the movement going, so give participation some thought.

Just keep in mind, whatever the solution ends up being to our current dilemma, it’s going to take something drastic to fix, and a widespread labor strike may be our best.


Thomas M
Thomas M6 days ago


Beth S
Barbara S10 days ago

thanks for sharing

Chad A
Chad Anderson11 days ago

Thank you.

Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan Hill16 days ago


Celine Russo
Celine Russo17 days ago

Sounds like something that can easily go bad if we don't get over 50% of strikes in a working population.

David C
David C18 days ago

do your best, thanks

Sherry K
Sherry K18 days ago


Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld18 days ago

This seems counterproductive. We need more money for environmental action, not less.

Ben O
Ben O18 days ago

Why not? -We need a lot more ACTION, that'sfor sure!

heather g
heather g18 days ago

Young Canadians still care but there's not much strike activity here