Search below for resources covering the intersection of climate engagement, social science and data analytics.


The emerging picture of the most-often cited challenges grassroots groups are facing currently includes: 1) Help with building intersectional narratives and coalitions to link struggles together; 2) Activist safety & security in repressive environments; 3) Maintaining activist engagement and working together efficiently in groups; 4) How to secure funding for grassroots organizing and how to report impact; 5) How to build effective strategy within non-hierarchical structures; 6) Managing burnout among activist communities & collective care. The Global Grassroots Support Network is a collection of 84 seasoned grassroots organizers, campaigners, coaches and more. The Network supports struggles for climate justice, reproductive justice, LGBTQIAS+ rights, housing justice and workers’ rights. These members currently come from: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Kenya, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Spain, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, the U.S., UK and Zimbabwe. If you’re excited by the mission of supporting grassroots justice-oriented activists, the Network has lots of room for new members and you can commit the amount of time that is accessible to you, and the input that supports your mission.

On the declining relevance of digital petitions

Dave Karpf. The Future, Now and Then
Research & Articles

Digital petitions are a mostly-outdated tactic now. Both our politics and our media environment have moved in directions that render them less useful. Where petitioning used to be the central tactic in a digital campaigner’s toolbox, the Trump years saw a rebirth of collective, place-based mobilization. They were years of record-setting marches and participatory local-level civic engagement. Plus we’ve seen a renaissance in union organizing these past few years. But still, the relevance of petitions has diminished—related to the pervasive sense that government officials no longer behave as though listening to and representing citizens is a core part of the job. And it’s a reminder that most of our digital behavior is downstream of a small handful of quasi-monopolistic companies. If American Democracy is going to make it through the next decade, we are going to need better elites. I suspect, if that happens, we will happen to see digital petitions make a comeback. In the meantime, campaigners will do the best with the tools they have available—they’ll develop tactical repertoires that fit the changing media environment and respond to the political opportunity structure.

Research & Articles

This report explores Big Tech’s actions that feed the climate crisis. Big Tech’s actions include: allowing disinformation to flourish online; providing cloud services to help oil and gas companies pump more fossil fuels; participating in trade organizations that lobby against policies that would help the US shrink emissions; producing ever-growing emissions of their own; and funding and promoting false solutions. This report ends with demands for Big Tech to stop these actions that fund the worsening of the climate crisis. To fight the climate crisis, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon need to: support policies that help the U.S. end its reliance on fossil fuels; withdraw from trade groups that lobby against climate mitigation; support climate mitigation efforts that have grassroots support, like shrinking fossil fuel and other polluting industries to cut greenhouse gas emissions at their source; stop providing cloud services to oil and gas companies; eliminate climate disinformation on your platforms; and create and follow measurable plans to get to carbon-zero, not ones based on speculative tech and wishful thinking.

Nuts and Bolts for Building Resilient Organizations

Jesse Graham, Amy Halsted, and Ben Chin. The Forge
Tips & How-Tos

These are the skills that leaders need to develop in order to build resilient organizations. Humility: A culture of humility lowers everyone’s blood pressure, providing the key foundation for people to be able to work through their differences together. Self-discipline: Self-discipline builds power at scale. Imposed discipline occasionally has its place (firings, etc.), but anything held together only through imposed discipline will be a lot smaller, more fragile, and less powerful than an adaptable, decentralized organization with self-disciplined leaders. To create self-disciplined leaders, we emphasize the skills of simplicity, habits, and joy. Love: It’s valuing people for who they are, seeing the best in them, and figuring out how to integrate people together into mutually beneficial relationships.

New Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson is taking climate justice seriously. The environmental justice subcommittee of the mayor’s transition team insists on taking a holistic view of environmental issues including water safety, access to energy and safe housing, and issues of pollution and climate change. The issue of wealth disparity and racism resurface in this report as issues embedded in the way environmental issues have unfolded. Environmental racism is real. They invite us to see the rubric of a “just transition,” and the policy framework of a “Green New Deal” for Chicago as guiding principles for efforts to realize a cleaner, healthier, more just, and sustainable city. In additional to a cleaner, safer, more reliable public transportation trains and busses, accessibility and affordability at all levels, and ample bike paths, an expansive view of Transportation must also factor in racism (such as racial profiling in traffic stops). Access to clean, safe reliable transportation is related to economic security, economic vitality and an overall cleaner environment. The transportation subcommittee insisted the City “needs to work with community in planning transportation strategy.” Again, the importance of engagement and ongoing accountability were uplifted in the transportation subcommittee report as they were in all the other groups.

Members of the It Takes Roots delegation discussed important achievements in UNFCCC history, such as the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Accord, with a special focus on Article 6 of the Paris Accord, which allows the biggest polluters to continue unabated by buying and selling “pollution credits” through carbon markets. They emphasized the importance of denouncing false solutions, preserving human rights and Indigenous rights, and understanding that a just transition moves us away from fossil fuels immediately. “When they’re talking about hydrogen, carbon capture, forest management and whatever… it’s not going to be in rich white neighborhoods, not in any place other than communities that are already overburdened and affected by the legacy of dirty energy,” said José Bravo, executive director of Just Transition Alliance.

Research & Articles

Stronger movements will come from continuous joyful acts of building community and the strategic investment in collective leadership towards a bright, just future for many generations to come. This report calls on others in the movement to learn, work together, be proactive, find connection and safety, and uplift hope. This report’s #WeChooseNow Climate Action Strategy convened over 150 frontline and allied leaders for community power building sessions across the Gulf South and Appalachia to affirm a path forward in repairing generational harms of environmental racism through collective governance to protect what is sacred and help our communities thrive. This report’s organizing strategy guide includes advice on relational and capacity building, funding, communication tools, safety and security, and policy and project support. Specifically, this organizing strategy will include a frontline organizing retreat, a leadership activation fellowship, a communication toolkit, a resource exchange portal, and frontline aligned funding.

The Fight Against Cop City

Amna A. Akbar. Dissent
Research & Articles

The protests in Atlanta against "Cop City" build on a history of organizers challenging prison construction as a force for environmental destruction. In defiance of the ongoing protests, the police and their contractors have started to cut down the forest, and the future of the encampment remains unclear. The campaign against Cop City is simultaneously an objection to building a new center for police training and a campaign to defend the Weelaunee Forest. The activists fighting against Cop City argue that police violence itself constitutes an environmental hazard, and that toxic chemicals associated with explosives that could be used on the site will destroy the air, water, and land on which myriad forms of life depend.

Research & Articles

Relying on the private sector to decarbonize is a recipe for abandoning workers. The uncertain labor conditions of the Inflation Reduction Act make it all the more important that labor and climate organizers remain engaged with the process of implementing the new law. State and local organizing can also be more effective in bridging the tension between fossil fuel workers and climate policies. In addition to state and local organizing, another logical step to strengthen labor-climate advocacy is for more environmental and climate organizations to support legislative reforms to make organizing easier, such as the PRO Act. Ending fossil fuel use will require building power through multi-issue, broad-based coalitions—we are stronger together.

Reflections, Lessons and Learnings on Multiracial, Cross-Class Movement Building

Dejah Powell, Sunrise Movement & Rebecca Tamiru, Climate Advocacy Lab
Tips & How-Tos

From studying past social movements, the Lab has learned that the transformational change necessary to equitably address the climate crisis is more likely to occur when multiracial, cross-class (MRXC) movements* claim their collective power, expand the imagination of what’s possible, and organize and mobilize people at scale. In the last 5 years, the Sunrise Movement has demonstrated a commitment to learning and practice on multiracial, cross-class movement building. This week’s newsletter features reflections and lessons from Lab member and Deputy Organizer Director at Sunrise, Dejah Powell. As a Lab member yourself, you can read the full report* on how Sunrise has been working to build a movement across race and class, and the implications and learnings based on those efforts. This report was developed as part of the Lab’s Climate Justice Microgrant Program.