Defunding the Destruction of the Amazon Rainforests, a Path Forward
World markets are ruled by financial incentives. People are stepping up to make sure that the banking institutions funding the destruction of ecosystems are held accountable. Ultimately it is the consumer who has the power to shift the cost benefit equation for these mega corporations. Climate Week 2019 has ignited a massive movement that includes Amazon UpRising, a national campaign to pressure financial firms to end rainforest destruction. In short, the era of destroying the Amazon in the name of profit is over.
The goal of the campaign is to drive systemic divestment from rainforest destruction and build an expanding coalition of partners over time to fund protection of existing rainforests and regeneration of rainforests that have been destroyed and communities impacted. -Good Money
Good Money and Bad Money
Earlier this spring I wrote a piece titled, Millennials Promote Community-Owned Banking Platform at Popular California Music Festival. Good Money is the world’s first digital banking platform that makes every customer an owner and allocates 50% of their profits to social and environmental impact. Good Money is spearheading this campaign in collaboration with Alliance For Good, Thrive Market, and Unify along with dozens of other organizations and concerned individuals.
How do Big Banks Destroy Our Rainforests?
*Behind every ecological crisis is a bank and a banker. Deforestation and the destruction of the Amazon is no exception.
*Big Banks invested $44bn in corporations directly linked to rainforest destruction since 2013 according to Global Witness
*Cattle, soy, timber, palm oil, and other commodities are the main drivers of Amazon deforestation and the root causes of the record number of fires in 2019.
*In 2019, more than 80,000 fires burned across Brazil — more than half are in the Amazon.
Proven Tactics for Positive Impact
Protesting in the streets might garner media attention, but where does the rubber hit the road? Understanding the mechanisms of finance, and working within these established structures to remove incentives for ecological destruction are proven techniques to create positive impact. Through shifting consumer spending habits, and by applying public pressure while simultaneously providing solutions, empowering individuals and having fun we have a recipe for success.
When, in the course of human development, existing institutions prove inadequate to the needs of man, when they serve merely to enslave, rob, and oppress mankind, the people have the eternal right to rebel against, and overthrow, these institutions. -Emma Goldman
Real Money Moves was able to end financing from six major US Banks to for-profit prison companies. FoodBabe and her army of activists successfully pressured more than ten major consumer brands to change core business practices. Thrive Market activated their base of organic consumers to change the $74bn Food Stamps program. Informed consumers are learning to organize and utilize social media in more sophisticated ways that are effective.
From the Civil Rights Movement to Occupy Wall Street, protests and marches have held a powerful place in shaping policy or giving voice to the people. Sadly they often create division, are easily co-opted by politicians and watered-down, or only provide a temporary release of anger without actually creating real impact. Like all social movements, activism is evolving. Activism can be fun! It can be about making connections instead of division, sharing solutions instead of complaining about problems and making impact instead of feeling oppressed.
For every action you take with Amazon Uprising, Good Money and its allies will fund the protection of Amazonian rainforests. If you sign the petition, a donation will be made to save 200 trees & 2,000 animals. if you organize a local action, a donation will be made to save 5,000 trees & 50,000 animals. If you show up to a protest, a donation will be made to save 1,000 trees & 10,000 animals.
Amazon UpRising is a Celebration!
Protecting, defending, and regenerating the world’s rainforests is something worth celebrating. When collectives of people begin to wake up to their true power as consumers in the marketplace we can effectively shape the future. Amazon UpRising is a movement of love for our planet. The techniques that will be employed will help to educate people about their buying power, about supply chains, and about how industries are funded through large banking institutions.
The campaign will include social media outreach with informational and inspiring memes and videos. There will be a social actions that include synchronized dance parties in front of the large banks that are funding the destruction of our rainforests. This will help bring attention in a positive way to create public pressure and media coverage to encourage banks to do the right thing.
Just the Beginning
The main event will happen in Downtown Los Angeles on November 16 and the campaign will continue to build momentum throughout the year. Get involved through sharing in your social networks, signing the petitions, donating, and showing up at local events. Check out the website for the campaign here. This is a watershed moment where the tides shift towards protecting and regenerating what we hold as sacred to all life.