Tuesday, March 25, 2008

More Armchair Activism

I'm trying not to inundate you guys with petitions to sign, but as most of you know, my March monthly challenge is 15 minutes of armchair activism a day. I feel so strongly about today's petition that I wanted to pass it on.

If you are a California resident, please go to the Union of Concerned Scientists Website and sign the petition directed at California's Air Resources Board demanding that they save the Zero Emission Vehicles program which is in danger of being significantly watered down.

This is something I feel very strongly about. Electric vehicles are ALREADY a technological reality. The reason none of us are zooming around in electric cars has nothing to do with technology and everything to do with car and oil companies who stand to lose greatly when electric cars become widely available. So, please, sign the petition, and then go watch Who Killed the Electric Car. Preferably with plenty of hard liquor. Because you're going to need it.

5 comments:

Green Bean said...

Thanks for the heads up, Arduous! I've signed it. :)

Pherenike said...

That movie was unbelievable wasnt it. Id sign if i was in California.

Cindy said...

Saw the movie - Who killed Electric Car. It was very informative. Thanks for the petition, signed it!

I wonder if someone has done a study to show whether the online petitions are effective. If so, I will sign more; if not, what are the more effective way to make our voices heard.

arduous said...

It's a good question, and one I've been thinking about a lot lately. I think the answer is it depends.

Most of the online petitions I've signed basically email the form I filled out to my representatives. Since most representatives are used to getting email from constituents I'm not sure getting it via online petition is better or worse than getting it via webform on the Congress or Senate page. I have around 10 email replies from Dianne Feinstein, so I can tell she IS actually getting my messages.

To make your message MORE effective, however, you should take time to personalize and rewrite the standard form on a petition site. I admit, I don't do this every day with every issue. But for the ones that matter to me a lot, or the issues I feel knowledgeable about, I do rewrite the letter and personalize it. Remember your representatives are probably getting this letter from lots of people, so if it doesn't look like the standard letter form, it will stand out.

If you question the efficacy of online petitions, what you can also do is to use the online petitions as a learning tool to find out what issues are important and pressing (ie pending legislation etc) and then instead of signing the petition, just write your OWN email to your reps though their webforms. I've done this sometimes too for Senator Boxer because she only responds to email sent through her webform not to email sent through third party sites.

Natalie said...

I like the phrase "armchair activism". It's catchy. Tongue-in-cheek. Disarming - making something that otherwise seems, well, arduous rather accessible.

I'd sign if I were in CA, but I WILL pass it on to friends there.