Fifty ideas for actions on climate change

In May and June 2001, the Rising Tide Climate Chaos Tour visited 12 cities in Britain. Some 300 people came to the Tour. In the last session of each gig people broke into small groups and brainstormed ideas for action. This is a list taken from their ideas.

This list proves that no one can argue that there’s nothing we can do about climate change. Our only problem now is choosing what to do- and when has that ever been an excuse for not doing anything?!

1. Organise a Critical Mass with a climate chaos theme

2. Set up a climate change pirate radio station (there is a tape of material already prepared)

3. Find out the sea-level rise or flood level predictions for your area (Met Office, Environment Agency) and paint/chalk this level in blue around town, on council buildings, petrol stations, etc. Accompany with flyposters/leaflets explaining the line and forecasted impacts of extreme weather

4. Take action to reduce your own energy consumption- set yourself a target. Tell everyone about it- your family, friends, neighbours and get their support (like giving up smoking!)

5. Make an empowerment video focused on weather chaos and our responses to it and distribute it and show it.

6. Agit-crop! Planting or seed sowing to spell out a message, in council flowerbeds, railway embankments, open spaces

7. Target traffic jams with leaflets about greenhouse gas emissions

8. Produce local guide to help people buy ethical local produce

9. Declare a car share or green transport week, support with posters, leaflets, actions

10. Set up an info shop/ or a stall in a busy place

11. Produce posters, distribute them, flypost them all over town

12. Talk with your friends of neighbours about what you could do collectively, such as car share, setting personal targets, planning an action, organising school transport etc.

13. Grow at least some of your own food. Reclaim some space to do this with others, get an allotment, grow stuff in pots

14. Declare a car-free zone in your town and put up car-free road signs

15. Blockade or occupy a power station. Block plans for any new power stations.

16. Make "Wanted" posters in car parks for crimes against the biosphere with pictures of cars.

17. Find out council/local authority development plans, put in your own ideas, challenge anything that doesn’t take account of reducing emissions

18. Visit electricity/electrical goods retailers, note how much effort they put put energy efficiency. Set up an info shop outside (or inside!) for the day

19. Mobilise against incinerators, make the links about greenhouse gas emissions

20. Energy reduction - raise the issue in your workplace or school

21. Take your holidays in England.

22. Hassle everyone you know to change their lightbulbs

23. Subvertise-distort the messages on adverts for climate criminals, such as car adverts, all flights! (See for some ideas)

24. React to events- when there the next unseasonal flooding, record drought, or unexpected storm, get out on the streets protesting and making the links for people. Prepare a local phone tree to pull people together at short notice to do this.

25. Guerilla Energy Reduction! Put a brick in the cistern, turn down heating, change heating timers to come on less, swap old lightbulbs for energy efficient ones

26. Get out there and start talking! We have detailed materials on how to structure talks and do speaker trainings. Better still, get on the road and do your own version of the Rising Tide Tour.

27. If it snows people with bad insulation have no snow on their roofs- put a leaflet through their doors about climate chaos and telling how much they can save with roof insulation (plus what grants are available)

28. Prepare materials for teachers, and do talks and activities in schools

29. Buy green electricity. For details on the best companies go to

30. Start a solar water heating club

31. Shut down petrol stations and offer advice on how to kick the habit - offer alternatives to oil addiction, such as free bikes

32. Put up displays at events, public places (the library, public noticeboards), or flypost. Basic display packs from Rising Tide

33. Do a 90% for 90% action- leafleting the train.

34. Give out cartoon booklets everywhere! Photocopy and flypost them

35. Fix up some bikes (universities and stations good place to ask for leftovers) and set up a local free bike scheme, like they used to have in Amsterdam.

36. Nautical Critical Mass! Put cut-out fish in trees and on car windscreens with a message/website. (see fish in the resources section of this web site)

37. Talk with people in this country who have relatives abroad already being affected by weather chaos such as people from the Pakistan, Bangladeshi communities.

38. Create images of what future climate chaos could look like in your region/town and paste them up.

39. Paint cycle lanes, or Think Bike signs on the road.

40. Take infra-red photos of public buildings during winter and confront people with the picture of how much heat is going into the air (send photos to the newspapers)

41. Put up Climate Chaos Ahead road signs on all rush-hour approaches to town

42. Write a message on the top of your umbrella so everyone can see it when it rains

43. Hang banners from bridges over motoroways and busy roads during rush hours- thousands will see them (stay with the banner or the police will remove it and not give it back!)

44. Occupy the offices of companies not reducing emissions, or part of increasing emissions Organise benefit gigs to fund more Rising Tide resources, or to support people affected by extreme weather in the global south (survivors of last years Mozambique floods sent a donation to people whose homes were flooded in Malton, Yorkshire

45. Plough up a motorway and create a park!

46. Link up with other groups/campaigns with linked concerns - such as fuel poverty groups, local local refugee/asylum seekers support groups. Plan joint work around environmental refugees.

47. Campaign for not-for-profit public transport

48. Set hosepipes on offices of oil and airline companies and flood them!

49. Start a campaign against all air flights where people can take a train (eg England to Scotland, London to Paris)


50. Get together with other people, work out what you want to achieve, plan your actions/campaign and DO IT!


Rising Tide- 16th August, 2001