There is a fast-developing global social movement for stronger action in response to climate change. Global Climate Change Week (GCCW) aims to stimulate academics to step up their contribution to this movement. It does so in three main ways. The first is by providing an annual focus and prompt for such action, together with resources and ideas for activities academics can pursue.
Second, GCCW stimulates academics to step up their contribution by making many forms of participation available, including some that may appeal to academics who are reluctant to take part in many traditional forms of protest (such as demonstrations and marches). For one thing, such academics may take part simply by altering their programs to coordinate their teaching on some aspect of climate change during GCCW, perhaps with a few words to explain to their students why they are doing so. At the same time, GCCW will provide an open-ended framework for a variety of other activities, including some that are more activist or political. It is likely that only a smaller group of academics will take part in some of these activities, together with other members of the community. The focus provided by GCCW should nonetheless encourage some academics to take stronger action than they would otherwise have taken, in the safety of solidarity with their colleagues. In such ways, the hope is that GCCW will achieve the best possible combination of broad participation and forceful activism.
The third main way in which GCCW stimulates academics to step up their contribution to combating climate change is by countering worries about futility. ‘Even if I (or my friends or university colleagues and I) were to make a big effort, would it actually have any significant impact, given the scale of climate change?’ GCCW responds to this concern by effectively turning all participating academics worldwide into colleagues or partners.