Librarians help advance OWS’s struggle for ecological justice


June 18, 2012 by SCNCC

Librarians with MyMetro Researchers Project have compiled a comprehensive bibliography documenting the impacts of climate change on the planet and its inhabitants for Occupy Wall Street. Researchers Angie Ecklund, Darcy Gervasio, & Arieh Ress began the project last winter after approaching OWS Environmental Solidarity, asking them what information they were looking for that would make them sharper activists.

After months of research the results are in: our planet is rapidly warming due to the extensive burning of fossil fuels. Arctic sea ice is melting. Droughts and floods are intensifying, displacing millions and destroying arable land, in turn, leading to greater food insecurity. Species diversity is dwindling, throwing delicate ecosystems off balance. But you probably already know all that unless you’re a Fox News fan.

However, what MyMetro Reseachers have handed grassroots campaigners is a compendium of information that would be tricky for the general public to track down using a common search engine. They’ve presented the group with well over 100 studies, reports, and websites published by government agencies, scholarly journals, newspapers, and nonprofit organizations. The bibliography offers a thorough overview of research into climate change and its impacts on the globe’s vast and intricate biosphere. It also includes information on what is being done, as well as what more can and needs to be done to address our environmental predicament as it reaches dire, global proportions.

Here’s how they described their project:

The citations in this annotated bibliography address specific impacts of climate change on plant & animal species, humans, public health, infrastructure, ecology, agriculture, coastlines, food supply, and the global economy. This bibliography is a finding aid that can point Occupy Wall Street [Environmental Solidarity] members and other interested parties towards current, valid research that, due to the commercial nature of most academic research databases, may not be apparent or accessible to the general public. 

Now, the impetus is on Environmental Solidarity, and anyone concerned about climate change and its impact really, to take the information Angie, Darcy, and Arieh provided and put it to use. For Occupy activists this will mean targeting 1% fossil fuel burners and banks funding climate death, demanding immediate reductions in emissions and investments in renewable technology.

“As librarians, we believe that knowledge is power, and we hope that providing access to this type of research will advance the ecological cause of Occupy Wall Street,” the researchers wrote in a message to the activists.

Click here to read the full bibliography and get cracking!

3 thoughts on “Librarians help advance OWS’s struggle for ecological justice

  1. Darcy G. says:

    Thanks for the mention & the library love! I’m glad you’ve found our research helpful. Please let us know how it works out, or if you come across some resources we didn’t know about.

  2. blbarian says:

    Bravo to Arieh, Darci and Angie. Forbes may call the MLS the worst masters degree to go for, but we all know differently. (Of course, most of the Forbes people are the funders of the fossil fuel industry, aren’t they?) Knowledge is power and those with the knowlege on how to access that knowlege are even more so. The difference is, we use our power for good 🙂

  3. […] In the case of the librarians who chose to work with Occupy Wall Street, they were challenged by mistrust from OWS in general (fear of infiltration, of course; it didn’t seem like they had any ties to NYC lefty communities who could vouch for them), but especially, they said, from the OWS librarians. They ended up establishing contact with the Eco Cluster, who were enthusiastic about the prospect of research help. Ultimately, they all decided that an annotated bibliography on climate change impacts would be a useful project to tackle. The bibliography was presented at relevant events this spring – some people from the OWS group brought the bibliography to the Climate Impact Day in May and Rio+20 in June. They got some nice feedback: “[W]hat MyMetro Reseachers have handed grassroots campaigners is a compendium of information that would be tricky for the general public to track down using a common search engine,” wrote an eco blogger and activist. […]

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