Please check out my article on the Atlantic Monthly's website about my activist run for Congress and how citizen politics can help do something about climate and other problems:
My unlikely course in activist politicking started with a May call from a member of the executive committee of the Green Party of New York State.
The call came, I understood, because of the notoriety of my very-publicly performed 2007 experiment in extreme environmental living in the middle of Manhattan. The project had been intended to question and look for alternatives to the typical American's consumption-based way of life. It was also a vehicle to help bring broader public attention to the range of our environmental crises -- from ocean depletion to species extinction to climate.
To that end, I wrote a book and starred in a documentary film about the experience, both titled No Impact Man. The book, translated into a dozen languages, has been required reading for more then 100,000 American college students. The film has received over a quarter of a million ratings on Netflix, in addition to screenings in theaters and on television around the world. My non-profit, NoImpactProject.org, whose main program is an immersive, educational week of environmental living, had attracted over 50,000 participants.
While all that notoriety may have attracted the Green Party to me, it did not attract me to the idea of running for office.
I said no.
As far as I could see, the entire political process was corrupt. I'd become fond of calling the presidential election "a big sports-like event paid for by the multinational corporations in order to distract us from the possibility of real change." At that time, I had the same mistaken instinct as so many despairing Americans -- to abandon the political system and look for hope elsewhere...
Click here to read the rest.
Colin Beavan (that's me!) is now leading a conversation about finding a happy, helpful life at Colinbeavan.com. If you want to know how people are breaking out and and finding authentic, meaningful lives that help our world, check it out the blog here and sign up to join the conversation here.