Interesting development: 1Sky and 350.org merge

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I know almost nothing about 1Sky, but I do know that 350.org is one of the more successful new climate action global organisations that sprung up in the lead up to Copenhagen in 2009. 1Sky looks to be a similar organisation – entirely US-based – the coordinates public action focused on climate change.

Now it looks like they’re merging:

For too long, the fossil fuel industry has had its way on the climate issue–its money has overwhelmed the scientific facts, delaying action on the largest challenge humanity now faces.

Right now, the the Clean Air Act is being threatened, the EPA is under attack, and big polluters are mounting an all-out onslaught that threatens to destroy our lands and scorch our planet. In short, we are losing ground.

In the face of these challenges, one thing is clear: if we want to win, we will have to come together like we never have before.

That’s why we at 350.org and 1Sky have important news to share: starting today, our organizations are officially merging. We’ll be called 350.org, and together we’ll be smarter, bolder, faster, and more creative than we were before.

Over the last three years, 350.org and 1Sky have frequently teamed up for U.S. campaigning. Many of you have been with us every step of the way. Together, we’ve coordinated over 5,000 climate demonstrations in all 50 states. We’ve helped protect the Clean Air Act and won a campaign to get solar panels back on the White House. We’ve launched creative projects to get science at the center of the climate debate, trained thousands of new leaders, and built a network of strong local groups.

No doubt there will be almost no change for 350 Australia or most of the global action. The battle in the US however has challenges of a different scale to the ones we face in Australia: the US Chamber of Commerce and the Koch Brothers.

We hear that your next campaign targets the US Chamber of Commerce, how does that reflect the new organizations long-term mission and goals?
Our long term mission remains to create the power and space needed to craft and enact solutions to climate change and create a clean energy future.  In the United States, we have realized that the biggest thing standing in our way is the power that has been built through lobbying and campaigning dollars pouring into influencing Congress and the U.S. government as a whole. We need to hold politicians who take advantage of those dollars accountable for their voting in favor of dirty energy industries, we need to expose who is being represented by those votes, and we need to make it clear the difference between standing up for corporate profits and standing up for the American people.

This merger makes me ponder: what is the role for tiny climate action groups compared to larger, more resourced groups? The point of 350.org (and presumably 1Sky) is local community coordinators who connect regionally and globally. To combat the giant polluters, do climate groups need to get bigger?

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