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PETITIONING FORMER PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA TO

Lead Nonprofit Collaboration to Solve the Climate Change Problem

Thomas Manaugh, Saϊd Majdi, and Maria Constanza Cocimano
Integral Scientific Institute
 
“The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.”
                                                            —Bertrand Russell, 1955

Addressing Former President Obama in the title of this paper signifies our effort to recruit him and his organizing talents. Our belief is that he could motivate nonprofit organizations to work collaboratively to fight climate change effectively.

Executive Summary
 
Global climate change is happening and should be a top priority for action by every person and every organization on the planet. However, nation states, the United Nations, and local governments are not constituted to take action to solve the climate change problem.

By contrast, a large number of nonprofit organizations are constituted to solve the problem, even though there is no individual organization able to solve the problem alone. The only way to solve the problem is by joining forces. Nonprofits can work collaboratively, each one contributing according to its area of expertise.

Even nonprofits whose objectives are not specifically related to climate change will need to participate.  No cause is likely to be successful in a world of increasingly frequent disasters and deteriorating environmental conditions that deplete resources and destabilize governments and other institutions. Collaborating nonprofits will enjoy the support of concerned donors who support a variety of causes.

Nonprofits can overcome (a) blind spots about what they could offer and (b) stumbling blocks that have been created by some corporations and some politicians. Misinformation campaigns, supported by fossil fuel companies, have led many people to believe there is no climate change problem or that humans have no agency in creating the problem. Nonprofits can work together to set the record straight.

We present a charter for an organization of Responsibly Collaborating Nonprofits (RCN). Each nonprofit interested in being a member will abide by the principles of the proposed charter. Signing the charter implies a moral responsibility to create opportunities to collaborate with other organizations.

Responsibly Collaborating Nonprofits can become the leaders essential to solving the climate change problem. They are the only candidates that are presently constituted to succeed at that task within the timeframe needed to save the present generation and future generations from much suffering and deprivation.

We appeal to Former President Obama to help organize nonprofits into a strong force to solve climate change.


Background

The job of saving the world from the disaster of climate change is one that must be a top priority for action by every global citizen and organization. That is the assertion we made when we helped write a winning proposal for a contest at the Climate CoLab of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

However, only a small fraction of the people on Earth has made action on climate change a top priority, and the same is true of organizations:
  • National governments are constituted to defend economic and security interests of their citizens, but their authority to act does not extend beyond their own borders. Even for national leaders who take climate change seriously, their power to act is limited by constitutional restraints and lack of political support. Furthermore, their ability to work cooperatively with leaders of other nations is limited by the principle of national sovereignty. (1) Treaties that promise joint action are weak agreements that are difficult to formulate and generally impossible to enforce.
  • The United Nations (UN) was constituted to create an alternative to war when disputes arise between nations. That is its top priority. It has provided leadership in drawing attention to the problem of climate change. However, the UN as a body is not constituted to act in solving the problem of climate change. Furthermore, it is not constituted to enforce treaties among nations that, for example, call for nations to limit their carbon emissions.
  • Regional, state, and city governments are constituted to protect the health and welfare of their citizens. However, their ability to contribute to solving the problem of climate change is limited. Only by working cooperatively with most of the other local governments in the world – across national boundaries, languages, and cultures – would actions be sufficient to solve the climate change problem. Unfortunately, attempting that approach would be unlikely to succeed because of monumental requirements for communications and coordination. Furthermore, most local governments are already struggling with finding sufficient finances to meet normal demands like keeping their roads in repair.

Some global nonprofit organizations – a very few – have made climate change a top priority for action. Some of those – again a very few – have shown a willingness and ability to collaborate with other organizations to take significant actions on climate change. Because those few nonprofits are constituted to act globally, they have the ability – if given sufficient support – to solve the problem of global climate change. Furthermore, they can reasonably call on other nonprofits for help. Clearly, other nonprofits have an interest in seeing a solution to the climate change problem. For example, nonprofits constituted to work on solving problems like war and poverty are not likely to succeed in a world suffering increasingly from severe catastrophes due to climate change.


Nonprofits Making Climate a Top Priority

At this time, there is no organization – governmental, nonprofit, or for-profit – that demonstrates all of what will be needed to solve the climate change problem. However, some well-known and respected organizations demonstrate elements that – taken together and scaled upward – could meet the enormous challenge posed by climate change:
  • MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence demonstrates the collaborative spirit that will be needed by organizations if their efforts are to be multiplied in effectiveness and scope through cooperative efforts with other organizations.
  • Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL) builds upon shared values rather than partisan divides, empowering its supporters to work in keeping with the concerns of their local communities. The organization works toward adoption of fair, effective, and sustainable climate change solutions.
  • The Climate Reality Project’s President and CEO Ken Berlin states "We at Climate Reality are committed to fighting climate change, but we also recognize that in order to win we need to work in an inclusive, collaborative manner."
  • The National Wildlife Federation is a voice for wildlife, dedicated to protecting wildlife and habitat and inspiring the future generation of conservationists. "We commit to nurturing with resources, attention, and talent a diverse national conservation movement that inspires local, state, and national action and engagement on issues that transcend political boundary."
  • Climate Mama "... is about the facts, about getting the straight scoop, about understanding Climate Change and Global Warming. We want to help you make the connections - to understand how you, your family, your friends and your community are impacting and changing our climate. Then, we want to show you what you can do to make your hectic, harried life more sustainable, for you, for your children AND for the world.”
  • The Sierra Club represents the reverence for nature that is held by millions of people who decry the environmental destruction that occurs through ignorance or selfishness. "More than ever before, we must stand together," according to Executive Director Michael Brune.
  • According to 350.org, "We’re Stronger When We Collaborate. Climate change isn’t just an environmental issue, or a social justice issue, or an economic issue — it’s all of those at once. It’s one of the biggest challenges humanity has ever faced, and we’re going to have to work together to solve it. That means bringing people together — not just environmentalists, but students, business owners, faith groups, labor unions, universities and more — and building diverse coalitions that are strong enough to put pressure on governments and stand up to the fossil fuel industry."
  • According to The Story of Stuff, "One of our core beliefs as an organization is that change is possible when people work together. So instead of being paralyzed by anger or overwhelmed by cynicism, let’s harness our collective energy and work together to create a brighter future."
  • Many, many other organizations and individual global citizens can find ways to join with others organizations to bring to the table their unselfish contributions toward solving the climate change problem.


Blind Spots

Leaders of nonprofits are part of our society wherein blind spots have undermined the efforts of our society in taking decisive action to end climate change. Clearly, blind spots have been created in our society by programs of disinformation about the origins and seriousness of climate change. Those misinformation campaigns have been financed by fossil fuels companies and carried out by think tanks and media companies (2).  Nonprofits can perform a great service by working to correct the record about climate change for society as a whole.

Also, nonprofits must correct their own unexamined assumptions about their abilities and responsibilities to collaborate on solving the climate change problem.  Specifically, they should examine and modify limiting assumptions about what can be accomplished and what their responsibilities are to take action:
  • Organizations can accomplish more when they collaborate. Our society is one that rightly admires individual initiative. However, that admiration should not be allowed to discourage collaboration when it is called for.
  • Getting financial support from donors is not a zero-sum competitive game between nonprofits. Collaboration with other nonprofits will actually lead to stronger financial support as well as greater effectiveness. That is especially the case when donors realize how important it is to support nonprofits that are collaborative.
  • Not enough attention is paid to the record of a nonprofit for engaging in collaborative projects. That stumbling block would largely disappear if the influential website, charitynavigator.org, or other websites like it, were to begin rating nonprofits on how collaborative they are. That rating could become as important to a nonprofit’s image as the key ratings now given on “Financial” and “Accounting and Transparency.”
  • Effects of climate change will limit how successful all nonprofit programs will be, even programs not specifically related to climate. Nonprofits will not meet goals for their organizations if climate change is allowed to create a chaotic planet of famines, out-of-control forest fires, climate refugees, wars over water and other resources, killing heat waves, and sea levels that drown coastal cities around the world. Resources for all kinds of nonprofits will become scarce if societies are forced to use them in response to the deadly and destructive effects of climate change. On the other hand, collaborating on climate change projects will protect present and future resources. Collaborating to end climate change needs to be recognized as a responsibility of every organization of every kind.
  • Staff, volunteers, and the millions of people who are supporters of nonprofits are not naïve and ineffectual do-gooders, as they have sometimes been portrayed by cynics. Rather, they are the kind of intelligent, informed, curious, determined, unselfish, and responsible people who can be organized into a collaborative force to fight against climate change. Generally, workers for nonprofits deserve more support than they usually get. (3) They are the leaders we have been waiting for.   They have the moral authority to command resources sufficient to win the struggle against climate change. Collaboration will (a) unlock the power of nonprofits and (b) make apparent to themselves and others their power to effect the changes needed to solve the problem of climate change.  Employing the power from collaboration to solve that problem will also facilitate solving other global problems like war and poverty.


A Charter for Responsibly Collaborating Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations must become much stronger, much more committed to fighting climate change, and much more united in their efforts – by orders of magnitude. Only by growing much stronger and much more unified will nonprofits become effective in:
  • pressuring governments to be more responsible (e.g., national governments should not be giving subsidies to fossil fuels companies at the same time they are promising to limit carbon emissions).
  • funding novel research on ways to fight climate change.
  • educating citizens across borders, language groups, and cultures about how they can reduce their carbon footprints.
  • making corporations accountable for actions that lead to climate change.
  • making financing more available for renewable energy projects.

Many nonprofit organizations around the world have promised to collaborate with other nonprofits. However, many of those promisers have done little or nothing to effect meaningful collaborations to fight global climate change. That needs to change. Furthermore, thousands of other nonprofits must recognize the importance of fighting climate change even if that is not their primary mission. It could well be a matter of survival of human civilization that they do so.

Given that governmental actions to fight climate change are inadequate, nonprofits must step in to fill the gap. They will enjoy strong support from millions of citizens around the world who are becoming more and more concerned about climate change and its effects. Should a nonprofit fail to act, its supporters will rightly begin to redirect their contributions and volunteering efforts toward more engaged organizations.

Our Integral Scientific Institute (ISI) has drafted a charter for member organizations that wish to be identified as a Responsibly Collaborating Nonprofit (RCN). Each member of the RCN organization will agree to abide by the principles that are specified in the draft charter below.


Draft Charter for the RCN Organization

The charter for RCN would be a kind of charter of charters. It would specify how the charter of each member organization would be extended in a manner to require collaboration with other responsible nonprofits. The articles of the charter rule out membership by irresponsible nonprofits.

Articles of the draft charter, largely using language borrowed from the Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities, are as follow:

Criteria for Becoming a Responsibly Collaborating Nonprofit (RCN) Member Organization

Article 1

Every RCN member organization has a responsibility to treat all people in a humane way, regardless of gender, ethnic origin, social status, political opinion, language, age, nationality, or religion.

Article 2

No nonprofit should lend support to any form of inhumane behavior. Responsibly collaborating nonprofits have a responsibility to strive for the dignity and self-esteem of all.

Article 3

No responsibly collaborating nonprofit stands above good and evil; all responsibly collaborating nonprofits are subject to ethical standards. Every responsibly collaborating nonprofit has a responsibility to promote good and to avoid evil in all things.

Article 4

All responsibly collaborating nonprofits must accept a responsibility to collaborate, where possible, with each other nonprofit that works for the benefit of all.

Non-Violence and Respect for Life

Article 5

Every responsibly collaborating nonprofit has a responsibility to respect life. No one has the right to injure, to torture or to kill another human person. This does not exclude the right of justified self-defense of individuals or communities.

Article 6

Disputes between states, groups or individuals should be resolved without violence. No responsibly collaborating nonprofit should tolerate or participate in acts of genocide or terrorism, nor should it abuse women, children, or any other civilians as instruments of war. Every citizen and public official has a responsibility to act in a peaceful, non-violent way.

Article 7

Every person is infinitely precious and must be protected by responsibly collaborating nonprofits unconditionally. The animals and the natural environment also demand protection. All responsibly collaborating nonprofits have a responsibility to protect the air, water and soil of the earth for the sake of present inhabitants and future generations.

Justice and Solidarity

Article 8

Every responsibly collaborating nonprofit has a responsibility to behave with integrity, honesty and fairness. No person or group should rob or arbitrarily deprive any other person or group of their property.

Article 9

All responsibly collaborating nonprofits have a responsibility to make serious efforts to overcome poverty, malnutrition, ignorance, and inequality. They should promote sustainable development all over the world in order to assure dignity, freedom, security and justice for all people.

Article 10

All responsibly collaborating nonprofits have a responsibility to help people develop their talents through diligent endeavor; they should have equal access to education and to meaningful work. Every responsibly collaborating nonprofit should lend support to the needy, the disadvantaged, the disabled and to the victims of discrimination.

Article 11

All resources controlled by nonprofits must be used responsibly in accordance with justice and for the advancement of the human race. Economic and political power must not be handled as an instrument of domination, but in the service of economic justice and of the social order.

Truthfulness and Tolerance

Article 12

Every responsibly collaborating nonprofit has a responsibility to speak and act truthfully. No one, however high or mighty, should speak lies. The right to privacy and to personal and professional confidentiality is to be respected.

Article 13

No nonprofit is exempt from general ethical standards. Professional and other codes of ethics should reflect the priority of general standards such as those of truthfulness and fairness.

Article 14

Nothing in this Charter may be interpreted as implying for any state, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the responsibilities, rights and freedom set forth in this charter and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.
 


The Way Forward for RCN

The present approach by nations to solve world problems is not working. Nation states are, by the nature of their reasons for being, more competitive than collaborative. There is a great need for that to change, but there is little evidence at this time that change will happen – certainly not in the timeframe that is needed to stop climate change and serious consequences that are now already occurring because of delay.

In practice, most grassroots organizations operate much like nation states, but it will be much easier for them to reform their operations than it would be for nation states to do so. Already, most nonprofit organizations profess in their mission statements a desire to work with other organizations – other nonprofit, for-profit or governmental organizations – to achieve the goals of their organizations. They only need to reform their operations, not to completely change both their operations and their goals (their reasons for being).

Grassroots organizations, working collaboratively, have it within their power to solve global problems. They have a responsibility to do so, as is asserted in the charter that is presented in draft form for this essay.

There are rugged individualists and rogue or criminal organizations that prefer to chart their own course with no desire to be collaborative. So be it. However, they will not be allowed to break laws that prohibit exploiting others or despoiling our fragile planet as an expression of their individuality. Collaborating organizations that sign the charter will assert and support enforcement of rules and practices that protect the rights of all.  

Nonprofit organizations will almost invariably have an executive officer tasked with fundraising. Though collaboration is an oft-stated goal, there is seldom an executive officer tasked with finding, creating, and implementing collaborative projects. Member organizations will be encouraged to name an executive officer for collaboration.  

There is nothing in the above draft articles that would run counter to the missions or operations of responsible nonprofits. Signing the charter implies a moral responsibility to be open to the possibility of collaborating on projects with other organizations. That possibility is already touted in mission statements and/or organizational descriptions of most nonprofits.

It will be the mission of RCN to publicize the commitment of nonprofits to collaborate on climate-change-related projects with other organizations. Collaborating will be a necessary step if nonprofits are to lead the way toward filling the existing gap in fighting climate change that has been left by governmental organizations – notably national governments.

How successful might collaborations of nonprofits be and how quickly might effects be realized? Effects could be realized almost immediately, given nonprofits are already fighting climate change and no large or complicated capital investments would be needed to expand their operations. Evidence they could be successful is given by the following examples of collaborating nonprofits:
  • Three nonprofit organizations – CREDO, Rainforest Action Network, and The Other 98% – collaborated to organize a massive national movement to put direct political pressure on President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. Many protestors were arrested at demonstrations, and over 75,000 environmental activists pledged to commit acts of civil disobedience if President Obama had approved the pipeline.
  • Corporate Accountability International presented a petition of over 500,000 signatures at the UN’s COP 22, demanding that representatives from the fossil fuels industry be excluded from negotiations. Collaborating organizations included 350.org, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), Climate Action Network International (CAN), Demand Climate Justice, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth International, Greenpeace USA, League of Conservation Voters, Oil Change International, and Sum of Us.
  • The largest climate march in history took place in New York City in 2014. More than 1500 nonprofit organizations mobilized worldwide participation by nearly a million marchers, 100+ world leaders, and 2646 solidarity events in 162 countries.


Will This Work?

There is no guarantee nonprofits will collaborate in a massive way to solve the climate change problem. That said, extraordinary actions are often performed during times of crisis. For example, British politicians, shortly before France fell to Germany during World War II, proposed an extraordinary last-minute plan: combining Britain with France in a single nation to combat Germany.  Every French citizen would have full citizenship rights in England, and every British citizen would have full French citizenship.  (4)

The problem of climate change becomes more critical with each passing day, and public pressure will build for a solution to be implemented. Nonprofits, working together to solve the climate change problem, would not be implementing anything nearly as radical as the above-described proposal to combine Britain and France. They should, however, take a lesson from history and not wait too long to act.

Here are a few reasons why responsible nonprofits should and could collaborate:
  • Collaboration is in no way contradictory to the mission of nonprofits.
  • Millions of members and supporters of nonprofits could be mobilized to take actions to (a) reduce their personal carbon footprint and (b) pressure governments to adopt policies leading to reduced emissions.
  • International nonprofits like 350.org and Greenpeace can organize actions by citizens and local nonprofits in many places around the world. There are over 200 environmental nonprofits that operate internationally. (5)

What Kinds of Collaborations Would RCN Members Undertake?

Each responsibly collaborating nonprofit could contribute to fighting climate change in a manner suitable to its area of expertise. There will be nonprofits that have strong marketing tools, others that can mobilize significant amounts of people to take action, and others that have an ability to reach governments. Among the many actions in which the RCN members could collaborate to stop climate change are to:
  • Support each other in activities such as petition drives. Our Integral Scientific Institute has started a campaign to demand the governments of the world redirect subsidies away from fossil fuel industries and toward the development of renewable energies. If nonprofits around the world would advertise our campaign, we would be able to reach a large number of people to sign our petition. By doing so, we would be able to pressure government officials of nations around the world to take action.
  • Educate people worldwide. Most people know the consequences of climate change, but most people need to be reminded of this to engage them in being a part of solving the problem. Worldwide workshops could be given with the same structure in every country or city chosen, building on the work being done by the Climate Reality Project.


Corporate Malfeasance

For-profit corporations, by their individual actions and their actions in league with some politicians, have created a requirement for nonprofits to play a much-expanded role in human society. The required role is to be a countervailing force to resist economic activities – largely business activities by corporations – that are making Earth an increasingly less livable environment for humans and many other species of life. Indeed, Earth is at a time in its history that has been described as the sixth great extinction. (6)

Corporations are a kind of privileged economic organization that is chartered by law to benefit the public by encouraging economic activity. Corporations use capital from investors who are encouraged to invest because they are generally protected from personal liability for damages resulting from corporate acts. Furthermore, corporations have an advantage of being immortal. A corporation can lose its charter to do business as a corporation because it has been shown to be not operating in the public interest, but that option for enforcement is almost never employed.

Corporations have acquired great political influence by donations made on their behalf by wealthy individuals, trade associations, and lobbyists. That influence has made it possible for corporations to subvert the role of politicians to enact laws to protect consumers, workers, and the environment. Below is one salient example of why countervailing force – beyond forces of governments – is now needed to rein in corporate activities that undermine the public good.

ExxonMobil is just one corporation in an industry of fabulous wealth. Its yearly revenues of $237 billion are larger than the yearly gross domestic products of most nations on Earth. (7,8)

ExxonMobil is being investigated by a number of states’ Attorney Generals for fraud committed against their stockholders and the public for failing to disclose the threat detected by its scientists regarding climate change. Rather, ExxonMobil allegedly funded efforts to hide that threat from the public through programs of misinformation. (9)

A big problem is that the investigation is being thwarted by (a) friendly-to-ExxonMobil Representatives in the US Congress who are attempting to interfere with the investigations (10) and (b) the fact that ExxonMobil can marshal legal resources far in excess of legal resources available to the states.

Being rich and immortal, ExxonMobil can afford to drag on legal proceedings for decades. The efforts of an Attorney General will possibly last only until the next change in political administration.


Overcoming Stumbling Blocks: Plans for Action

The problem of climate change is a global problem that requires global action, and the only way to achieve this is by organizations collaborating. By collaborating, nonprofits not only become stronger and more likely to achieve results, but they also avoid reinventing the wheel every time, as many organizations do when they fight for the same cause.

Below, we discuss how collaboration will serve to overcome many of the social, economic, and political stumbling blocks that will be faced by nonprofits as they lead the fight against climate change:
  • Being ignored and/or censored by for-profit media (11) will be overcome by relying less on corporate media to communicate with the public. Social media can be used very effectively, especially when collaboration is used to expand and strengthen reporting resources so that accurate, timely, in-depth, authoritative, and balanced news and feature reporting is offered by nonprofits.
  • Collaborating nonprofits can mount much larger protests against corporate and government irresponsibility. Demonstration, boycotts, buycotts, divestiture movements, lobbying, and public information campaigns can be much more effective when participated in by thousands as opposed to hundreds of participants.
  • Doggedly partisan, dishonest and/or corporate-controlled politicians will become more amenable to passing laws in the public interest when public attitudes are changed by expanded educational efforts from collaborating nonprofits. Furthermore, better candidates will stand for election when they know their truthful and hopeful messages will be supported by collaborating nonprofits that work to expose lies, fear-mongering, and false promises from dishonest politicians.
  • Some religious leaders have joined forces with climate deniers (12), but they are the exception; and their regressive and uninformed messages can be countered by more informed and progressive messages from responsibly collaborating leaders. When a highly-respected leader in one religious faith speaks out against climate change, that leader’s words will serve to inspire efforts of leaders in other faiths. When Pope Francis spoke out against climate change (13), other religious leaders were emboldened to speak out as well. (14) Consciously systematic collaboration of actions across religious organizations will bring millions of people into a movement to end climate change that affects people of all religious faiths.
  • Foundations are unlikely to donate funds to nonprofits that are unable to demonstrate effectiveness in their missions. By collaborating with other nonprofits, smaller nonprofits can combine resources to (a) allow better tracking of results and (b) produce better results because more comprehensive solutions are available to solve complicated problems. For example, an educational program to teach students about buying “green” products will be easier to evaluate and will be more effective if it is combined with a family-oriented program that makes buying green products part of a PTA fund-raiser. (15)
  • Nonprofits must be careful that collaboration does not compromise protection of clients’ privacy. Careful handling of confidential information can be made a priority in the design of collaborative arrangements among nonprofits.
  • Nonprofits’ financial resources are limited, but they are improving because donors are demonstrating with their giving that they are increasingly concerned that nonprofits should have the resources to succeed in their missions. Volunteering is also increasing. Furthermore, nonprofits will find that their limited resources will stretch further when collaborations (a) create efficiencies of scale and (b) allow more sharing of resources among nonprofits.
  • Too many people remain unconcerned about the threat posed by climate change. That can be expected to become less of a stumbling block in the future because younger generations are showing more concern than older generations. A hopeful sign is that a group of young people age 9 to 20 have been given a greenlight by a federal judge to sue the federal government for its inaction on climate change. (16)
  • Climate change deniers have been successful in creating doubt and confusion about whether climate change is real and if it has been caused by human activity. They have questioned the validity of results from scientific studies by climate scientists and even questioned the integrity of those scientists. (17) Nonprofits should work together in efforts to defend (a) the scientists who have been attacked and (b) the validity of their scientific findings. They should also work together to expose the charlatans who have been paid for spreading lies and half-truths about climate change, some of whom previously were paid by tobacco companies to spread the idea that cigarette smoking was not harmful to health.
  • Vast sums are now spent by corporations and wealthy individuals to promote special interests and to elect politicians who will enact legislation that often puts special interests above the public interest. Most alarming is the fact that all three branches of the United States government will soon be led by climate change deniers. Nonprofits should join in coordinated efforts to resist governmental initiatives – e.g., stopping collection of climate data by NASA – that are clearly not in the public interest. (18)
  • A limited time to act is a stumbling block because irreversible changes in Earth’s climate seem already underway. (19) Nonprofits must act with a sense of urgency. Wishful thinking and the half-measures agreed to by nations at COP 21 will not be successful in keeping global temperatures below catastrophic levels.  (20) Responsibly collaborating nonprofits need to take the actions described above and to lead others in taking action as soon as possible. Cynics and nay-sayers who believe nonprofits cannot be successful should be challenged to suggest their own plan for solving the climate change problem. Inaction is not a rational choice.



An Appeal to Former President Barack Obama

Former President Obama could make a very significant contribution to the fight against climate change by making a small number of brief telephone calls:
  1. CEOs of major foundations like the Rockefeller Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Gates Foundation should be encouraged to include making collaboration one of the criteria used in evaluating grant applications from nonprofits. That step would have a profound effect on nonprofits because they are very dependent on foundations for their funding.
  2. The influential Charity Navigator website and other websites like it should be encouraged to include in their reports on nonprofits the level of collaborative activities engaged in by each nonprofit they rate. That addition to their reports would increase collaborative motivation among nonprofits because donors are influenced in their giving decisions by the information they get from Charity Navigator and similar organizations.

We hope that Former President Obama will hear our appeal and be persuaded how important a contribution it would be that he would become an advocate for nonprofits working collaboratively to fight climate change.

 
References

  1. Reves, E. (1945). The anatomy of peace. New York and London: Harper & Bros.
  2. Oreskes, N., & Conway, E. M. (2010). Merchants of doubt: how a handful of scientists obscured the truth on issues from tobacco smoke to global warming. New York: Bloomsbury Press.
  3. Erickson, K. (n.d.). Nonprofit Emaciation: Confessions of a Do-Gooder Who Starved an Organization. Retrieved December 29, 2016, from https://trust.guidestar.org/blog/2013/06/20/nonprofit-emaciation/
  4. Franco-British Union. (n.d.). Retrieved December 29, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-British_Union
  5. List of Environmental Organization. (n.d.). Retrieved December 29, 2016 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_environmental_organizations#Worldwide
  6. Griffin, W. (2012). The sixth great extinction. Nottingham: Skysill Press.
  7. Exxon Mobil Corp. (n.d.). Retrieved December 29, 2016, from http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/xom/financials
  8. List of Countries by Projected GDP. (n.d.). Retrieved December 29, 2016, from http://statisticstimes.com/economy/countries-by-projected-gdp.php
  9. Exxon's decades of climate deceit: A timeline. (n.d.). Retrieved December 29, 2016, from http://exxonknew.org/timeline/
  10. Hasemyer, D., Jr., J. H., Banerjee, N., Berwyn, B., & Gustin, G. (n.d.). Lamar Smith extends Exxon defense subpoena parade to include the SEC. Retrieved December 29, 2016, from https://insideclimatenews.org/news/29092016/lamar-smith-extends-exxon-subpoena-climate-investigations-new-york-massachusetts-sec
  11. H., H., & H. (2016). STUDY: How Broadcast Networks Covered Climate Change In 2015. Retrieved December 29, 2016, from http://mediamatters.org/research/2016/03/07/study-how-broadcast-networks-covered-climate-ch/208881
  12. New study reaffirms the link between conservative religious faith and climate change doubt. (n.d.). Retrieved December 29, 2016, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/05/29/this-fascinating-chart-on-faith-and-climate-change-denial-has-been-reinforced-by-new-research/?utm_term=.18183079b7ec
  13. Pope Francis Encyclical and Climate Change. (n.d.). Retrieved December 29, 2016, from http://www.catholicclimatecovenant.org/encyclical
  14. Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change. (n.d.). Retrieved December 29, 2016, from http://islamicclimatedeclaration.org/islamic-declaration-on-global-climate-change/
  15. Climate Change Is Elementary. (n.d.). Retrieved December 29, 2016, from http://www.climatechangeiselementary.org/
  16. Judge Rules Kids Can Sue Feds for Climate Change Negligence. (n.d.). Retrieved December 29, 2016, from http://www.takepart.com/article/2016/11/15/young-people-suing-their-government-over-climate-change?cmpid=tpdaily-eml-2016-11-15
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  18. Milman, O. (2016). Trump to scrap Nasa climate research in crackdown on 'politicized science'. Retrieved December 29, 2016, from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/22/nasa-earth-donald-trump-eliminate-climate-change-research
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