I just got the news that the international non-profit network OneWorld.net has launched an island in Second Life called "OneClimate" to promote public action on Climate Change. In the 1990s, OneWorld was instrumental in bringing to the web the work of hundreds of non-profit causes from around the world. So it’s appropriate that the UK-based group is working to increase social justice activity in the virtual world.
The sim OneClimate is pretty barren right now. But the OneWorld rep PeterSan Slade reports that their focus is to get people to participate in the next major United Nations meeting on climate change issues taking place in Bali in December. "We want to offer people a way to participate without the carbon cost of flying" notes PeterSan. "So we will be organising SL+RL meetings and press conferences every day for people who care about climate change to put their comments and questions to the delegates."
I love the idea of creating new virtual venues for people to get their views and experiences represented at these global UN gatherings. Often the staid diplomatic climate needs the injection of some radical and off-the-wall energy that NGOs and regular folk provide. And maybe the curiousity of Second Life will cause diplomats to pay more attention than they might if it was just a regular flesh-and-blood human versus an eight-foot tall banana or amorphous mass of spaghetti speaking to them.
OneWorld / OneClimate is looking for volunteers to help out with preparations for this event, particularly those who can assist with video, security and other technical assistance. IM PeterSan Slade if you are interested or head to OneClimate.net for more information about the group.