TL;DR: Our politicians work for us, so just start talking to yours; tips for having positive, effective conversations, baby steps if this one is scary for you.
We know that individual action alone (while crucial) won't be enough to save the climate, without large-scale political and corporate policy changes to drive systemic adaptation to a new way of life.
A lot of us feel frustrated because we feel powerless to influence politics, beyond using our vote at the next federal election.
Recently I went to a workshop about how to get talking to members of parliament, and I was reminded of an important truth: We live in a democracy. That means that politicians work for us.
Your local member of parliament works for you. It's your privilege and right to ask them for the things you want them to do. It's their job to exert power on your behalf where you feel powerless. That's where your influence lies.
So how do we just start talking to our local MPs? (I feel unwell just thinking about this, it makes me so uncomfortable.) Here are the tips I picked up at the workshop, from somebody who's been doing this effectively for a long time:
Inspiration: this woman documented the handwritten postcards she sent to politicians and public figures. (Some snarky, some respectful, all incredibly expressive.)
Extra tips and strategies:
Don't stop asking. Let your requests be in their mind all the time.
Next steps: (baby steps!)
1. Find out who your local member of parliament is. Research their email, postal address and telephone number and how to address them when speaking or writing to them. Save this information so you have it ready if you want to use it.
2. Write a practise email or letter. You don't have to send it (but of course go for it if you want to!) Start with something small and positive - for example, if your MP recently did something in support of an issue you care about, write them a thank you.
3. Read this step-by-step guide to meeting with your MP.
4. Link one other friend to this post, and help keep the conversation growing.