TLDR;

  • Our homepage will be “greened out” on Sep 20th
  • You can opt in to make your collective page go on strike as well (see below)
  • There will be a banner across the entire website.
  • Our team will be on strike and is invited to take part in one of the many marches for the climate that day. No expenses will be processed on that Friday. We will process them on Thursday instead.

What can I do to help?

Why?

Our beloved planet is on fire. We are in the midst of the 6th mass extinction. In the IPCC report, scientists are telling us that we have 420 Giga Tonnes of CO2 budget left to have a 66% chance to keep global warming in check. Go beyond that and climate change will get out of control and it will put unbearable pressure on human civilization. To make the matter worse, by many accounts the IPCC is considered to be very optimistic (it has to because it has to reach consensus as a body of the United Nations). The melting of the Greenland that we saw this summer was for example only supposed to happen by 2070.

Sled dogs run through meltwater in northwestern Greenland. Steffen M. Olsen https://twitter.com/RasmusTonboe/status/1139504201615237120

Today, we are on track to blow out that budget. We are releasing about 42 Giga Tonnes of CO2 per year. And despite all the efforts of the past 30 years from many activists and governments, we still haven’t reached peak CO2. This is insane. Totally irresponsible. The truth is that our current political system  is  leading us to our extinction. Despite the talk and good intentions of many, we are still nowhere where we should be. We have to act quickly and decisively and we are running out of time.

The tech industry has always taken a neutral approach on all those issues. “Tech platforms are neutral”. But being neutral or moderate is actually taking a stance for the status quo, which literally means extinction. Half of our team at Open Collective have small children. We wouldn’t be doing our job as parents if we act like everything is fine out there. Because it’s not. We all have a responsibility to turn this around. That’s why we will be on strike this Friday September 20th. Please join us.

Can’t we find a tech solution?

We are a tech company. We understand technology, we love technology. To this day, there is no proven tech solution that is ready to scale to address this issue. We are still hopeful, but not if our brightest minds keep business as usual hoping that someone else will bring the solution to us. The key thing to understand here, is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. We need thousands of solutions. The time to argue which one is better is over. We need to try them all and we all need to contribute. And this requires mass mobilization.

What are you asking?

We are asking for the tech industry to take a leadership role in this fight. We are the largest industry in the world. If not us, who will? We put together $1B to mitigate the (unproven) risk of a potential general AI. What about the very proven risk of climate change? Being carbon neutral is not enough, we need to get to carbon negative (we salute the initiative of our credit card processor Stripe in that regard).

“The seas are rising, so are we”

We need massive mobilization for the climate.

But it takes time to organize. Movements for the climate are like open source projects where anyone can contribute except the code is not about moving bits, it’s about moving people for a common goal.

“We need world war level effort for safeguarding the future of our civilization.”

Of all people, we, workers in the tech industry, are probably the first who could afford to take a part time or a sabbatical to dedicate our time and talent for this cause. Consider doing this. Again. If not us, who will?

What does it have to do with Open Collective? Why don’t you mind your own business?

When your house is on fire, you just don’t wait for help and continue business as usual. This is our common house. This is everyone’s business.

We all have a responsibility to use whatever skills, audience and platform we have at our disposal to do something. If you have a web platform like we do with Open Collective, you can use it to join the digital climate strike. That’s what we are doing right now.

We are also dedicating a considerable amount of time to help the climate action movements organize and get funded. Our goal is to do what we’ve done for the open source community, but for the community of collectives that work tirelessly to protect and nurture another piece of our common infrastructure; our planet (if you are interested to contribute to that, please reach out by email or twitter!).

That’s how we are contributing to this world war level of effort that is now required to face this climate emergency. We hope that you will join us in any capacity

With love and rage,

Pia & Xavier, cofounders of Open Collective