What’s the most effective thing you can do for our climate and ecological crisis? You might be surprised at my answer: Get together with friends! A group of 3-12 like-minded folks (friends, neighbors, people with common affiliations or interests) can form an affinity group and support one another in facing and responding to our climate emergency.
One of the questions I hear most often with regard to our climate and ecological emergency is, “What can I do?” This question is often asked with skepticism, coming from a place of resignation or despair after people conclude there’s actually nothing meaningful they can do.
You might be surprised at my answer. You might figure I’m going to insist you go vegan or stop flying on airplanes or participate in civil disobedience or campaign for legislation.
My heartfelt and enthusiastic recommendation for the best thing you can do for the climate and ecological crisis is this: Get together with friends! Connect with friends, family, or other like-minded people with whom you have something in common. It will help you Stay Strong and find the best way for you to Take Action. It can even be fun! In this episode I take you step by step through my recommendations for how YOU can best to help prevent the complete breakdown of earth’s natural life support systems.
In summary, my recommendation is that you start – or join – what I’m calling a Climate Action Now affinity group. You can call it whatever you like, or use all or only a few of my suggestions. The most important thing is that you connect with a small group of people with whom you already have an affinity, and with whom you share a desire to find a meaningful way to respond to our climate and ecological emergency.
If you’re already a climate activist you may or may not find this episode helpful, but even if you have found community through a larger group, organization, or movement, you may still find a small affinity group would help ground and support your efforts.
One note before I begin: You may wonder why, when I’m suggesting the very best way to help preserve life on earth, I’m not talking about your consumer and lifestyle choices. I’m not talking about recycling, reusing grocery bags, eating organic foods, installing solar panels or energy-efficient light bulbs, driving electric cars, divesting from fossil fuels, or even voting your conscience. All of those personal choices are very important, of course, and if everyone did them it would make a big difference. However, they would not make enough of a difference. (Click here to read a great article about this.) We need massive systemic change to avert climate and ecological catastrophe, if only so we have access to better options in our lives. Making green or just consumer choices and voting in elections has not been enough, but those deeply invested in business-as-usual would really like you to think those are the only things you have the power to do. I will release episodes about this issue in the near future, but for now suffice it to say that when I talk about climate action, I’m talking about efforts to bring about systemic change.