Climate and YOU

Reflections on Living in a Climate and Ecological Crisis

Recent Episodes

29 – Getting Active Again

After a hiatus of almost a year (with the exception of my trip to West Virginia to protest at Joe Manchin’s power plant), I feel the need to get active again. The daily atmospheric carbon dioxide reading at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii for Sept. 13th, was 416 ppm. Despite all the legislation, despite all the technological innovations, despite all the scientific reports, despite the United Nations conferences of the parties, despite all the green living and good intentions, we are not succeeding in cutting our global greenhouse gas emissions. The atmospheric CO2 reading does not lie.

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28 – The Tragedy of Climate Injustice

Developing nations are particularly vulnerable to impacts of global heating, including widespread destruction and death from storms, droughts, and floods. This is not just bad luck, it’s a tragic injustice. Wealthy countries have run up a vast planetary and ecological bill with a century of resource extraction and greenhouse gas emissions. The bill has come due, but whenever possible we leave the bill at the door of developing countries – countries which are least able to pay, and which have done almost nothing, relatively speaking, to contribute to the climate and ecological crisis. Central to humanity’s attempt to save itself must be a massive effort by wealthy nations to take responsibility for paying the cost of the comforts they now enjoy.

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27 – Are We Powerless?

Are we, as individuals, powerless when it comes to preventing the breakdown of our earth’s natural life-support systems? When I talk to people about the climate and ecological crisis, many people confess feeling powerless beyond their personal consumer and lifestyle choices, which they are aware is not enough to save us. In this episode I explore what we often mean by “powerless” and how we might change the way we think about personal efficacy.

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25 – Living in Terrifying but Exciting Times

Watching our planet's natural life-support systems disintegrate is terrifying, but our climate and ecological crisis may be the catalyst for a global transformation beyond our imagining. It's a fallacy to believe things will inevitably get better, but it's also a fallacy to conclude radical change is unlikely. To find our situation somewhat exciting - as opposed to overwhelming or paralyzing - requires us to challenge our limited views about the capacities of humankind.

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24 – Book Review: Katherine Hayhoe’s “Saving Us” – A Case for Hope and Healing

One more book review during my sabbatical month of July: Katherine Hayhoe's "Saving Us: Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World." Far from being a Pollyana, Hayhoe is incredibly knowledgable and realistic. At the same time, she has proven time after time that it's possible to connect with people about the importance of our climate crisis across our cultural and political divides. She gives you real hope that more and more people from all walks of life are ready to join our fight for a livable planet.

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23 – Book Review: Kimmerer’s “Braiding Sweetgrass” Re-envisions Our Relationship with Nature

Robin Wall Kimmerer’s "Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants" is a balm for the soul, even as it is completely down-to-earth and realistic. A botanist and person of indigenous heritage, Kimmerer takes us on a journey that challenges many of our assumptions about the human relationship to nature, and about the nature of nature itself. We learn lessons that give hope and resources for facing our climate emergency.

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22 – Book Review: Margaret Klein Salamon’s “Facing the Climate Emergency”

In this episode I review Margaret Klein Salamon's Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth. If there is one single book I would have you read on this topic, it would be this one. It is well-written, engaging, and efficiently concise at only 117 pages. It has everything you need to face and respond to the climate emergency in a sustainable, authentic, and compassionate way.

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21 – Climate Timeline: A Crisis That Didn’t Need to Happen

I discuss why it’s important for us to know the history of our understanding that burning fossil fuels and the way our governments have responded – or failed to respond to – that understanding. Then I illustrate that climate timeline with direct, published quotes from people and reports from the last 60-plus years – letting the people of each decade tell the story of their relationship to climate in their own words.

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Announcement: Apologies and Stay Tuned for a Great Episode

Hello Climate and YOU listener! I apologize for missing a couple of weeks of posting… I really want this to be a weekly practice you can rely on. However, I spent a week visiting family in Minnesota, and then found myself absorbed in research for my next episode. It turned out to take much more time and effort than I expected, but I think you’ll find it was all worth it. Next week I will release a Facing the Truth episode that walks you through the history of human knowledge of and response to the climate crisis. I’m calling it, “We've Known the Climate Crisis Was Coming for Over Fifty Years.” I hope you’ll tune in and thanks for your patience!

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