Climate Solutions

I’ve been mulling over this post for a few days now. Ever since atmospheric CO2 has surpassed 400 ppm for the first time in 800,000 years, it’s clear that we’re in trouble. We gotta change our ways or else… Well, that’s just it – what this else means is unclear. We have some clues, of course, though it’s hard to imagine because the weather we’re experiencing now is not reflecting 400 ppm. There is about a 40 year delay between rising CO2 levels and climate. We’re living now with the consequences of 1973 CO2 levels, or roughly 325 ppm (according to eye-balling the Keeling Curve). That’s still in the supposed safe zone (makes me wonder a bit about the safety of that number…).

Even though we don’t really know what will happen, it is clear already that climate disruption will be, well, disruptive. Like Sandy. Like the droughts, the storms, the “weird” weather. How these changing weather patterns will impact us humans remains to be seen. One thing seems to be clear, though: If we want to keep the Earth from becoming an inhospitable place for human beings (never mind other species), we need to change our ways.

That’s the other reason I’ve been mulling this post over. Exactly what does that mean? There are lots of lists out there already. Lots of organizations working toward climate solutions (including the EPA). All these lists haven’t helped. CO2 levels continue to increase, in fact, they’re increasing at a faster clip. Changing lightbulbs is obviously not enough. Switching to a differently powered car is obviously not enough. We need more radical changes.

While I believe that we can really only address our climate disturbance contributions by making some systemic changes, there are things we can do as individuals. And of course, if enough of us make personal changes, the system will change as well – at least if we stop applying bandaids and make more fundamental changes. What can we do then? Of course, we can use those lists as a start and then add more actions to that. So buy local, walk more, and turn off your vampire electronics. More radical things involve bigger changes: Move to a smaller place, share your house, sell your car, grow your own food, don’t have children. Basically, don’t shift your consumption to greener things because that’s still consuming; instead stop consuming as much as you can. (And yes, that’s a huge challenge!)

Ultimately, reducing climate disruption will require that we live differently: In smaller places with less people and without jobs that require us to go elsewhere. It might be a bit of a return to the past. Who knows. Again, what is clear is that change is needed. Deep changes. Radical changes.

Share this post with others:
Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email


Climate Solutions — 4 Comments

  1. one good site with ideas for facilitating change is the ‘three-fifty’ movement, organizing lots of s action

    • You mean Yes, I agree. And at the same time, one of the points I was trying to make in my post: The CO2 data suggests that what we have been doing so far has been too little. CO2 is still climbing, at a faster rate. (Partly that’s probably because the systemic changes we need aren’t being made… Again, political corruption and an exploitative economic system are probably driving that inaction…)

  2. being a generation older than you, i may be experiencing a different perspective on how to process and respond to the tremendous challenges we are all now faced with.

    when i see how vast the changes are that we need i also remember that equally burning issues exist beside climate-warming: multiple wars and its need for extreme rehabilitation in so many places; violence in every sphere, air, water and food pollution, economic disaster, political corruption, millions displaced……..

    i tend to look at the big picture for perspective………and keep arriving at the same ‘station’: ‘social healing’ is a prerequisite for the scale of cooperative public action needed for all this. otherwise we remain much too fragmented to organize well enough to counter the well-protected destructive forces that now rule.

    so, for me, always back to the healing arts for all of our relationship issues, from personal to community and all human interactions. without great improvement there, the community actions needed for all the other problems can’t evolve, i believe.

    • I agree fully and I also think that all these issues need to inform each other. Climate disruption, for example, is worsened by political corruption. And some proposals for addressing climate disruption sadly continue many of the current racist and sexist injustices. I recently read a wonderful article about solidarity between the various branches of movements. So we could take this as an opportunity for some deep changes and deep healing.

      At the same time, climate disruption needs some pretty urgent action if we want to avoid disaster. I don’t think we have the luxury of time to heal and then work, we need to do this all together (ha! both all of us humans and all of the issues…)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *