WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT…CLIMATE OVERWHELM
I wanted to write today about climate change.
And I've written and re-written this blog post about four times - it just wasn't flowing and saying what I wanted to.
I messaged a friend to whinge about it, and explained that I'm feeling frustrated and powerless and "wanting to DO SOMETHING" and she said I should write about that.
So I am.
I can't be alone in feeling this way about climate change, so I'm hoping that by starting the conversation, by providing the space for it to take place, we can help each other.
Ever since the latest IPCC report came out a couple of weeks ago, I've been preoccupied with climate change - worrying about it, worrying about the future my kids might face, wondering why more isn't being done, why the governments of the world aren't galvanising.
And swinging between despair and hopelessness, and then resolving to do MORE, and then wondering what more I can do, and then back to the hopelessness again.
I feel like shouting and crying and ranting but it feels like shouting into a void.
When the IPCC report came out, it generated headlines, and media coverage. For about 6.5hrs.
And then nothing.
No 'declarations of war' on climate change.
No galvanising of the world's leaders to start legislating and taking the 'unprecedented action' called for in the report.
No coming together of a terrified, angry public demanding that action be taken.
Just Brexit. And Trump. And more Brexit. And some Royal news. Oh, and Brexit.
I feel powerless a lot of the time. And I feel guilty admitting to feeling powerless.
Part of the whole ethos of Sustainable(ish) is that our choices matter, no matter how small.
And I genuinely believe that, but at times like this it can feel as inconsequential as 'wafting a tea towel at a house fire' (to quote a recent Guardian piece).
So how can we come together to do more?
I have 30k followers on various social media channels - I feel like collectively we should be able to 'do something'.
I don't have the answers - as my lovely friend pointed out, if I did I'd win the Nobel prize.
So let's start the conversation - let's brainstorm together:
- What are YOU doing to tackle change and live more sustainably?
- How are you engaging your local community?
- What MORE can we all do?
- How can we all come together to amplify our actions?
- What can I do to help YOU?
Here are some of my brainstormings to get us all started - please do feel free to add - either reply to this e-mail or comment on the blog post version of this post, or find me on IG or Twitter (@sustainableish).
When faced with the enormity of an issue like climate change, that sense of powerless seems only logical.
But it is vital to remember that we are not powerless - the question needs to not whether we can make a difference, but how we can make a difference.
Every action, no matter how pointlessly small it might seem matters. It creates change and from there the ripples spread.
So whether it's remembering your re-usable water bottle, changing your lightbulbs to LEDs, hanging your washing out to dry on the line, or choosing a veggie meal for tea, it ALL counts.
SHARE WHAT YOU'RE DOING
Social media has made this SO easy - snap a picture of you with your re-usable water bottle, or a selfie as you walk to work and share it.
We need all things sustainable(ish) to be mainstream, so the more people that are seen to be doing this stuff, the more people will start making changes too.
I got on my eco soap box last week and said that we need to talk about climate change - and we really do.
Whether it's to our political leaders, to our peers and colleagues, to our kids (in age appropriate ways) or to our friends and family - let people know that this is an issue you care deeply about. That you're terrified about the future. Let them know what you're doing, and ask them what they can do to help or join you.
Find your tribe - it can really easy to feel isolated and alone, especially if your friends and family aren't quite in the same place as you.
But know that you are NOT alone.
Again, this is an area where the internet excels - it allows us to find like-minded people from all around the globe and to share our struggles, our triumphs, our solutions.
If you aren't already in it, come and join the Sustainable(ish) FB group, and check out hashtags like #climateaction and #climateoptimist on Twitter and IG.
Locally, join your local transition group, or start one up. See if you have a Repair Cafe near you and volunteer (even if it's to make the tea and coffee!). Host some 'green drinks' in a pub once a month, or a coffee morning.
- Contact your local MP - ask them what they are doing, both personally and politically, to take action on climate change.
- Contact your political leaders and ask the same questions.
- Vote - when it's election time, vote for the party that has the most robust climate change policies and that makes tackling climate change the number one priority it needs to be.
OVER TO YOU - WHAT ELSE?
Let's keep this conversation going - it's OK to feel overwhelmed and powerless sometimes.
But then we need to find ways to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves up, and come together to amplify our actions and make our voices heard.
So hit me up - what else can we do?
What are you already doing that I haven't put out there?
How can we come together more easily and more effectively?
Comment on this post here, or tag me (@sustainableish) on social media.