Climate change and caring for our environment – how do we approach it?
Following Climate Sunday on 10 October 2021, lots of us feel that something must be done. But what? And how do we make a difference? Here are four suggestions that can help:
1) Accept the reality of change
The Earth has always been changing. But our past and present activities are making it change faster than ever, threatening huge negative consequences for all life on earth. We are losing the world we have known and are rapidly moving into a new, uncertain one.
We must face the truth of this. For we are part of our world, not separate from it. Earth is the home for all the life that we know of. It is our home – and its fate is largely in our hands.
2) Acknowledge your feelings about what is happening
Ignoring these problems just means that they will get worse. Instead, we must have the courage to look reality squarely in the face. Note the impact of what you see and hear on how you feel.
Climate change, environmental damage and its effects can feel overwhelming and terrifying. We are right to be scared. Anxiety and depression are natural responses. So are grief and anger.
Connecting to the natural world will help us feel better. We are part of it. And valuing the beauty and diversity of nature makes us more likely to promote equity and quality of life for all living beings.
3) Recognise we are not acting alone
Alone, you or I can’t make much difference to a global problem. But we’re not alone. Global change results from lots of small, local actions. If we do things differently, together, we will make a significant impact. Lots of people already are.
We can be tempted to think that any action we take won’t make a significant difference. That is only true if we look at the world as centred on ourselves. If we think and act together, we can cut the problem down to size.
Political involvement is the bridge between individual action and global solutions. Global warming is not inevitable. We know the science. Now we must change the politics.
4) Change how you think
When you do something to save energy or improve the environment, say to yourself, “lots of other people are doing this too”. And share with others what you are doing. That is how we change behaviour. That is how we make a difference.
For more ideas on this theme, listen to the podcast: The End of the World Has Already Happened (BBC Sounds).