The Bright Side of Being a Climate Person

Guest post by: Yann Gager, creator of it’s all about climate

The climate crisis is often framed negatively which is one of the reasons why people do not want to talk about it. After two years in the climate movement, I have realised that we need to frame the topic more positively.

In a previous blog post, I was focusing on the challenges about being a climate activist from burn-out to trolling on social media. In this new blog post, in collaboration with Happy Eco News, I wanted to focus on the bright side of being part of the climate movement. Hopefully this blog post will inspire you to join the movement. We need you more than never.

Action
One of the great aspects of being a climate activist is that you can take different types of climate action, some of these include communicating on social, legal action and climate strikes. Taking climate action is one – if not the best – remedy to fight against your negative climate emotions. 

Belonging
Joining the climate movement is a great opportunity to join a community of people who show the same attachment for humans and living things. In my personal case, I have met great people in my local group of climate activists but thanks to Twitter, I am also now connected to hundreds of people around the world who share the same concern for the planet that I do.

Change
The current climate crisis is an enormous challenge for our species and more generally life on Earth. Because we have been delaying action for decades, we now have to act more quickly and more boldly to limit the extent of the crisis. However, these necessary changes present a great opportunity to “build back better” by pairing recovering action with climate action such as deploying renewable energy and enabling clean mobility.

Diversity

One of the many positive aspects of the climate movement is the diversity of groups involved in solving the climate crisis. If you are interested in joining the climate movement, there is definitely a group out there that will fit you. In the For Future alliance for example, there are many different groups including Fridays For Future, Health For Future, Parents For Future, Scientists For Future and many others. There are also many other groups acting on climate like Extinction Rebellion for example. The people in these groups come from a huge diversity of backgrounds and cultures, yet they all share a desire to help do good for the Earth.

 

Emotions
Being a climate person can be emotionally challenging. The following “climate scale” identifies some of these climate emotions, namely triggered by our love for human beings and more generally living things on Earth. One of the positive things of being a climate person is that you can more easily come in contact with similar emotions, for example the platform Climate Awakening created by Margaret Klein Salmon.

Gratitude and respect
I have so much respect and gratitude for all people around the world engaging in climate communication and action. Some people are already aware about the climate and ecological crisis for decades and have been joined recently by many more people. As a matter of example, the global climate strikes from September 2019 gathered six million people.

Hope and Optimism
The challenge ahead of us to slow down climate change is enormous. But we have many reasons to show “cautious optimism” as coined by Professor Michael E. Mann. First of all, the world is waking up to the climate crisis for example through the youth climate movement Fridays For Future, Extinction Rebellion and many others. Conversations in families about climate have increased, for example in the United Kingdom. And many sectors are experiencing revolutions like the energy, transport and food sectors. 

Inspiration and Motivation
With so much bad news around climate, being a climate person can be really demotivating. You can find inspiration and motivation via different media:

I also found a lot of motivation by adopting a climate-friendly lifestyle and also by being a member of a local group of local activists.

Joy
There are many potential sources of joy in being a climate person from every awakening to every successful lawsuit.

People
A great thing about being a climate person is that you get to meet numerous people in real life as well as online. I have got to know many scientists in my local group of Scientists For Future and many activists from other climate groups. In the last two years, I have also connected with an incredible number of people on Twitter from all horizons.

Solutions
One of the good news about climate is that a vast array of solutions is already available to slow down and stop the release of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. The Project Drawdown is a great resource to discover this diversity of solutions via their website, a video series called “Climate Solutions 101” and their book.

Understanding
Since I joined the climate movement, I gained a better understanding about the climate and ecological crises through the reading of newspaper articles, blog posts, peer-reviewed scientific articles as well as different books (reviewed on my personal website). I have got to learn about totally new topics including degrowth and the imperialist plunder of Global North countries.

In summary, there are many positive things about being a climate person. It is our common responsibility to use our voices and our platforms to balance the constant flow of bad news about the climate crisis with climate solutions and more positiveness. This could be one strategy to engage more people and increase our chances to slow down the current climate and ecological crises.

7 COMMENTS

  1. I started writing about climate change in 2007. From 2015-2019 I volunteered with a national climate organization and we lobbied, put on special events, and held monthly meetings. A lot of it was ‘gloom and doom’ but we quickly realized suggesting mitigation and offering hope was more productive. My novel does both.

    • Paradigm Time: Two Tales of the Future is a Cli-fi (climate fiction) novel comprised of two novella length stories in one book. In the first story, humans had failed to heed the urgent warnings of a planet in peril and now face environmental and economic collapse. In the second story, we had come together and in time to mitigate the worst consequences of climate change and have created that better world. One is dystopian, the other utopian.

      My website http://www.paradigmtime.com/ has information on the book and provides a reading sample. The novel is available on Amazon and Kobo but I encourage you to click on ‘Independent Booksellers’ and a map of bookstores in your area will appear. While not stocking the book, they can order it and you would be supporting them. Thank you for your interest and you can follow me on twitter at @paradigmauthor.

  2. One way to meet others is to join one of 700 local US and international chapters of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Smart folks, solutions oriented, respectful of everyone.

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