The Top Ten Things You Can Do to Help Stop Climate Change

by: Sara on 02/24/2015

Today's blog post comes to us from Carrie Saxifrage, the author of the compelling and unusual memoir, The Big Swim, Coming Ashore in a World Adrift. Carrie is a journalist and author whose work on First Nations response to the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline has garnered critical acclaim. In 2006, she committed herself to the most life-affirming adventure yet: a low carbon lifestyle. In The Big Swim Carrie explores significant subjects, such as sustainable forestry, nature centered philosophy and First Nations culture to discover that the greatest adventure is learning to align how you live with what you love. J.B MacKinnon, author of The 100-Mile Diet and The Once and Future World says about The Big Swim, "In a flash of inspiration, Carrie Saxifrage has invented the climate change is your handbook to living deeply in perilous times."

Carrie is embarking on a cross country tour starting April 1st. Check out our author events page soon for details.

Below Carrie shares a list of the Top Ten Things You can Do to Help Stop Climate Change

I won’t kid you. The first three items are hard. It gets better after that.

1)     Bring climate change into your heart. See the world through its lens: the impact on species, ecosystems and people of all ages. Feel the magnitude of being alive in a time when we are rapidly destroying the possibilities of life. Let yourself grieve.

2)     The age of fossil fuels has been wonderful. It needs to end. Come to terms. What comes next could be better.

3)     Don’t let high personal emissions corrupt your judgment or undermine your credibility. Avoid air travel and natural gas, and work toward a low emissions way of getting around. Choose to do only things that can be powered by the clean energy of the future. Be the change you wish to see.

4)     Feel proud of this informed choice.

5)     Break through the socially constructed silence. Think about how you came to care about climate change and how it has changed your life. Then tell your story. Write it down. Read mine. Pass it to friends, give it as a gift, bring it to your book group. Use it to open conversations about climate change. Use it as a jumping off point to discuss your own story and how you feel about climate change. 

6)     Avoid the enemy narrative. We are on a quest.

7)     When you speak about climate change, connect action to sources of happiness, how it can restore purpose, community, ecosystems and beauty.

8)     Reach across divisions of age, gender, income, nationality and race. We’re together in this boat.

9)     Call or write all your political representatives and candidates. Tell them you are a climate voter and want an effective price on carbon, an end to fossil fuel subsidies and a clear path forward for Canada to limit warming to two degrees in accordance with the scientific consensus. Tell them you want Canada to take a leadership role at the UN talks in Paris in December of this year. Know how crucial these talks will be.  

10) Remember that change isn’t linear. People are strongly motivated by social norms and change occurs when a critical mass of people adhere to the new social norm. Then it cascades. Create critical mass. Be the new social norm. Stay open. Be hopeful.

Sources: George Marshall, Don’t Even Think About It: Why We Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change; Carrie Saxifrage, The Big Swim – Coming Ashore in a World Adrift.


Author Carrie Saxifrage on Cortes Island




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