Archive for July, 2009

Vital Behaviors for Climate Change Activists

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

In a previous post I asked about vital behaviors for climate change activists. What are a few behaviors that are needed by many of us to address climate change more seriously?

Here is my first draft:

Behavior 1: Share your knowledge of the science and impacts of climate change, and help people handle their feelings.

The goal is to give people enough understanding of climate change to appreciate its importance and complexity, and give them enough background for constructive response.

Behavior 2: Choose a behavior change or set of changes that will reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by at least 10% this year. (This will require standing on an accurate scale.) Work with others on the same goal for a year. Do the following or its equivalent: form a support group, set goals, look at what’s hard. You may wish to model yourself on Weight Watchers, Overeaters or Alcoholics Anonymous, or other programs.

The goal is to give people a realistic idea how much can be achieved by behavior change, and to gain insight into how people shed greenhouse gas emissions. Hopefully enough people change their behavior to effect a change in social mores leading to a shift in the behavior in society. It will at least increase your understanding of what it might take.

Behavior 3: Choose a significant technology or policy that Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says is necessary, one outside your comfort zone. Learn why it is needed, and begin to advocate for it with a group that is not so comfortable with the policy.

The goal is to shift the recommendations we make, moving to important over comfortable.