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Climate Action as an Individual
Brian Ettling, Greenie Group
An podcast interview with Brian Ettling, who has made a determined effort to
figure out things he could do about climate change.
(17 minutes, July 2018)
For longer, more thorough, older-but-still-accurate videos about how to reduce
your own carbon footprint, see our
Top Ten Books on the Climate Change Movement
Matthias Dietz, The Guardian, July 2014
A useful annotated list including a good variety of sub-topics; the annotations alone
are informative. From one of the editors of the 2014 Routledge Handbook of the
Climate Change Movement.
||articles & essays
The Climate Defender's Calendar: The Twelve-Year Plan
Kathleen Dean Moore, October 2018
Witty, focused, and encouraging, this blog post offers a schedule of
collective actions we might take in response to the IPCC's warning that we
need to try hard to keep warming under 1.5° C temperature‒and do so
immediately. First, "The Year of the Girding of the Loins."
The Clothing Industry Is Set to Consume a Quarter of the Global Carbon Supply by 2050
Michelle Chen, The Nation, February 2018
For a while now, the fashion industry has been alert to the conditions of the
people who make clothes, but it has been slower to dive into sustainability in
general, and even slower to think about climate change. This piece looks at the
idea of a "circular economy" in sharp contrast with today’s "fast fashion."
Taking On Climate Change
Tatiana Schlossberg, New York Times, May 2018
Portraits of five people who decided to direct their energies into doing
something about climate change.
What Can We Do?
Changing Climates @ CSU, December 2013
There are LOTS of things ordinary citizens can do about climate change, and
if enough of us do them, individual actions can add up to substantial
contributions. This handout might help you decide what's right for you.
Conservatives Probably Can't Be Persuaded on Climate Change. So Now What?
David Roberts, Vox, November 2017
It is worth considering this provocative argument that treating this matter
as a fight might succeed better than working towards consensus.
Indivisible: A Practical Guide For Resisting the Trump Agenda
December 2016-January 2017
With a White House, cabinet, and congress hostile to the idea of fighting (or
even of accepting the science of) climate change, a different kind of
political involvement might be in order for climate-concerned citizens. If you
want to exert influence over your members of congress, here is the guide for
you‒full of clear, practical, and reasonably detailed information
compiled by a volunteer group of former congressional staffers. If you want a
short version, the New York Times has one
here; if you want the
story behind this document, the New Yorker has it
5 Things to Do about Climate Change, Just in Time for the New Year
Neil Leary, Huffington Post, December 2016
This is a short but excellent list of actions we can all take, focused on
larger-scale, public, political arenas. A good place to start. At the end is
also a short list of links for personal-scale actions.
3 Steps to Turn your Congressman into a Climate Champion
Flannery Keck, Citizens' Climate Lobby, December 2016
Clear, practical tips for working with your senators and representatives to
strengthen their stance and actions on climate change.
The Green Life: 10 Climate Mistakes Millennials Can Easily Rectify
Assya Barrette, Elite Daily, 2015
A good, short, practical list of easy and effective changes to make in your
own life that can truly add up.
Begun by writer/activist Bill McKibben and staffed by a large group of
energetic young people, 350.org coordinates and helps initiate global
grassroots activism aimed at keeping our atmospheric carbon dioxide as low as
possible; projects have included global earth art days, protests against the
Keystone pipeline from the Canadian tar sands across the US, and a divestment
Citizens Climate Lobby
This nonpartisan, nonprofit group aims to "1) create the political will for a
stable climate and 2) to empower individuals to have breakthroughs in
exercising their personal and political power"‒with a focus on a
fee-and-dividend system for carbon.
Fairfax Climate Watch
A good example of concerned citizens who started their own project, in this
case to help communicate climate science and connect the dots that will put
news in context.
Statistics for Action
With the goal of helping communities understand environmental contamination,
this group offers good tips on making statistics understandable as well as
other resources such as a magazine about community environmental activism.
Though their focus is not on climate change per se, their materials (many in
both Spanish and English) might be useful for climate justice actions.
Energy Action Coalition
This campus-centered "coalition of 30 youth-led social and environmental
justice organizations work[s] together to build the youth clean energy and
climate movement," with activities that include organizing Power Shift
Moms Clean Air Force and
Mothers Out Front: Mobilizing for a Livable Climate
The first is a grassroots activist and blogging site for (and by) parents who
want cleaner air for their children"‒with lots of attention to climate
change. The second is a "movement of mothers, grandmothers and caregivers who
use their collective energy and voice to convince elected officials and
business leaders to push for a swift and complete transition away from fossil
fuels, to clean energy"; operating "through house parties held in living
rooms, church basements and community centers," to share personal stories,
learn about climate change, develop volunteer leaders, and help organize teams
of active mothers.
Ecodads.org is a related
group for fathers, based in California. Those old enough to be grandparents
might consider the value of their accumulated experiences and knowledge,
their seasoned hearts and brains, and their available time and
passion‒and then join
Meat Eater's Guide
Environmental Working Group, 2011
Carefully researched "lifecycle assessments of 20 types of popular meat, fish,
dairy and vegetable proteins to determine their full "cradle-to-grave" carbon
footprints." The "At-a-Glance" document is the place to start, but there is
lots more here as well, including a very detailed full report and many other
resources for those who want to eat with the planet's health in mind.