I have thoughts. Good thougts. Bad thoughts. But now I am tired of only having thoughts. Thoughts do not let me sleep. Thoughts do not change me. And thoughts do not change the World.
So, now I have a five-point plan to manage the psychological toll of living with climate change and to become part of the solution.
Our daily lives are undoubtedly contributing to climate change.
Because the rich and powerful have constructed systems that make it nearly impossible to live lightly on the Earth. Unsustainable food, clothes and other goods remain cheaper than sustainable alternatives.
We blame ourselves for not being green enough. The belief that this problem could have been fixed if all of us just change our consumptive habits is not only preposterous; it is dangerous.
It turns eco-saints against eco-sinners, who are really just fellow victims. It misleads you into thinking that buying correctly is the only way you can fight climate change.
As long as you are competing for the title of ‘Greener than You’, or are paralyzed by shame, you are not fighting the powerful companies and governments that are the real problem. And that is exactly the way they like it.
Climate crisis is not going to be solved by personal sacrifice.
It will be solved by electing the right people, passing the right laws, drafting the right regulations, signing the right treaties and respecting treaties already signed, particularly with indigenous nations.
It will be solved by holding the people and companies who have made billions off our atmosphere to account.
Systemic changes are complicated. No single person alone can make them happen. Luckily, there are already hundreds, if not thousand, of groups dedicated to climate activism.
You can offer your skills and resources. If you are a writer, write. If you are strong, lift boxes. If you are rich, donate money.
As you fight, it is important for your mental health and motivation to have an image in mind of your goal: a realistically good future. This future is still possible.
But it will only come to pass if you shed your shame, stop focusing on yourself, join together and demand it.