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CROWDSOURCING SUSTAINABILITY

Ben Block and Other Climate Dad’s Step Up on Climate Change 

When Ben answered my call he was a bit out of breath, having been on the move. He was on his way back to the office after getting his flu shot. We were discussing his side-hustle after all, so this seemed quite appropriate.

Ben’s story will resonate with almost any parent out there. He’s got a lot going on and he cares about his family more than anything else. They’re number one and he does everything he can to take care of them – to keep them safe.

With this clear priority in mind, and being acutely aware of the growing and imminent danger of climate change, Ben was horrified when the President announced the US would be leaving the Paris Climate Agreement. His baby Corey was only three months old at the time. What kind of a world would his son live in?

Ben & Corey Block - Climate Dads

Ben and his son Corey

Ben walked me through the moment of his realization, “The reaction to the White House’s decision to undermine the Paris Climate Accord – with millions of voices expressing disappointment and concern – made me realize inaction is not an option. If I’m really concerned about the world my son will be living in, if I really want to do my part to make it safer for him and his generation, I need to take action. We don’t have the luxury to deny climate change or delay action anymore.”

He went on to explain, “We risk becoming numb to it all. We need more people. Regular people speaking up in their own words. It’s not up to me what those words or concerns should be. Until the neighbor next door sees climate change is a problem and starts talking about it like they do the weather, it’ll never be solved.”

So, he got together a bunch of his friends for beers one night to see what more they could do. Shortly after, Climate Dads was born. It launched in 2018 on Father’s Day.

Their hope is to galvanize a community of Dad’s who are concerned about climate change and want to do more. Part of being a Dad means protecting your family from harm. Climate change makes that job much harder. As they put it, “We are here with tools to help safeguard our kids from the unpredictable nature of a warmer world.”

Climate Dads is reframing climate change as an economic, security, and moral issue rather than just an environmental one. Every Dad will connect on at least one of those aspects.

Climate Dads is focusing on three things.

  1. Inform Dads on the issue – make it simple. Empower them to take action on that knowledge (I’m happy to say that they’re using some of my content for this!)
  2. Encourage parents to get outdoors more often to show the next generation the importance of nature and establish a relationship with it.
  3. Create a community of male caregivers. Starting from a bunch of guys who hang out at a bar or in a park, these groups will gradually become more active in local climate-related issues.

It’s early on, but I think the idea is amazing and fills a gap the climate movement has been missing. There were climate groups for Grandmothers, Grandparents, and Moms (several listed here) but this is the first one for Dads.

It makes a lot of sense for Dads to come together on this issue because it impacts what they care about most. And man do we need the strength of this demographic in the uphill battle we find ourselves in.

Given a billboard for millions to see, Ben would put up pictures of regular people. Regular families living wherever the billboard is placed and write “Climate change is here and affecting us now.”

For more on Climate Dads, check out their website and Ben’s wonderful letter for his son to read in 2050.

Read other content from the “Highlighting Someone Awesome” section or see all sections of the What on EARTH?! sustainability newsletter.

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This post originally featured as a section of the What on EARTH?! sustainability newsletter.

“Inspires action and hope” – Kristin

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