What on Earth?! – The New Political Story That Could Change Everything

by | October 11, 2019

Happy Friday!

I’ve just got some quick updates and then a Ted Talk I think you’ll enjoy.

1. Mea Culpa

There was a small mistake in last week’s newsletter on understanding climate change through analogies (which was a big hit, so check it out if you haven’t already). I got the temperature wrong in the fever analogy for Celsius (thanks Carl!). It should’ve been:

“But a more accurate way to think about it is to imagine how you would feel if you had a 3.5°C (6.3°F) fever.

That’s 37°C 40.5°C (105.9°F).”

2. Changing the Subject!

You’re used to seeing ‘From: Crowdsourcing Sustainability’ and ‘Subject: What on Earth?!’ in your inbox.

Going forward expect ‘From: Crowdsourcing Sustainability’ and ‘Subject: (Whatever that particular newsletter is about)’.

I’ve heard from a handful of you that this would be preferable.

Plus, The title “What on Earth?!’ doesn’t exactly make sense anymore since I’ve switched up the format from the original structure of using E-A-R-T-H as an acronym. Every newsletter used to have an “Exciting”, “Alarming”, “Random Quote”, “Take Sustainable Action”, and “Highlighting Someone Awesome” section but it’s much easier for me to write a free-form newsletter that generally focuses on the same categories.

So we’re going to give this a go. And just call it the Crowdsourcing Sustainability newsletter from now on…which is more accurate anyway.

Same newsletter, different name. Sound good?

3. Upcoming Project Drawdown conference in New York

I’m going to the Drawdown Learn conference in Rhinebeck, NY from October 16th to the 18th. More details here if you’re interested. The last Drawdown conference I went to was the best conference I’ve ever been to so I’m hoping this one is in the same zip code.

If you’d like to go but it’s too pricey for you, the organizers gave me a link to make it more reasonable! (limited supply though).

4. Extinction Rebellion making waves

I risked arrest the other week to shut down a bridge in Boston (didn’t get arrested). There were such good vibes on that bridge 🙂 Music, snacks, chants, singing, great signs. Some serious solidarity and compassion.

I also went to New York on Monday. I’d guess around 1,000 of us (?) shut down Wall Street for a bit and got some fantastic press from places like the New York Times.

You may have mixed feelings about the disruptive tactics. But keep in mind that business as usual is literally killing people. Disrupting business as usual in a non-violent, principled manner seems to be more effective than what other orgs have been doing over the past 30+ years.

These demonstrations raise awareness of the climate crisis, force the public to choose a side, and put pressure on governments to take action. Governments around the world are starting to take the first steps that groups like Extinction Rebellion are demanding – declaring a climate emergency.

Personally, I will continue to do what is most effective. And judging by most of the people we run into on the street, it seems as though the general public is largely on our side, with more and more joining the movement each day.


The New Political Story That Could Change Everything

You may remember in “Collective Consciousness and Climate: Change the Story”, I talked about how our current system is broken and why.

“We live in a world built on the stories and beliefs of the past. And that world – the system we live in, does not work anymore.

I suggested that the two main stories that led us astray are:

  1. The widespread belief that we are separate from, and better than, nature.
  2. Profit and corporations > people and planet

George Monbiot recently gave a Ted Talk along this same thread but with some new context and ideas. It is fantastic.

He says what we need now are a politics of belonging. And shares what he thinks the story is that will resonate across parties and ideologies.

As he says, “Our task is to tell the story that lights the path to a better world.”

So I hope you’ll check it out. Fifteen minutes long. But totally worth it so make the time when you can!


This post originally featured in the Crowdsourcing Sustainability newsletter. Sign up for the newsletter below!

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