16 Sustainability Leaders Weigh In: How YOU Can Help To Reverse Global Warming

“To change everything, we need everyone.”


We all know how urgent the climate crisis is. The latest IPCC report made it clear that we, the human race, need to make unprecedented changes to every aspect of how society operates.

Either we change how society works, or mother nature will change it for us.

The next few years are probably the most important in our history.” – Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II

We need to start making drastic changes TODAY.

Lucky for us, we know what we need to do (eliminate greenhouse gas emissions ASAP!) and we still have a little time to do it. We can still stop, and eventually reverse, global warming.

In other words, we can still change society on our terms.

These changes, by the way, also happen to make the world a safer, healthier, more prosperous, and more equitable place to live. It’s undeniable that our lives will improve by making these changes…not a bad deal, right?

So, the next logical step that more and more of us are taking is to ask, “How can I help?”

I decided to go to the experts. I asked some of our sustainability leaders who will be in the history books one day and likely winning the Nobel Prize for Climate Change (once it exists) – we’re talking that kind of star-power. I asked them all one question:

What is the most effective thing that someone can do to help reverse global warming?

Here’s what they had to say:

Paul Hawken

Credit: Terrence McCarthy

Paul Hawken

Author, entrepreneur, activist. Co-founder of Project Drawdown which has identified the top 100 solutions to reverse global warming (also an excellent book).

“The single most important thing to do about reversing global warming is to recognize there is no one single thing, that addressing global warming is a way of seeing the world, a way of being in the world, a pathway to understanding that human systems created the problem and thus the cure is within the whole of the system. The most impactful act an individual can do will depend on that person’s life, knowledge, community, influence, relationships, courage. It will be different for everyone. Together, we act and make a difference. It is not about what “I” can do. It is about what we can do. Carbon is an atom (and molecule) that holds hands and collaborates. That is what global warming is telling us to do.”


Gina McCarthyGina McCarthy

Former head of the EPA under Barack Obama. Current Director of Harvard’s Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment.

“Going out to young people and getting them engaged is the most important thing we can do right now. They have to step up. We all have to step up and we have to stop arguing with one another and we just have to vote, we have to act, we have to forget about the things we can’t change and we don’t like, and we have to make it the world we want. That’s it. It’s hard work. Pull up your pants and let’s go.”


John Cook, Skeptical ScienceJohn Cook

Climate Scientist, Founder of Skeptical Science (explains climate change simply), Researcher at George Mason’s Center for Climate Change Communication.

“The most effective thing we can do as individuals to fight global warming is break the climate silence. Talk to our friends, family, and most importantly, our elected officials – letting them know we care about the issue of climate change and want to hand over a safe world to our children. It’s only by building social and political momentum that we will make the needed transition to clean, renewable society.”


Michael E MannMichael E. Mann

Director, Earth System Science Center at Penn State. IPCC Author. Many awards including partial Nobel Peace Prize and Bloomberg’s 50 Most Influential People. Co-founder of

“Putting pressure on our elective representatives to act. We need to put a price on carbon and incentivize renewable energy to accelerate the transition underway from fossil fuels to green energy.

But we cannot do that as individuals. Only our policymakers can do that. That means we must vote in politicians who favor action, vote out those who don’t, and put as much pressure as possible (in the form of activism, letter-writing, organizing, you name it) on our policymakers to act now.”


Jill Kubit Dear TomorrowJill Kubit

Co-founder of DearTomorrow, where people write letters to loved ones in 2050, sharing their thoughts on climate change and what actions they promise to take.

“From my perspective, talking about climate change is the single most effective thing that you can do.

By this, I don’t mean having an argument with someone in your family who disagrees. I mean thinking deeply about why you care about climate change – why this matters to you – and then sharing this perspective with your own friends and family and with your community. This action – talking about climate in an authentic, personal way – helps normalize the idea that climate change is an important, urgent issue and breaks the invisibility or climate silence that currently exists within our culture.

Without changing how we think about and talk about climate change, we will not pass bold policies nor see the behavior changes that are so desperately needed.”

Bill McKibben - sustainability leader

Credit: Steve Liptay

Bill McKibben

One of the most influential climate activists in the world. Author, journalist. Founder of the worldwide climate movement. Wrote ‘The End of Nature’ in 1988, the first book on global warming for a common audience. Too many awards to list.

“We don’t have time for incremental, individual changes. Time is just a physical constraint that we’re dealing with. And so the most important things an individual can do is be less of an individual. Join together with other people in movements large enough to affect changes in policy and economics that might actually move the system enough to matter. You can’t do it anymore one light bulb, one vegan dinner at a time. You should do those things and do them for a whole variety of reasons like they’re the morally right thing to do and they’re going to save you money, and they’re going to make you more healthy and whatever. But don’t do them expecting that by doing them you’ve somehow done your duty.

What we need you to be is effective citizens moving policy. Citizenship has not been the thing we’ve been best at in this country in recent years and we’re paying the price in a number of places, but the most obvious probably and the most long term damage is what we’re doing to the physical systems of the Earth.

So that’s my sense of things. Movements are, history would indicate, the one way we have of standing up to unjust, entrenched power.”


Stefan RahmstorfStefan Rahmstorf

Climatologist.Oceanographer. Head of Earth System Analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Top 1% of the world’s most-cited researchers in the field of Geosciences.

“How would I know what the most effective is? That is guesswork, but if you insist I would say:

Always vote for candidates and parties that work for climate protection.”

(^^This made me smile – a true scientist’s response.)


Scott KellyScott Kelly

Retired astronaut. Former military fighter pilot and test pilot, an engineer, and a retired U.S. Navy captain. Lived in space for 1 year straight – a US record.

“Vote for political candidates that believe in science.”



Katharine HayhoeKatharine Hayhoe

Leading climate scientist and communicator. Hosts PBS’s “Global Weirding” Youtube series. Director of Texas Tech’s Climate Science Center. Lead author for the National Climate Assessment. Won TIME’s 100 most influential people, FORTUNE’s 50 World’s Greatest Leaders.

“The single most important thing we can do about climate change is, talk about it!

Studies have shown that not even 25 percent of people in the U.S. hear somebody else talk about climate change more than once or twice a year. The biggest challenge we face isn’t science denial. It’s complacency: nobody thinks climate change is going to affect them personally, and why would they if we never talk about it?

Climate action begins with a conversation about why it matters and what we can do about it.”

James Hansen

Copyright: Murdo Macleod

James Hansen

World leading scientist, communicator, and activist. Some call him the “Father of climate change awareness”. Testified to Congress in 1988 to put global warming on the map. Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies for 42 years. Pioneering climate modeler. Director of the “Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions” at Columbia University. Too many awards to list.

“Join and participate in Citizens Climate Lobby – it’s free!”


Ian Monroe, Etho CapitalIan Monroe

“My primary purpose for existence is helping scale solutions to climate change.” Lecturer for the Earth Systems Program at Stanford University. Founding President of Etho Capital. Founding CEO of Oroeco.

“Here are my top 3 things individuals can (and must) do to solve climate change:

  • Make sure all your investments are divested from fossil fuels and invested in climate-smart companies, then push your employer retirement plan or pension to offer climate-smart investments for everyone.
  • Eat less red meat and dairy, which will also make you healthier and save you money. Unfortunately grass-fed beef and dairy is even worse for climate than feedlot systems, so the only climate-friendly solution is to shift your diet towards lower carbon meats or plant proteins.
  • Talk with everyone you know about your climate concerns and solutions, even when the conversations are hard, and share free sites like to see what climate solutions make the biggest differences for you and your family and friends. We’ll only solve climate if we make climate problems and solutions a much bigger part of our collective conversation.”

Varshini Prakash Green New Deal protest

Credit: @sunrisemvmt/Twitter

Varshini Prakash

Co-founder of the Sunrise Movement, which is getting fossil fuel money out of politics and electing leaders who will actually tackle climate change. Rising star.

“The science is indisputable, the technology is here, the vast majority of the public is with us on the need to take drastic action to stop the climate crisis. All that stands in the way is the political will.

The #1 thing to do is to join a movement or organization working to change the political tide in this country and is fighting for the real solutions to the crisis that we need.

We need millions of people in the streets and at the ballot box to put politicians in office who’ll take the action we need and kick fossil-fuel funded ones out. We need people out talking to their neighbors, recruiting volunteers, donating resources (money, yes but also time, cars, food, living spaces, technical skills, and more) if we’re going to have a chance in hell of stopping the greatest existential threat to human civilization as we know it.

Get involved. Everyone doing their part is the only way we’ll get out of this mess.”


Katherine Hamilton - 38 North SolutionsKatherine Hamilton

Energy wonk, winner of numerous awards. Chair of 38 North Solutions. Part of The Energy Gang podcast.

“Hold your elected officials accountable! Ask everyone running for office their stance on global warming and their action plan for addressing climate change. Elected officials who serve constituents should be responsible for protecting those constituents in every way, including climate.

Everyone can pitch in – even in seemingly small ways – to change their habits and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Take a bus instead of driving to work; buy food from the farmer’s market; put your thermostat on a timer; replace your lights with LED bulbs; recycle everything you can. Every little bit helps!”


Andrew WinstonAndrew Winston

Author, business adviser, and speaker. Helps businesses to become sustainable and navigate climate risks. (Check out his latest hit book, ‘The Big Pivot’)

“There is no one quick answer to the ‘most effective’ thing people can do. A lot depends on where people are in their lives and work.

For many, the most impactful area could be through work.

But as an individual, the list of big actions is not that long: thinking about consumption and what we truly need in life, flying and driving less, eating less meat (while meat is produced in the ways it mostly is today), telling companies you buy from that you want greener products, and so on.

But all that said, the single biggest thing now is to vote for people who support aggressive, strong climate action.”

Flannery WinchesterFlannery Winchester

Communications Coordinator at Citizens’ Climate Lobby, which works with elected officials to get a price on carbon in such a way that 100% of the revenue would be returned to the people.

“The most effective thing someone can do to reverse global warming is to ask their representatives to support carbon pricing.

If you live in the US, call or write to your members of Congress and ask them to support the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. This bill was introduced on November 27 into the U.S. House and grew to 10 cosponsors. A couple of weeks later, a Republican and Democrat introduced a companion bill into the Senate as well. The Energy Innovation Act is big, broad legislation to bring down our carbon emissions. It would put a steadily rising price on carbon pollution, returning the revenue to people in the form of monthly dividend checks. Economists, scientists, and climate activists agree that this is the most efficient, effective solution to fight climate change.

Regular folks like you and me need to reach out to our representatives and senators to ask them to support it! You can learn more and take action here.”


Nalleli Cobo - Environmental Justice Activist

Credit: TCE Youth Awards

Nalleli Cobo

Environmental justice activist. Focused on ending oil drilling in neighborhoods like hers. Student.

“To educate themselves. You can’t make change without being educated on the matter.

Change starts with you.

People need to realize that their daily actions affect the world. We need to recognize that power lies within us, the people, and it’s up to us to make change.

Every little bit counts. You can help to reverse global warming.”



If we’re going to stop global warming, it will probably be because enough people like you and me started doing these things. What we each do matters. A lot.

There are hundreds of things you could be doing to help reverse global warming, but we need to focus on the most effective actions. As you can see, incremental changes alone aren’t good enough anymore. We need to take the actions that will have the most impact.

The best actions to take, as identified by the sustainability experts above are as follows:

  • Speak up – break that climate silence!

    Talk to the people you know about climate change and why it’s important to you. If we’re not talking about it, people don’t care. If people don’t care, we’ll never take action.

  • Get the right people to represent us in government.

    How? Vote for climate champions. And do what you can to help them win.

  • Hold your existing representatives accountable.

    Push for climate policies that are in line with what the science demands, not what is “politically feasible”. Bills for carbon pricing and initiatives like the Green New Deal are excellent. (remember we need to cut global emissions in half by 2030 and be net zero by 2050)

  • Collaborate. Organize with others. Join a movement!

    Work with others to bring about real change. Whether it be in your community, company, or country, you have a better chance of making systemic changes when you join forces with other people. As Bill McKibben said, “Movements are, history would indicate, the one way we have of standing up to unjust, entrenched power.”

(There are lots of great organizations out there. A few that I know to be great are, the Sunrise MovementCitizens’ Climate Lobby, Extinction Rebellion…and Crowdsourcing Sustainability of course.)

Now, maybe some of the things on this list are outside of your comfort zone. Maybe they seem “drastic” to you. Maybe you don’t have that much time to spare. Don’t worry, I felt like this at first too.

The thing is, these are drastic times.

Given our situation, it would be insane if we continued to stay in our comfort zones and endorse the status quo – because we’re facing the greatest crisis in human history. Because our future depends on making unprecedented changes to how society operates. Because our kids are counting on us.

And because we’re the last people with a chance to do anything about it.

Reversing global warming won’t be easy. To do it, we need to start telling a new story. We need to reimagine our future world. We need to start telling the story of how climate solutions make our lives better – how we can improve our health, safety, the economy, and address inequality all at the same time.

But change ultimately starts with each one of us. You and me. It starts with thinking differently about where we are, where we want to go, and what we can do to help get there.

Instead of despair, we need hope.
Instead of fear, we need courage.
Instead of powerlessness, we need action.

That last one is particularly useful. Action is the antidote to your climate worries.

You are more powerful than you realize. And ultimately, only you can figure out the best course of action to take. It will be different for each of us depending on what we’re good at, who we know, and what we have.

It’s time to put it all to good use because there’s a lot we need to do. But, together we can get this done.

Keep the wise words of these leaders in mind and don’t forget – when it comes to climate change, it’s not game over.

It’s game on.



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  1. Marge

    I realized that I don’t know what the cities and townships around me are already doing or planning to do, so first I’m going to collect that information and then figure out what to do.

    • Ryan Hagen

      I think that’s a great idea Marge! See what’s already going on around you and decide how you can best plug in to help…and if you see something impactful that needs to be done that nobody’s working on already, maybe try to organize people around that.

  2. Amanda Nash

    Thank you for this excellent and wonderfully accessible article. Sharing!

    • Ryan Hagen

      You’re welcome!

      And that’s music to my ears – thanks Amanda!

  3. Ken

    Beyond all of the many other useful things mentioned in this excellent piece, here is the line that I believe sums it up best:
    “… because we’re the last people with a chance to do anything about it.”

    • Ryan Hagen

      Thanks Ken – I appreciate that!

  4. Tushar Pradhan

    Absolutely correct, the real crux of matter is we need to act. Actions are the stepping stone for moving forward. If our actions brings about a small but sensible change it contributes a lot. If we try to balance life without touching the two extremes neither low or too high we have good chance to adapt. Sustainability is all about judicious use of resources without compromising the future needs, but human tend to forget the replenishment of the used ones. If we focus on these aspects many positive things could be done. It’s all about collective efforts that’s going to be our action plan with partnering at a levels throught the globe….!!

  5. Jessie Haas

    All good except the man saying grass-fed beef and dairy is worse than feedlots. The science I have seen says otherwise.

    • John Wise

      I thought the same, and I raise some grass fed beef on my farm. Then I read the Oxford University study
      called Grazed and Confused. It is very thorough and concludes that in most situations, grass fed ruminants are a net carbon source. I am going to be planting trees on the pasture land that isn’t suitable for cropping.

      • Veronica-Mae Soar

        John Wise. The Oxford so called study was flawed = and done by a hard core vegan who knows little or nothing about real farming. Go visit Soil4Climate they have the facts from real farming methods. By all means plant trees and then you can practice silvoculture= let your cattle wander amongst them, cropping the grass, move them frequently, and as the grass grows again it will draw carbon down into the soil, encouraging the myriad small creatures and bacteria and fungi which healthy soil contains.

    • Veronica-Mae Soar

      very true. holistically grass fed ruminants, as part of a controlled rotational, mixed farming, along with cover crops and no-till, will draw the carbon back into the soil which has been lost through hundreds of years of ploughing. See Soil4Climate Tackling our current problem by reducing emissions is only half the action required. We need not only to turn off the tap, but we need to empty the bath as well. Restoring our soil and planting trees, are just two ways to do that.

  6. Scenic

    Thanks for this list, it’s inspiring and very helpful. Its interesting no one mentioned switching your home to renewable energy which most people across the US could do now. Even if you can’t buy your own renewable energy device, like solar panels you could buy renewable energy credits from the grid which supports your local renewable energy producers.

    • Ryan Hagen

      You’re welcome! Yes, I agree that people should switch to clean energy because it reduces your carbon footprint (and could even save you money).

      But although it’s a great action, it’s likely not “the most effective” thing that someone can do, which is what they were asked. Incremental change helps, but we are at the stage where more drastic changes are necessary, so the more people pushing to make them happen the better!

      • Susan Kraemer

        I’m sorry? How is cutting fossil energy NOT the most drastic change? Of course talking about it helps a bit (but only if nobody you know is clued in on the problem AND willing to learn).

        But the entire point of talking about it, voting for those who will act on it, etc is to ensure that we move this civilization OFF fossil fuels as fast as possible.

        Yet you quote only Mann on that most obvious answer.

        The most effective thing you can do is to model the behavior that will get it done. Switch from the fossil fuel in your life, as Scenic said.

        • Ryan Hagen

          I think we’re both on team stop global warming asap here.

          I quoted exactly what these experts said in response to the question, so I’m sorry if you disagree with them…I didn’t pick and choose answers.

          Agreed that collective action to change the system AND individual change are both important at this late stage in the game. We need to do everything we can, as quickly as we can. I’m certainly not trying to minimize individual actions.

          Thanks for sharing.

      • Steve K

        5=1+1+1+1+1. Any “systems” solution that doesn’t include incremental change will fail, unless “the revolution happens”. Basis math says that even government led change will be incremental, as in the sum of incremental steps. All that government can provide is the promise that everyone will be making sacrifices now instead of a few. I support carbon tax and dividend (Hansen’s group), but we always have the risk that some people/animals are “more equal than others.”

  7. Ravikant Barot

    Nice to see Paul Hawken right at the top of the article. His book at is outstanding work. I have been working on solving the problem he identifies at number 1 out of 100 solutions for the last ten years. Launching our first factory this year and will help solve his featured solution at number 1.

    • Ryan Hagen

      Wow, that is…SO amazing. Just checked out your site. When do you expect production to start?

      • Ravikant Barot

        Thanks, Ryan.

  8. Dan Vivian

    The most effective thing anyone can do is take responsibility for their own fossil fuel consumption. Get off fossil fuel. Buy an EV, insulate your house, heat with a heat pump and install solar power, in that order. Do it incrementally. But get started. You can defeat global warming.

  9. David Whitehill

    This has to be government led. First things first is introduce a cap and trade law.
    Second, introduce a universal income. This will stop people making pointless journeys
    Third. Improve flood defences. Because it will be needed.
    Fourth. Advise people what’s going to happen. Because the amount of co2 in the atmosphere now will cause chaos.
    Fifth. Let not let people off the hook with rediculous ideas of carbon capture. It doesn’t work

    • Ryan Hagen

      Agreed, we really need some government leadership on this because of the scale of change needed.

      These are all important topics that we need to start talking about more and more often so we can raise awareness, get smart on them, and move forward with the best course of action. Thanks for bringing them up here…I’m curious, any stats/studies on that universal income point?

  10. Jean Arsenault

    Great work Ryan !

    Could you add leaders from the top country of the Yale world on environmental performance (EPI) ?

    Best country for environmental performance in 2018 are :

    6-United Kingdom

    Who’s Switzerland Paul Hawken ?

    Who’s France Gina McCarthy ?

    Who are Denmark climates leaders ?

    Who are the asians, africans, latin americans, oceanian leaders ?

    Saludo from Colombia (42nd) !

    • Ryan Hagen

      Thanks Jean, and that’s such a great point!

      I was actually wondering this same thing myself. There are a lot of unsung or lesser known (in the US anyway) sustainability leaders out there. I’ll do my best to expand horizons, find them, and ask if they’ll contribute the next time I do a roundup article like this.

      If you or anyone else have people in mind that should be on everyone’s radar, please share!

  11. Susan Kraemer

    Ending fossil energy use is the key.

    As someone who’s been covering multiple renewable energy solutions to this crisis since 2008, my suggestion is promise yourself to plan ahead for the next “big decision moment” in the next years -where you will get the opportunity to dump fossil energy. (But if you can afford it, of course; go ahead, do all of these right now.)

    These decisions happen in crisis moments when you make a fast decision and may not be remembering the climate crisis as the most important thing, the day your car finally dies, or you have to move, or get a new heater or stove or A/C – or voting day arrives. There are clean eenrgy alternatives.

    1. Make a plan to choose to get off fossil fuels at every decision point.
    2. Start compiling your research and keep it bookmarked so you will be ready to dump fossil energy on that big day.
    3. Set a vote reminder for every second November etc, and check candidates’ records on climate and clean energy at or by asking them.

    Some suggestions for when car dies, heater dies, etc:

    1. Check out cheap EVs – secondhand they are down around $8K
    2. Heating – wind power is cheap or free in some regions at 3AM. electric heaters ceramic heaters that can be charged when the grid needs to sop up wind (or solar spills) or curtail that energy: In CA that is solar at midday. In TX, OK, 3AM. These heaters can be off while charging from the grid, switch on when needed.Also makes A/C that is charged by renewable spills: curtailed wind and solar.
    3. Take the carbon audit and see where you personally can cut carbon most:
    4. Ask 3 solar installer firms to come and do a free estimate. These are free. Also get quotes for including charging an EV. Pick the one to call when you are able to.
    5. For both heat and cooling, heat pumps are most efficient.
    6. If renovating, check into radiant heat heated by solar PV (or by roof solar thermal hot water heater)

    • Reed Sims

      Susan, your point about making preparation for decisions ahead of the crisis moment is really important. We have had to make heat, transportation, food production, home weatherization and other major decisions and often, because we had already talked it through, weighed the (often) added up-front expenses against the benefits to the environment and the people of the world, we made a decision in the direction you and all these speakers advocate.

      It is a good feeling, but I have noticed that against Bill McKibben’s advice, sometimes I catch myself feeling I have done enough. This article and the discussion are important for re-invigorating each of us.

  12. Bernard Amell

    Our civilization’s way of valuing energy use is embedded in an over-arching valuation system for which perpetual growth is considered essential. For this fundamental reason, technically clever alternative energy sources and voluntary small scale conservation efforts are futile. A radically different valuation system (Steady State Economics) is necessary but is being actively discredited by the various elites that enjoy positions of power and privilege due to the current economic system.

    My advice: Build networks of trust around you (in whatever communities you are part of), commit wholeheartedly to mutual welfare so that these become beloved communities. Then, be ready to help each other create a new life based on durable values when the diseases of our civilization finally come to reckoning.

  13. Gary Kahanak

    To quote the late and great David MacKay, “Every little bit helps—-a little bit.” Meaning, that a bunch of little bits add up to a little bit, and far too little to meaningfully change the trajectory of the global energy economy. These lifestyle changes are certainly worthwhile, and do help, but by themselves are insufficient. I am struck by how the views of most climate leaders you quoted are viewing the climate challenge mostly through the lens of a first-world nation. In fact, the true challenge is to decarbonize the energy demands of the developing nations, including 2 billion or so who have no access to modern power. Please explore a different view as presented in a recent book, “A Bright Future—How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow,” by Joshua S. Goldstein and Staffan A. Qvist. They look at historical data of how a few countries have successfully decarbonized their electricity supply, at a rate and cost that is sufficient to be replicated on a global level. Their opinion, based on the evidence, is that lifestyle changes in developed nations have had, and probably will have, only a minimal impact. Instead, we must rely on what has been proven to work—primarily nuclear power, in combination with hydro, where available. Here is the review of the book on Amazon: “”Remarkable accomplishment. This collaboration between a distinguished professor of international relations and a professional engineer on the front lines of the clean energy industries provides unique insights into the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. Together they clearly articulate the full range of issues surrounding our options for responding to climate change and document proven technological and regulatory pathways to success. Their work is readily accessible, clarified by helpful graphs and footnotes, and supported by numerous references. It is the most complete, up to date, and balanced presentation currently available. If you are concerned about climate change, global poverty, or environmental degradation, this is an invaluable, evidence based resource. If you wish to fight for the quality of life on Earth for many generations to come, this is an inspiring guide.”–5s-xML3anbWgQQeFUkj5iLwtjj8eSrVCDCyHNDyeD4Tfrjik5oUsMzb_6PFPc4sSu286nJMDqLkMuGq1X_pqFFkaP7zb1pZ_D5_H3768DjYHUbxDoM3zmXzFnFW6j9dDxLZ_Ir6WeATQTvRuGY0IADHmEJp1XKoQPmwxBvPTm3S4l7k6Nu0o7vTHzeyeXPlFNUXwJIjyiMvxIFPDSlBgIcdHThv36ruRhWj2RrQiUIlIIkiD-80L3p6-5Bt4RT-B9MOiilCUcJeS9VrASn9QZT4M53Am0yv-LjcqFsBG2uBas06Y-RAyhYxGoCIEN7CN5RbS63Ha6mhHN1xjVQNNXHlPIlrACFZzmvqtPnE0yrhe5z4mB1s3blCkzHbz_pX0ZCHj2qwXrtDRR7U6YmgCwcfheEZYh-Xmo-wZ1CuNnRE89vELD5hy2sOVM5zekqF0l-Y1_fZYIfRhgNYdKCGEozB5rRq1uJOozAiDv-RrgE0T0zQqrTPrbbZ2XDb050_YvC_SNSUU

    • Ryan Hagen

      Thanks for sharing it Rudy! Nice edit 🙂

  14. Mark Trexler

    Climate change is considered a wicked problem – potentially the biggest wicked problem of them all. By definition, arguing over “the most important” thing one can do to solve a wicked problem is missing the point. That’s not to say that most of the ideas mentioned in the original piece and in the comments aren’t good ideas – they do. But suggesting that they in and of themselves can come anywhere close to solving the climate crisis is simply misleading.

    In practice there are thousands of initiatives that could help tackle climate change as a systems problem. From lobbying on how climate change is treated in Texas’ textbooks, to contribute to efforts to stop gerrymandering, to talking to your neighbors, to contributing to specific political candidates, to promoting electric vehicles – the list goes on and on and on. What’s key here is the relative priority of these measures vary over time, and vary by the characteristics of the individual wanting to get involved.

    All of these things have been identified as things to do. What’s missing is an organization or a collaboration of organizations that helps identify which of these 1,000 Climate Chess pieces are the right thing for a particular person to work on at a particular time. That “right thing” will likely vary from month to month based on developments on the larger Climate Chess gameboard. But thinking of “what can I do” from a systems perspective, as suggested by the metaphor of Climate Chess, might actually stand a chance of real progress, as opposed to focusing (and arguing over) “the most important thing.”

  15. Don Ogden

    Thanks for doing this crowd sourcing in the wake of the above comments by some key spokespeople. One of the aspects often overlooked in the struggle with the Climate Crisis is the critical need for the protection & preservation of existing intact forests (as well as reforestation). Trees are being overlooked as one of the few natural systems we have for the important need to capture CO2 emissions. Humans are way too programmed to think of forests as a commodity to suit our needs for an energy source, for paper or timber. We must start thinking of forests as the climate saviors they are. We can get our energy, paper and building materials from less damaging more ecologically sound sources. Let the trees do their critical work of storing carbon! We are so grateful to the Sunrise Movement and others in helping us get the protection & preservation of forests into the GND. Onward!

    • Ryan Hagen

      Yes! I completely agree Don – we need to preserve existing forests and start planting new ones (strategically) asap.

      CO2 reductions are critical and this subject doesn’t get enough attention in my opinion. Granted countries around the world are starting to step up (China, Pakistan to name a few are planting tons of trees…I’m sure there’s many more)

      Something we can all do day to day (on top of encouraging systemic change) is to switch from Google to Ecosia for web searches. Pretty awesome – they take 80% of their profits and use them to plant trees!

  16. Kris Murphy

    Please add Climate Reality Project to your list. I belong to the Chicago chapter and we are very active.

  17. fatherjohnizz

    Great round up! I would have loved to see a lot more diversity in these profiles and voices… something to consider for the next one.

    • Ryan Hagen

      You’re right, thank you. The one we’re working on now is featuring Indigenous Leaders!

  18. Elisabet

    More african representatives please!!! This is the most vulnerable, with the worst predictions and with least politicans advocating to fight climate change. This is also the continent with most oil prospections and low level of social organisation againt the expolation of natural ressources.

    We really need to see africans, black, white, mixed…race or type don’t really matter, what matters it to see how multilateral funds are going directly to oil extraction and make the crisis worst. It’s about increasing global temperatures, but since I lived here in West Africa, never experience such a random health problems connect to it.

    • Ryan Hagen

      Thank you Elisabet! Yes, this is a weakness of this article for sure. Do you have any recommendations of who we should consider reaching out to next time??

    • Ryan Hagen

      Thanks Elisabet. Yes, that’s definitely a shortcoming of this article! Do you have suggestions of who you’d like to hear from in a future version of this kind of article?



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