Truthfully, I’m tired of sounding the alarm in these newsletters. These days, I feel like I have nothing but bad news. But it certainly feels like the world is on fire and Mother Earth is screaming at the top of her lungs. The most significant development this week is the release of the the IPCC report, the most sobering report card yet on climate change and the earth’s future. Here are the key takeaways:
The last decade was hotter than any period in 125,000 years
There are higher concentrations of CO2, and it’s growing at a faster rate than any time in the past 2 million years.
Extreme weather is on the rise. Hot extremes, heatwaves and heavy rain have become more frequent and intense since 1950.
Oceans are hotter, higher and more acidic.
Many changes are already irreversible, even if earth’s climate was stabilized soon.
Humans are unequivocally warming the planet. Scientists can now link specific weather events to human-made climate change (or)humans are definitely to blame.
I want to say that “we have no choice but to act”, but what this report is showing us is that we’ve been choosing all along - choosing domination, extraction and wealth accumulation. And now, before it is too late, humanity must make a different choice - to act for the wellbeing of our people or planet.
In this week’s WELLREAD, we’re not just sounding the alarm, we’re inviting you to feel and process the complex emotions that this news brings. Let us breath through our anxiety, grieve for what we’ve lost (and will lose), support one another in collective care and embody hope through daily action.
As Taj James reminds us: “Our house is on fire. Act boldly, creatively and collectively to defend and protect life. Every second wasted is life lost. Every act of courage is life saved. Be bold”.
As climate disasters wreck our planet, women leaders are key to solving the crisis. Dr Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine Wilkinson on “All We Can Save”. [click to tweet]
The gift we should give to the living world? Time, and lots of it. ‘Slow ecology’ is the only way to preserve and restore ancient habitats. [click to tweet]
Colonialism caused climate change. Indigenous rights are the counter force. [click to tweet]
Black and Indigenous solidarity is crucial to the liberation of us all. It's time we talk about what it will take to repair the historical wounds of slavery, genocide, and their interconnections. [click to tweet]
Making a commitment to personal and collective action on an unprecedented scale is how we save ourselves and each other. Here are some ways to take action:
Call for Climate: The climate bill we need includes 1) clean electricity standards (helping us cut carbon pollution by 50% in the next decade) 2) 40% of funding going to frontline communities (because Black, brown, Indigenous and other communities of color continue to suffer from legacies of toxic pollution, systemic racism, and economic divestment). 3) No money for fossil fuels (stopping the flow of $15 billion in tax payers dollars to fossil fuel corporations) 4) Civilian climate corps (training people for stable, good jobs in the clean economy). Call your senator and tell them to step it up on addressing this climate emergency.
Defund Line 3: The line 3 pipeline endangers every community across the globe (it carries tar sands oil, the dirtiest fossil fuel on the planet). If finished it will cross over 200 bodies of water, have the carbon pollution equivalent of 50 new coal fired power plants and cost over 287 billion in climate change impacts. Join the fight.
Reduce your footprint: Measure (and reduce) your family's carbon footprint. What actions can you take everyday to transform your lifestyle and help slow the rate of change? How can you inspire and support the people around you to take action?
Art by @peppermintmagazine
The process of realizing the trajectory of our climate crisis understandably rouses anxiety and despair. What do our climate emotions have to teach us? Can climate work and leadership grow from a more rooted and powerful place? If we don’t feel fully into the grief of this crisis, we may become stuck in fear and inaction. As Susi Moser writes in the book “All We Can Save”: “burnt-out people aren’t equipped to serve a burning planet….the wellbeing of our hearts and souls must be re-established to their rightful place as relevant, essential”. Here are some resources for working with climate emotions:
Climate-aware therapy: Climate therapists are special in the sense that they will never pathologize one’s eco-distress or dismiss it as catastrophic thinking. They understand that distress is natural and reasonable reaction to what is happening. Search for a climate-aware therapist.
Somatics: By becoming aware of the embodied patterns and survival strategies that are embedded in our neurobiology, we can uproot and reorganize them towards justice-oriented change and liberation. Check out Generative Somatics.
Online resource hubs: By reading or listening to stories of how others are integrating these tough feelings into their lived experiences and harnessing them for deeper meaning and action, we come to feel less alone and energized in community. Connect with the community at Gen Dread.
Small group processes: These community structures and practices allow people to connect and process difficult climate feelings in ways that build courage, resilience and move us to action. Explore the Work that Reconnects.
Climate conversations: Real talk that makes room for the difficult feelings we are navigating AND the possibility and creativity that emerges from courageous conversations. Check out Climate Awakening, Climate Cafes and Conceivable Future.
Resource inspired by Britt Wray of @gen_dread
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Art by @jana_hebammenblog
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