Eco-Living Magazine

When I Say “Climate Change,” How Does It Make You Feel?

Posted on the 30 August 2013 by 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev
When I Say “Climate Change,” How Does It Make You Feel?

“Angry hot planet” (Image: Green Party)

By Laura W. Johnston

When you hear the words “climate change,” what do you picture and how does it make you feel? Excited, pissed off, confused? Chances are you have an image in your mind–maybe it’s a polar bear on a melting glacier or cars drowning under a flood; a planet with flames rising from it; or an image that feels dramatized to you. You probably also feel an emotion activated in you–motivation, passion, apathy or skepticism even.

When you spend eight hours a day working in environmental conservation like I do, it can be easy to forget that not everyone has the time, energy, interest nor motivation to think about the planet as a beautiful, fragile and valued place to  protect from threats that we humans are placing on it, like deforestation, development and climate change. It can be easy to forget that reusing, recycling and reducing the human impact on the natural world is not a priority for everyone, everywhere.

Working in environmental conservation, you find people who daydream about ideas like these, similar to an entrepreneur that sees a business in the face of naysayers; or a developer who sees neglected land as an opportunity to build; or a nurse who sees a sick person in need of care. We get excited at rethinking, reusing and rearranging daily routines to be more eco-conscious whether it be in how natural resources can be best managed; how communities can work together to protect land and sea areas; how species can be saved; how travel can become more ecologically sound; even how commuting or enjoying your morning coffee can be more responsible and environmentally sustainable.

Like any job, we become consumed for better or worse by the environments of our work cultures. At mine, I am surrounded by scientists and like minded peers and colleagues who are driven and dedicated to protecting the planet.Because these choices relate to the greater good of society and the planet, a conservationist’s conscience sees climate change as a no brainer. It is caused by all of us and affects all of us. We have a hard time thinking that doing anything but your best to engage in the solutions and the conversations to motivate others is not doing enough.

Today, climate change is the umbrella under which every environmental conservation conversation revolves–what and who to save and protect, how to build, how to preserve, what to buy, where to live, what a supply chain looks like, what communities to engage in discussing, innovating for, mitigating and adapting to the realities that it brings.

Over the next few weeks I will write about conservation and climate change and how it is affecting people across the U.S. and around the world. I will be looking for stories of people, organizations and institutions taking action. I will also explore why some places and populations are motivated while others are apathetic.

If you have ideas, let me know. I’d love to explore them for you and write about them for you to read! Let’s rethink these  conversations, so we can all be part of the solutions!

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