One of the most critical things you can do amidst the climate and ecological crises is to talk about them, and their various dimensions.
Do we really need to buy so much stuff?
Is climate really a social justice issue?
Why should we worry about conserving water, when we’re living on a blue planet? And, what policies would make that easy for people?
Is food really one of the biggest sources of environmental harm? What should be done, and by whom?
Having conversations like this with people you know can help change hearts and minds. They can also help heal the divisions of a polarized society. And they can inspire learning and critical thought. So we can talk with family, friends, and peers, including those who may have different perspectives or relationships with science. These conversations should lead with love and empathy, but they can include a firm resolve. They should focus on more than just private action by discussing social signaling and system change.
Fortunately, lots of attention is now focused on climate change, and the need to talk about it. Unfortunately, this has detracted from many people’s understanding of other environmental problems including the extinction crisis, the loss of soils, and a variety of problems associated with freshwater. People need to understand that climate change is not the only problem needing a solution. They also should know that all these problems are connected, and they can be addressed together through systems change for sustainability.
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