His Holiness the Dalai Lama recently had a conversation with Greta Thunberg and Leading Scientists on ways to take action to halt the climate crisis and the ensuing environmental degradation. According to the Mind & Life Institute, “the livestream event highlights recent scientific findings, the ethical imperative of taking action, and what we can do collectively to slow, halt, and even reverse the devastating impact of climate feedback loops.”
This is a remarkable conversation. It introduces “His Holiness the Dalai Lama in conversation on The Crisis of Climate Feedback Loops with Greta Thunberg (environmental activist), William Moomaw (lead author on reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change/IPCC, the co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize and co-author of the Scientists’ Warnings to Humanity) and Susan Natali (a renowned Arctic scientist) from his residence in Dharamsala, HP, India on January 10, 2021.” It also features clips from the new short film series “Climate Emergency: Feedback Loops.” More ways to get involved and take action are also discussed below.
Take Action Globally With The Six Steps
As a starting point, Scientists Warning Foundation and the Alliance of World Scientists’ provides Six Steps that governments, organizations, policy makers and beyond can take to lessen the worst effects of climate change and mitigate the worst outcomes. These steps are intended to advise our leaders and to mobilize our entire society to act on this crisis at a high level on a global scale. However, what you do as an individual also matters. Changing the way you consume, becoming a citizen scientist and speaking out are discussed further below.
Take The Science Oath for Climate
Scientists by definition, have a moral obligation to warn societies of catastrophic threats as well as to do all that can be done to mitigate the risks, taking the necessary actions whenever and wherever possible. In fact, this is an ethical requirement for doctors of medicine and science. Scientists’ Warning is encouraging academics, researchers and scientists to take the Science Oath for Climate. In the letter of intent posted in the Guardian the undersigned academics write that they will pledge to stand in solidarity with the children going on school climate strikes, and with all those taking a stand for the future of the planet. It is a pledge of scrutiny, integrity and engagement, and fellow scientists and researchers are invited to join.
Become a Citizen Scientist
Even if you are not a scientist, Scientists’ Warning encourages everyone to become a citizen scientist. “You don’t need a doctorate or the backing of a federal agency to ask a novel, worthwhile scientific question. You just need curiosity and confidence,” says Kiona Smith-Strickland. Becoming a citizen scientist in the battle for climate justice will help save the planet.
Tools for Citizen Scientists
The Scientists’ Warning Knowledgebases are being used in the global classroom to introduce the latest in climate science and related topics. Also, tools like Zooniverse give people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to participate in real research with over 50 active online citizen science projects. Scientists’ Warning encourages a dialectic learning and debate process. Please join us on Facebook and share on social media to discuss further.
Does It Matter What I Do?
Being green, sustainable, and eco-friendly or just ecologically aware and responsible, is now more important than ever. We know that what individuals do is unlikely to stop or reverse climate change at this point. Eminent climate scientist, Michael Mann, ‘stresses that individual actions – eating less meat or avoiding air travel – are important in the battle against global warming. However, they should be seen as additional ways to combat global warming rather than as a substitute for policy reform.’ That said, doing what you can do is as important as ever.
Do you feel it’s a waste of time trying to prevent climate change? That reducing your carbon footprint is pointless when someone else is happy to increase theirs? That changing lightbulbs is a futile gesture? Well don’t, says Michael Pollan, in today’s G2, because even small changes in your lifestyle – and your thinking – can help save the world. — The Guardian
We look to world leaders to stop climate change. However, world leaders cannot make us stop shopping, consuming, using plastics and chemically polluting the entire planet with our constant demand for stuff. In fact, they are relying on that demand to make our current economic system work. This is called supply chain economics and in a limitless growth based capitalist system it is a deadly addiction.
Being green, and learning about voluntary simplicity and sustainable lifestyles is a win-win option. There are a number of action areas an individual can consider taking that will impact global consumption patterns. Visit Green Shortz (video), a fun and humorous resource where anyone can learn how to lead a more sustainable lifestyle. We must also learn to avoid green washing in everything from the products we buy, to the leaders we follow.
Mass Consumerism: The Story of Stuff
We have entered a time of mass consumerism and the story of stuff (video) and never enough. Insatiable greed is putting our species at risk in many ways. In order to avoid death human beings seek happiness in all the wrong places, they succumb to addiction and get lost. Ernest Becker said “the idea of death, and the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else.” In this profound video, “I Shop, Therefore I Am” these concepts are introduced.
“People like to have a lot of stuff because it gives them the feeling of living forever,” says American social psychologist Sheldon Solomon, who believes today’s materialism and consumerism will have disastrous consequences. It turns out we are searching for something we already have and that enough is actually enough. In this DW Documentary video on money, happiness and the search for eternal life this is discussed further:
For a culture to avoid self-destruction as it progresses, writes Henry George in his classic 1883 work Social Problems, it must develop ‘a higher conscience, a keener sense of justice, a warmer brotherhood, a wider, loftier, truer public spirit’, while ensuring responsible and visionary leaders who embrace ‘the mental and moral universe’. By stark contrast, modern consumer culture barrels in the opposite direction, breeding an increasingly trivialized and disengaged strain of personhood, devoid of the ‘loftier’ qualities needed to sustain a viable society and healthy life supports. — John F. Schumaker
What is Sustainability?
According to Global Footprints, “there is no universally agreed definition on what sustainability means. There are many different views on what it is and how it can be achieved. The idea of sustainability stems from the concept of sustainable development which became common language at the World’s first Earth Summit in Rio in 1992.”
The World Commission on Environment and Development describes sustainable development as “a process in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and institutional change are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potential to meet human needs and aspirations.”
What is Permaculture?
According to the Wikipedia, “permaculture is a set of design principles centered around whole systems thinking simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and resilient features observed in natural ecosystems.” Today there are numerous permaculture resources for those living almost anywhere to get started with some aspects of this lifestyle.
Retrosburbia is encouraging permaculture and sustainable lifestyles for urban dwellers, rural communities and beyond. From tiny homes, to composting, to fermenting your own foods there are lot’s of fun ways to get started with living in harmony with nature.
What is Rewilding and Climate Restoration?
Rewilding is a form of ecological restoration where the emphasis is on humans stepping back and leaving an area to nature, as opposed to more active forms of natural resource management. Rewilding efforts can aim to create ecosystems requiring passive management. More at Rewilding.org.
Speaking Out: Activism and Civil Disobedience
Now more than ever, citizens of the world must take action regarding the climate crisis. Activism is an essential part of being a good citizen of any county or nation state.
Civil disobedience is an idea that a majority of educated people agree with when the fate of the world lies in balance. This video on Henry David Thoreau introduces the concept further. There are numerous ways to get involved and participate in activism for the climate crisis as well as other related social justice issues, which you can become part of today. Scientists’ Warning supports nonviolent direct action.
We Can’t Save the World by Playing by the Rules, Because the Rules Have to Change. — Greta Thunberg
Join The School Strike for Climate
Greta Thunberg is a 15-year-old Swedish activist, who has called for a global climate strike. The day of action is set for Friday at “your school” or “anywhere you feel called.” Thunberg, who made headlines for her now-weekly school strikes to urge her home country to take bold climate action has been likened to “Joan of Arc” for her stance on this issue. In the following video Greta Thunberg describes the School Strike for Climate which students of all ages can all take part in. Students of all ages around the globe are encouraged to participate. Every Friday of the week there is a school strike somewhere. More at SchoolStrike4CLimate.com.
We Don’t Have Time are currently building the world’s largest social network for climate action. Together we can solve the climate crisis. But we are running out of time. More at WEDONTHAVETIME.org.
Join The Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Become a Rebel for Life
Join the fight for Life. We are facing an unprecedented global emergency. The government has failed to protect us. To survive, it’s going to take everything we’ve got. More at Rebellion.earth/.
Join The Earth Strike
According to eminent scholar and laureate professor emeritus, Noam Chomsky, “the Mission Statement of the Earth Strike is bold, ambitious and cogent. More than that, it issues a challenge that is of extreme urgency, addressing the most crucial question humans have ever had to face: do we have the will and the honor to act now to preserve the possibility of a decent existence for future generations, or are we so self-centered and cowardly that we will impose upon them a bitter fate – and not in the distant future.” More at Earth-Strike.com.
Join Project Drawdown
Scientists’ Warning also recommends Project Drawdown’s approaches and projects. Their mission is to help the world reach “Drawdown”— the point in the future when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline, thereby stopping catastrophic climate change — as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible. The project also offers powerful solutions.
Political Activism: Voting
For those who are eligible voting citizens of a democratic nation, now, more than ever, it’s important to be well informed regarding the policies being enacted by one’s government and to express your opinions and understanding in the most fundamental way possible by voting in elections for the candidates whom you believe best represents your views. Staying well informed is an ongoing challenge and finding news and analysis sources whom you believe are credible can help with this. This is a life skill that needs to be built up over time requiring patience and persistence.
Political activism means being an active participant in the political process. By voting, lobbying, working for a campaign, volunteering or protesting, citizens exercise their right to civic involvement. In this Political Activism Web Guide, learn about the voting process and voter registration, or find a campaign, party or cause to volunteer in.
Anyone can do this. Just get out in nature. If you cannot actually get outside or live in an urban setting, there are interactive virtual programs to participate in. Guy Lane, Environmental Scientist and Climate Writer, says “the Plankton Meditation is a guided and musical practice that helps youth and adults come to terms with fundamental ecological truths that are often overlooked.” Nature-based intervention is powerful paradigm to deal with climate grief and reconnect with nature.
In order to set your intention toward healing and regeneration of the biosphere, please utilize this beautiful and mesmerizing plankton meditation to learn how to begin to visualize and heal the biosphere in synergy with life itself. Mediation and visualization are powerful tools to enhance performance, increase problem solving, and change your world. Guy Lane says “Every day, at least once, I like to say, “Thanks Plankton” as a way of recognizing the role that plankton play in my life.” Think of all the organisms that make life possible. Thank the plankton today.
Learn and Act:
- Become a Citizen Scientist
- Citizen’s Climate Lobby
- Earth Vision Institute
- Environmental Activism Opportunities
- How to become a Climate Change Activist
- Youth Activism
- The Footprint Calculator
- CoolClimate Maps | BERKELEY.EDU
- Climate One | Michael Mann
- Project Drawdown
- Sunrise Movement
- This Changes Everything | Naomi Klein
- Urban Farming
- Yale Climate Connections
Making A Better Choice Is Always Possible. Get Involved. Stay Involved.