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Black Changemakers - And Acting Now!

“Speak up, speak out, get in the way. Get in good trouble, necessary trouble, and help redeem the soul of America.” John Lewis

“No more empty promises, no more empty summits, no more empty conferences. It’s time to show us the money. It’s time, it’s time, it’s time. And don’t forget to listen to the people and places most affected.” Vanessa Nakate “What gets me out of bed in the morning, what makes this work of communicating about climate science and policy so important, is that we have such a huge spectrum of possible futures available to us. And which one we get depends on what we do,” Elizabeth Johnson

“The climate crisis is the result of social, political, and economic systems that are wildly skewed to benefit those who already have so much.” Majora Carter

We are likely to reach 1.5 degree Celsius rise in global temperatures within 5 years if emissions are not drastically reduced. There is no sign of reduction, in fact emissions are continuing to rise. Some parts of the world, such as Southern Africa, have already warmed 1.5 degrees and the results are extremely alarming. "Climate change threatens the lives and livelihoods of over 100 million in extreme poverty. Global warming is expected to melt Africa's remaining glaciers in the next few decades, and the reduction in water essential to agricultural production will create food insecurity, poverty, and population displacement." So, what’s YOUR 5 year plan for ending the climate emergency? What do YOU want to see happen and what will you do to ENSURE it happens?

We can all set goals and work toward them. Goal setting makes goal achieving much more likely. Find a buddy to compare notes about progress on your goals. Some ideas to kick start your own thinking:

  • The situation is urgent, but it won't help if we act with urgency.

In fact, all of our irritation, upset, disappointment and anger with others and about the situation we face needs to be channeled to appropriate outlets so it doesn’t muddy our relationships, fracture our organizations, and derail our efforts.

More than ever, we need to find ways to cooperate, to reach unity around a direction forward that will maintain a livable planet and buy humanity time to eventually solve all the other problems we are facing.

Whatever you decide to do, take a deep breath and proceed with humility, respect, cooperation, and intent to build unity.

Some things to keep in mind for building a strong, vibrant coalition:

  • It helps to feel feelings fully in safe settings but not use them as a guide to action.

  • There are no human enemies. We can reach for others on the basis of shared values and common goals, such as a livable world.

  • Mistakes are inevitable, especially when trying new things. This is a time for bold initiatives. We can’t afford to be overly cautious out of fear of making a mistake.

  • Important - we can correct mistakes without condemning the mistake-maker.

Follow the leadership of Indigenous people:

  • Support efforts to return the land to descendants of original inhabitants.

  • Learn from and implement traditional ecological knowledge

  • Recognize if you are visiting or living on lands that are not your ancestral homeland that you are a guest and act like one.

Act like it’s a climate emergency today (it is!)

  1. Talk to everyone around you about the climate emergency.

  2. Listen to their hopes and fears about the future.

  3. Lower fossil fuel use immediately:

  • Wash clothes in cold water.

  • Hang laundry to dry inside or outside.

  • Eat more plant-based foods.

  • Walk, bike, carpool, use public transit, or stay home.

  • Cut consumption of stuff in half.

  • Lower your thermostat.

  • Heat your body, not the air, by wearing more layers including hats, and using hot water bottles or microwaved rice warmers.

My 5 year climate plan includes a goal to prevent global temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius. Will you consider making that your goal too? Imagine if 100s - or millions - of us make that our goal. What would be possible? With you working for a healthy future for all - Nancy Faulstich, Regeneración Director

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