Healing Climate Change:
A Beginner's Guide
By janet jai, MLA
I was selected to do a poster presentation at the National Academy of Sciences in May 2019 at a symposium on "Multidisciplinary Approaches to Climate Change." Click here to see the poster I created. The poster is based on the article below but is developed from a more scientific point of view because of the NAS audience.
Our beautiful planet has a problem—climate change—and it needs our help. When climate change occurred previously on this planet, humans were not developed enough to be able to help the
planet heal. Now we are. Let's begin.
Since climate varies according to where you live, the articles I'll be writing will focus primarily on healing climate change in Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania (although many ideas will also be
helpful elsewhere). My articles will include what governments, businesses, and individuals here are doing and can do to prevent and mitigate climate change and to adapt to it in ways that
benefit the planet and the people of our region.
To begin, here are some general suggestions for healing climate change that will be useful wherever you are.
Forget the blame game.
Let go of proving who or what is causing climate change. Often when you know what it causing something, it is easier to stop that something from happening. That's not always true with
climate change because too many people are spending their time arguing about who or what is causing climate change instead of focusing on resolving this critical challenge. Whether climate
change is being caused by nature or by humans, it is a problem for us and for the planet. Let's solve it.
Develop a positive attitude.
Know that it is possible to heal climate change. Many people feel discouraged about resolving climate change, and that is understandable. But remember that thoughts are energy, what you
focus on expands, and a positive attitude helps in finding and actualizing solutions. (More at Albert Einstein below.)
Every day when you awaken, ask yourself:
What can I do to heal climate change today?
Healing climate change is both so important and so urgent that we all need to give some part of our life to it every day. It is extremely regretful that this is so, but it is so.
What we do can be simple and brief:
| ||•||Read a few pages in Drawdown (Paul Hawken) or No Impact Man (Colin Beavan). |
| ||•||Take two minutes to think positively and creatively about how to heal climate change (more below). |
| ||•||Call a congressperson about a climate-change issue. |
| ||•||Talk with a friend, encouraging her/him to get involved in healing climate change. |
| ||•||Say a sincere thoughtful prayer (more below). |
| ||•||Donate to an organization that is working on healing climate change. |
| ||•||Etc. (I value your thoughts and contributions on this topic.) |
When you have more time (hopefully at least once or twice a week):
| ||•||Learn about carbon footprints and how to reduce yours (along with your family's, your company's, your nation's, and the world's carbon footprints). I'll be talking about all of these in later articles.|
| ||•||Plant a tree.|
| ||•||Participate in a project by a local group that is working on healing climate change. |
| ||•||Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper suggesting things that could be done to heal climate change in your area. |
| ||•||Start an eco-justice group in your church. |
| ||•||Give a talk about what is needed to heal climate change. |
| ||•||Rally or march for climate-change solutions. |
| ||•||Brainstorm with your family (of all ages) and friends about how the planet can be healed (more below). |
| ||•||Etc. (Again I welcome your thoughts and suggestions.) |
To heal climate change, we need to live our lives climate-mindfully all the time. It is a pity that this is so. When I was growing up, I was able to do a lot without thinking about it.
That's not true now. We (whatever our age) need to evaluate everything we do in terms of its effect on the climate of our planet. It's not just big things like whether to use fossil fuels
or renewable energy. It's whether to use a plastic straw in our drinks (almost never). It's what kind of food to buy: locally grown in-season or internationally shipped in? Should we
walk, bike, take public transit or a car to work? How to re-use rather than discard? And everything else.
The answers to these questions may not be as simple as you think (at least not the way I think about them), and I will write about them in future articles.
Become the Albert Einstein of climate-change solutions.
Whatever our age, if we are alive on the planet now, solving the problem of climate change is one of our jobs. And working on healing climate change together with your children and parents,
family and friends, classmates, etc. can be fun.
Do your research about climate change issues and toss around ideas about how to heal climate change in both large and small ways with your family members (of all ages) and friends.
Think creatively and out-of-the-box. One reason this article is subtitled "A Beginner's Guide" is because beginners can often find solutions that the more experienced cannot. That's because
beginners generally come to a problem without preconceptions about what is and isn't possible. Believe in, encourage, and support creative solutions to climate change (after doing your
research first, of course).
At the very least, thinking creatively and positively about climate change solutions helps heal the energy of the planet just as a butterfly flapping its wings ripples energy around the
globe. You or one of your children (there are some incredible children being born in this time of planetary need) may be the Albert Einstein who heals climate change. Think creatively
about some climate-change challenge and let me know the solution/s you come up with. I'll love reading your ideas, and I'll pass the best ones on in my articles.
Note: While being creative, remember to keep doing the daily large-and-small actions that are known to be helpful in healing the planet. Healing climate change is not either-or. It's
everything and everyone together.
Never forget the power of prayer. Put it to work for the planet.
Many times in my life, prayer has helped me solve a problem and created a pathway where none had seemed to exist. Prayer can provide a strong foundation for a positive attitude and creative
thinking about all kinds of problems and challenges, large and small.
While prayer should not be the only tool you use to heal climate change, it is a much needed and very helpful base from which to become inspired and motivated. It is also a powerful change
agent in itself.
If you don't feel comfortable praying, replace prayer with meditation or positive thinking and creative imagining. To me, all of these are ways of lifting your mind and heart if not to God
then to the good (which to me is the soul of God).
How to reach me with your ideas + a note re blogs.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To be sure your e-mail doesn't get trashed, put Healing Climate Change in the subject line. Thank you.
A note: Unfortunately I don't have the regular chunks of time that would enable me to write a blog. If you want to know when my next article on Pittsburgh climate-change solutions is
online, send me your e-mail. I promise not to contact you for any other reason.
© 2019 janet jai, MLA. You may reprint any or all of this article if you meet ALL of the following conditions: • You are doing it to help heal climate change or for other good purpose. • You
acknowledge my authorship as part of the reprint. • You include a link to my website: www.vision-and-values.com and my copyright in the reprint. • You do not alter what I have
written in any way that would change its meaning. Thanks.
I would appreciate it if you would let me know when and where you are reprinting, but you don't have to do so. Peace.
February 4, 2019