The United Nation's climate report came out on Monday. There is plenty to despair. The report outlines the ways in which climate change is already causing the loss of lives and livelihoods around the world -- losses that will only intensify and become more frequent during the lifetimes of today’s children **unless** we act.
So...what does it mean to act?
As far as I can tell, there is no one-size-fits-all, silver-bullet answer. However, I want to pass on a solution that I recently heard from Paul Hawken.
First, two bits of background to preface Hawken's solution:
“Amateur” comes from the Latin word amātor, which means “lover.” Amateurs are people who do things for love.
Paul Hawken is very much an expert. He founded Project Drawdown which enumerates almost 100 climate change solutions that already exist and, if implemented, will get the world to net zero. He knows the specific things we could do to save the planet. His organization has written them down and made them searchable.
When Hawken was asked on the “What Could Go Right?” podcast what people could do to stop climate change, he didn’t name any of the things on Project Drawdown’s list. And, he didn’t call for more experts.
What he said was: “Really what we’re talking about is loving the world… This is definitely an amateur hour thing. We are all amateurs at planet saving… The way we [save the planet] is by falling in love - finding that thing that we love so much. It could be a person, a place... something that lights you up.”
There are already people focused on climate change. But, right now, there just aren't enough of them to get the political and market movement needed. We need more people turning their attention to the problem of climate change and, as importantly, turning their attention to the myriad of existing solutions. Basically, we need more amateurs.
Katharine Hayhoe, another climate scientist and expert, has used an analogy that goes something like this: Imagine that all the known, existing climate solutions are a giant boulder. That boulder has to be moved a few inches to roll downhill. Once it starts rolling, we can get to net zero and stop climate change. A lot of hands are already pushing hard against the boulder. But, for the boulder to budge we need even more people to turn and put their hands on it.
Again, we need more amateurs. Amateurs are the solution. We're the solution.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution. But, we can all find our couture climate action - the action that makes us happy and lights us up. We don’t have to be experts. We don’t have to be perfect environmentalists. We just need to be ourselves, loving the things we love, and turning our attention to protect them. We need to be amateur planet savers.
If you want to find your bespoke climate solution, or you want to connect with a community of people on a similar path, click on the upcoming classes link.