An excellent action handbook comes to us from Al Gore, Nobel Peace Prize winner and world leader of the fight to slow the emerging climate crisis.
Gore’s new book Truth to Power: Your Action Handbook to Learn the Science, Find Your Voice, and Help Solve the Climate Crisis and companion film are concise and empower us to:
a) Grasp the scope of the climate crisis,
b) Transition quickly to solid and realistic solutions.
I summarize its key empowerments below… please browse them, then get started using your personal muscle as well as influencing and motivating friends, family and coworkers around us.
Be an involved citizen: 1) Register to vote; 2) Find your elected officials; 3) Learn how they vote; and 4) Call, tweet, and write your elected officials.
Speak at a town hall meeting or forum: 1) Make your concern about the climate personal; 2) Find the right opportunities to speak and engage, in public, with elected officials (politicians are SUPER sensitive of anything that transpires in public!); 3) Come prepared to speak; 4) Bring backup… there is strength in numbers; and 5) Then, when the time is right, speak up!
Write about climate effectively: 1) Be timely; 2) Be concise; 3) Support your argument; 4) Know your audience; 5) Pick the best outlet; and 6) Get feedback.
Start a petition: 1) Identify your target; 2) Craft a compelling and concise message; 3) Circulate widely; and 4) Deliver.
Establish yourself as a climate activist online: 1) Create social media accounts; 2) Choose your best outlets; 3) Show that you’re a climate activist; 4) Use strong visuals; 5) Follow other influencers; 6) Be creative; 7) Share facts and breaking news; and 8) Post frequently.
Magnify your impact with press coverage: 1) Build relationships with journalists – it’s easier than you think; 2) Alert the press; and 3) Prepare for the possibility that you might be interviewed.
Talk to children about climate change: 1) Foster a love of nature; 2) Track your family’s carbon footprint and waste; and 3) Promote climate change education.
Talk with climate deniers: [Prep beforehand for their onslaught of incorrect information by first getting a solid, fact-based briefing from Skeptical Science’s awesome database of denier fallacies and the correct science refuting each.] Then with patience and respect, you are ready to answer: 1) How can there be global warming when it’s snowing outside? 2) Why do some deniers claim that the Earth has been cooling since 1998? 3) How do you explain the fact that not all scientists agree the climate is changing? 4) Natural cycles have always influenced planetary climate… how can you really believe humans could possibly have that much impact? 5) Plants need carbon dioxide and we need plants… so how is more CO2 supposed to be a bad thing? 6) We all breathe out carbon dioxide… are you saying we should all stop doing that, too? 7) How can a couple of degrees be such a big deal? 8) Won’t limiting emissions also limit jobs and economic growth? 9) If warming is inevitable, even if we went 100 percent renewable, then what is the point? and 10) For the sake of argument, let’s say I get on board with climate science… what can one person do?
Find a career in renewable energy: 1) Use your technical talents; and 2) Use your other skills like networking, being an activist, follow industry news and go to school.
Make your business more sustainable: 1) Make the business case; 2) Invest in clean energy and efficiency; and 3) Make it easy to be green.
Run for office: 1) Assess your prospects; 2) Lay the groundwork; 3) Build your campaign team; 4) Craft your message; and 5) Rally support.
Walk the walk: 1) Evaluate your current impact and set a target; 2) Audit your home; 3) Look for ways to save, and 4) Make the switch: Consider going solar at home.
Eat with the planet in mind: 1) Eat less meat, especially red meat; 2) Make plant-based food a bigger part of your diet; 3) Go local; 4) Buy foods that don’t contribute to deforestation; 5) Buy in bulk; and 6) Buy organic.
Vote with your dollars: 1) Study before you buy; 2) Invest with the climate in mind; 3) Make more efficient travel plans; 4) Green your banking, and 5) Give to the movement.
Create and host events: 1) Have a strategy; 2) Choose what kind of event you’d like to put on; 3) Get people to come; 4) Manage a successful event; and Design great event materials.
Become a Climate Reality Leader: 1) What does it mean to be a Climate Reality Leader? 2) How can I attend a Climate Reality Leader’s presentation? 3) How can I train to be a Climate Reality Leader? 4) What will I learn? and 5) What happens when the training is over?
That’s a lot of effective ideas for how to use our voices, and I’d like you as a reader for a personal favor, to consider seriously: If you are enthusiastic and ready for the next step, they offer an organized training for advocacy skills… the next three-day training dates and location are not yet on their website, but you can sign up here to get full information.
I did the training in March in Denver and can tell you from my own experience: It is guaranteed to rocket-launch your advocacy from something you are merely thinking about but not doing, into an exciting phase where you make a meaningful difference.
You are ready: Make it happen!
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Not sure how to start saving the planet (civilization, really)? Start by always remembering Al Gore’s famous saying: “Hope is a renewable resource.”
Then, our practical answer becomes “Deeply know the personal Superpowers” we all bring to the game of life:
3) To save the planet, USE OUR VOICES and take advocacy seriously! Never miss a vote and never, ever stop influencing your government and all businesses locally, at the state level, and at the national level. As well, set a solid example for all around you to see. Jawbone to others about what we need to do, and influence them as peers. Finally, have an annual cash donations program. All of these are ways we can use our voices.
Stay focussed: Lead the way with substantive global warming solutions. (Far from being a bummer, this is actually a fun trend for each of us to be part of… get energized!) Our kids and their kids will be proud of us.
And in all cases and at all times, cast aside the learned-helplessness that infects so much of modern life… the time is now for climate change solutions. Never give up.
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