What Can We Do to Support Climate Recovery?
Get Past Our Apocalypse Fatigue
As I wrote last week, the very mention of climate change makes a lot of people’s eyes glaze over. Psychologist and economist Per Espen Stoknes has identified five inner defenses that stop people from engaging: distance (it’s about a few polar bears in the Arctic 100 years from now), doom (apocalypse fatigue), dissonance (the conflict between our awareness of the problem and everyday compromises, such as using disposable plastics), denial (the inner refuge from fear and guilt), and identity (what my tribe defines as acceptable, such as driving a gas-powered car).
None of these can be overcome by throwing facts at someone. Instead, says Stoknes, try these five approaches: make it social (model good behavior that can spread), supportive (focus on common goals such as healthy communities and job creation), simpler (find everyday actions that matter, such as reducing food waste), and identity-based (tell stories about the heroes in this struggle, such as Greta Thunberg). Reframing our conversations is one way we can reduce burnout and apocalypse fatigue in ourselves and others, enabling us to get on with the business of finding and implementing solutions.
How to transform apocalypse fatigue into action on global warming, TED Talk, Per Espen Stoknes. With optional subtitles and transcripts in 14 languages.
By Karen McCann
Per Espen Stoknes. Photo by TEDGlobals, NYC
STOP, LOOK, LISTEN! by Kathy Sherretts
I wrote to my Senator again today. I don’t do it as frequently as I did two years ago—it’s hard to stay engaged under the barrage of information we take in and react to every day.
Keystone XL. Immigrant detentions. Endangered species losses. Rollback of healthcare protections. Defiance of congressional inquiries—all bobbing along on an ugly current of lies and fear mongering.
I no longer have any illusion that my Republican senator is going to oppose any White House policy, no matter how outlandish. However, I think it’s important to remind her that for every one voter who writes in, there are dozens more who won’t say anything until next year when they have a ballot in their hands.
Washington Post: Whiteness is under siege — but not by immigrants by Jonathan M. Metzl
Trump did not invent insecure whiteness, but he is a skilled manipulator of the fears at its heart.
PRI: Singing along with ‘Romantic Songs of the Patriarchy’ (8 min)
Dreamy or skeevy? Jules Indelicato performed “Under My Thumb” as part of an art performance piece, which also featured such doubtful hits as “Every Breath You Take” “Run for Your Life” “Tonight’s the Night”. Here’s the whole list.
CNN: The most effective ways to curb climate change might surprise you by Drew Kann, Will Houp, Judson Jones, and Sean O'Key
Ballotpedia: Learning Journey on the Congressional Review Act.
A four-part series reviewing the origins of the act and how it impacts federal rulemaking.
It’s important to remind our Senators that for every one voter who writes in, there are dozens more who won’t say anything until next year when they have a ballot in their hands.
Ready to do more?
Learn about the Green New Deal. If you missed our roundtable discussion, you can read the presenters' notes here.
Read the Indivisible Guide 2.0, a new strategy for a new congress.
Check out the weekly action plan from Progressive Action, Global Exchange (PAGE) which mobilizes progressives living overseas.
Sign up for the Americans of Conscience Checklist, a weekly action list that also provides encouragement and good news.
Learn more about solutions and actions at ClimateRecovery.org, a new group organized by members of American Resistance Sevilla and other community activists.
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American Resistance Sevilla is a non-partisan community mobilizing Americans living abroad to take peaceful action defending our lawful rights and freedoms. Learn more