Day 30: Chart your path
Today’s action: Charting your own climate action path
Today’s action is to take 10 minutes to reflect on what you specifically can do moving forward to help tackle the climate crisis in a way that draws on your talents and brings you joy.
There are lots of ways to approach this, but our favorite framework is one designed by Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson. Her climate Venn diagram helps you find the sweet spot where your answers to these questions overlap:
What are you good at?
What is the climate work that needs doing? (There are lots of challenges and solutions, but what speaks to you?)
What brings you joy?
Finding that sweet spot can help you figure out the best way for you specifically to contribute. Your brainstorming today can draw from what we’ve already done this month, but don’t let it limit you! There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to climate action. And you don’t need to be an expert to make a difference. We’re all coming from different places, bringing different talents and interests–and that’s a good thing!
If you’re still not sure after 10 minutes of brainstorming, that’s cool. Put this aside and let it simmer. Maybe put a note in your calendar to revisit it next week.
And if you already know – excellent! We’re cheering for you!
Why this action? As the Climate Ad Project says, “We need a billion climate activists.” But we don’t need a billion people doing the exact same thing!
Finding a way to contribute from the center of our own Venn diagram allows us to use our own special talents and networks in ways that bring us joy. This is important for bringing more energy and creativity to the climate movement, and for making what we do more meaningful and joyful for us. Life’s too short to do otherwise. In the words of Dr. Johnson: “May each of us spend as many minutes at the epicenter of our Venn diagram as possible.”
Looking for more? Read on for more ideas to help you chart your own climate contributions.
Learn and reflect:
If you’re looking for other frameworks or starting points to help plot your unique focus and contribution, consider one of the following. They are all complementary to the climate Venn diagram, and align with the actions we’ve taken together this month:
Sami Grover, a sustainability expert, suggests in We’re All Climate Hypocrites Now that you “focus your energies on where you--personally--can have the biggest impact on the structures and society around you.”
Dr. Leah Stokes, a professor of climate and energy policy, discusses living life in widening circles, where changes in your own life can ripple out, first to the next circle of community, and then to policy change.
Dr. Kimberly Nicholas, a climate scientist, suggests that we think about our “top 5 climate superpowers,” focusing on the five roles where our “actions can have outsized impact: as consumers, investors, role models, as part of organizations, and as citizens.”
Similarly, the MyPentagon Framework for Climate Action was created “to help people know where to point their power,” with five areas: behavioral, financial, professional, social, and civic.