Fighting Climate Change Starts with Embracing Change

Neon Change sign.  Can we embrace change to reduce our carbon footprint?
Can we embrace change to reduce our carbon footprint?
Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

Tears over Expired Food…

I was sitting on the kitchen floor, crying.

In the summer of 1999, Mark moved into my San Francisco apartment, and we consolidated our stuff.  Two adults in their late 30s tend to have duplicate items; many of Mark’s things were more grown-up (having been purchased at Habitat and antique shops instead of Busvan for Bargains) than mine.  Giving up my possessions was a big change for me. I was not happy about it.  Funnily enough, what made me cry was Mark’s purge of my kitchen to throw out the expired food!

Mark and I have weathered a lot of change since then, and the times when we have embraced that change – such as my willingness to try an airport job in New York and our move to Seattle a couple of years ago – have led to new friendships, unique experiences, and personal growth.

The Navajo Nation Makes a Courageous Decision

As I was waking up this morning, I heard a story on NPR about the Navajo Nation’s decision not to buy a large coal-fired power plant in Arizona.  The plant – which the area utility decided to shut down – provided a major source of full-time jobs, but also of carbon emissions.  The decision was difficult for the Nation’s Council, which deliberated for more than eight hours about the tradeoff between jobs and impacts.

It starts with embracing change.

Jonathan Nez, President, Navajo Nation

Some members of the Nation have formed Navajo Power to try to help the tribe move to renewables; the company has already built two solar farms.  The power has a much lower carbon footprint, but solar installation provides mostly short-term employment.  However, one of the group’s founders sees the potential for solar manufacturing as a way to get jobs back.

Navajo President Jonathan Nez said, “it starts with embracing change.”  Nez recently signed a proclamation “to make renewable energy the tribe’s top priority.”

How Can We Embrace Change to Fight Climate Change?

For many of us, change is a struggle.  Yet embracing change is exactly what we need to do to start our move to a smaller carbon footprint.  I am inspired by the Navajo Nation commitment, which makes my tears in the kitchen seem insignificant.  They are embracing difficult change in the face of substantial hardship.

I feel like I “walk the talk” in many ways (see my recent post on solar power for an example). How can I embrace change to fight climate change, and what does that look like? How can you do it?

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Appreciate the examples you’ve given and how are values are interwoven with the insignificant and the big issues. Good food for thought—and none of it expired

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