I am person who tries to live the way I want others to live. In this quest to live more kindly to animals and to the Earth, I have inspired some people around me. I feel like I am doing my part. I recycle, I inspire others, I vote for legislation that helps the planet, I sign petitions. I do as much as I can do. This book made me put into context what my actions mean. With that said, I find the book’s explanation for people’s un-welcomed feelings toward taking action regarding climate change fascinating. Paul Goodman’s quote in the book highlights the failure guilt plays in the goal for positive actions regarding climate change. He says, “‘The guilty do not pay attention to the object but only to themselves and not even to their own interests, which might make sense, but to their anxieties'”. To me, this is saying that in order to create positive action against the harsh actions of climate change, messages in the media and in our culture need to disassociate from making people feel guilty or shameful for their actions. This only causes more anxiety towards oneself and less proactive extending action to the real “object” or problem at hand. This reminded me of a speaker we had at OWU last year, Max Liboiron, who spoke about the importance of political actions in the activist world. She explained that in order to make real change, she uses her research in micro plastics as a basis for her activism. She uses her work as a basis to extent to the political figure heads that can lasting and impactful positive change to the planet. I think that is inspiring and cool. This book mentions that political and/social actions are more effective and necessary in creating change. I personally feel I could work on this part in my environmentalist activism. To me, political actions are scary, but can also be reassuring if it is more than just your voice. It is a good feeling when you sign a petition that you care about that has over 200,000 signatures.
In more of a social realm, the book gives ways individual actions can make to create a difference when the presentation of the problems are displayed differently. They used the example of a study done where the advertising for a neighborhood claims that about 80% of the neighbors recycle. The study concludes that this neighborhood will have more of a chance to have newly incoming or current neighbors to recycle than if the neighborhood had signage that gave facts on landfill waste and water waste to make plastic. It’s all about group dynamic. Follow the herd or out compete what the heard is ALREADY doing. The facts on human pre-existing positive action will increase that action when encouraging others to follow. The facts on what human negative actions do, deter humans, because they feel guilty that they ALREADY negatively affected the planet. But displaying positive actions ALREADY taking place by other humans, is more encouraging to do the same. This makes sense to me. Before reading this book, I leaned toward hard facts to get across to people, because for me, those facts are inspiring to take actions. However, I am in the minority and this books puts that in a clearer perspective. This book also gives a clearer understanding on how to encourage followers in my activism in a positive way to take positive steps.
Climate Change Is A Major Threat To Us All, But Here’s Why You Might Not Care:
It is not the “most” recent new article, but it is extremely relevant to this book, and more pointedly, it relates to my blog post. Similar to the book, this article highlights the importance of changing the wording and display of climate change issues to create positive action and change (most likely). The article highlights the fact that familiarity with terminology or experiences are important in order to discuss issues of the environment (or any subject, really).