We All Need to Act on Climate Change
- This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein
- Losing Earth by Nathaniel Rich
- The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells
- The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert
- Extinction by Ashley Dawson
- Storms of My Grandchildren by James Hansen
- Reason in a Dark Time by Dale Jamieson
- Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes & Erik M. Conway
- The End of Nature by Bill McKibben
- The Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
- among many, many more.
Evaluate your own lifestyle and consumption choices. The default settings of our lives in the 21st century requires the burning of fossil fuels. We must, each of us, work to change our defaults. The follow questions may help you begin that process:
- Can you reduce gasoline use by carpooling or simply driving less?
- Is your home well insulated to prevent heat loss?
- Can you buy fewer things?
- Can you buy fewer things made in distant places and shipped long distances?
- Can you repair items instead of buying new ones?
- Can you shop at local second-hand stores?
- Have you upgraded your lights to LED?
- Can you reduce your waste by recycling and composting more?
- Can you reduce your time on electronic devices?
- Can you unplug your smartphone, tablet, and/or computer after it has finished charging?
You can do a relatively simple calculation of your carbon footprint here and try to lower that impact over time.
Support Local & Regional
Support local and regional efforts to develop public transportation, walkable communities, community solar projects and other programs. Across Vermont, the Energy Action Network is building an effective collaboration for replacing fossil fuels with clean, renewable energy sources. Learn about this work and support it.
Put your savings and investments to work for climate solutions, not supporting coal and oil corporations, tar sands mining, fracking and pipelines. There is a growing divestment movement among institutions and individuals who recognize that fossil fuels are not a good long term investment. And you can take your savings, checking and credit card accounts out of large distant banks that invest in climate-damaging industries and put your money into local banks and credit unions that invest in communities.
Support Public Policies
Support public policies that provide incentives for renewable energy rather than fossil fuel extraction. Currently, governments give massive tax breaks and subsidies to corporations that add carbon to the atmosphere. Engage with elected officials to change policies like those. For example, there is now a campaign to establish a carbon pollution tax in Vermont. See energyindependentvt.org for details.
Vermont Dollars, Vermont Sense
- Some key books that explain the problem with the current global economy and benefits of relocalization:
- Agenda for a New Economy by David Korten
- Local Dollars, Local Sense by Michael Shuman
- Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money by Woody Tasch
- Locavesting by Amy Cortese
Owning Our Future by Marjorie Kelly
- Green America provides practical resources and background information on social investing.
- Slow Money is a growing national network of visionary investors
- Slow Money Vermont is building a network here
- The Vermont Community Loan Fund is a well-established vehicle for putting money to work in communities around the state
- BALE (Building a Local Economy) in the White River Valley is launching a local investment group
- Resilience.org contains numerous informative articles on building stronger local economies
The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment provides information and resources for investment professions and others