Are you a Jim or a David?

Solve it or leave it?

Two quotes representing dramatically different views of climate responsibility caught my attention recently.

The first was from Jim, an oceanfront homeowner in North Carolina, upon realizing his property was becoming more vulnerable to storm surges and sea level rise:

“I thought it wouldn’t happen in my lifetime; I’d let the kids worry about it.”

The second was from veteran British broadcaster and author Sir David Attenborough, now 96:

“How could I look my grandchildren in the eye and say I knew what was happening to the world and did nothing?”

Climate change offers many gut-wrenching realities, but for me perhaps the most heartbreaking is this: it is so unnecessary because it’s so preventable.  We have all the knowledge, tools and technologies we need; we just need to act – to do something, anything.  As an attendee at one of my presentations years ago noted, “It’s a people problem, not a technology problem.”

It’s gratifying to see how many people are starting to talk about climate change these days.  But it’s distressing to still see the huge disconnect between talk and action – the clearest evidence of that being that global emissions continue to rise in a time when they need to decline rapidly

So here’s my invitation to you: why not take a few moments to reread the quotes above, and then ponder where your climate actions place you on the spectrum between Jim and David.  And if you’re not a David yet, why not commit to some simple, tangible actions to move in that direction?  Like not idling your vehicle; avoiding drive-thrus; driving less aggressively to save fuel; carpooling or taking public transit at least once a week; promising yourself your next vehicle will be electric; turning down the thermostat a degree; eating more veggies and less meat; wasting less food; composting and recycling; conserving water; using a clothesline instead of a dryer; contacting your elected leaders to demand stronger climate action; or any other meaningful action.

Because climate change will be solved in no time once everyone thinks and acts like a David.

In the news:

NASA confirms 2022 was the fifth hottest year on record, and the past nine years have been the hottest nine years on record.

Under new regulations published last month, 20% of all passenger vehicles sold in Canada in 2026 will need to be electric (toward a goal of 100% by 2035).

New regulations in France will require that all large parking lots be covered by solar panels.


“It is becoming abundantly clear that this system {focussed only on economic growth} is incompatible with a well-functioning Earth System at the planetary level; {and} is eroding human- and societal-well being, even in the wealthiest countries.”

        – Climate Scientist Will Steffen

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