Climate change, pollution and those darn job stealing robots are a few of the major global trends that we are being forced to contend with right now. With the size and momentum of these issues, it is easy to give in and feel that our individual actions can have little impact, but is this true?
I strongly believe that each of us can make a difference. The key is being effective in four areas:
- Staying Informed
- Voting Smart
- Lobbing Hard
- Taking Action!
Now these are catchy phrases but for us to be effective we need to really understand what they mean. I am hoping that with a bit more clarity you will see that you can make a difference.
All of the trends are complex and to add to this, there is a pile of “fake news” out there to make things even more confusing. For these reasons I think the best way of becoming (and staying) informed on the trends is to seriously limit the amount of television and online time you spend on these subjects.
This may sound like the opposite of what you should be doing but getting bits and pieces of an issue in an unstructured format can easily lead to wrong conclusions. In my opinion, a far better approach is to take the time to read a well written book or to take an introductory course on each of the issues.
For the topic of climate change, I highly recommend enrolling in this FREE on-line class by Michael Mann (Climate scientist and Nobel laureate).
A bit of digging on the internet will find books and course on the other issues. (shameless plug here, my book, Feasible Living, is also packed with references to good books on most of the trends we are faced with).
On the Federal and State level, voting smart means to not be taken in by the glitzy ads or getting hung up on a specific point. If you are informed about the issues, it will be easier to understand the feasibility of the platforms that the parties are pitching with the goal being to cast your ballot for the candidate and party that you feel will have the greatest impact. As can be seen in several close recent elections, every vote counts, so get out there!
But we are not done yet with this point. One often overlooked area are local elections such as city, county, or school board. These locally elected bodies can make a real difference to how your community reacts to the trends. The voter turn out for these elections is usually not very high and your informed vote can make a difference. Just like at the Federal and State level, put some time to understand each candidates’ platforms and then vote.
While some of us can take off time for climate strikes and storming the parliament buildings with pitch forks, evil day jobs make this is not viable for many of us. Lobbying though goes beyond the demonstrations. Having informed discussions with friends, co-workers and others is lobbying as well! Again, the key here is the word “informed” which emphasizes the importance of learning about the issues.
Part of acting is to change our behavior such as lowering our carbon footprint and recycling more. But there are other actions too. Mentoring our youth on how to cope with the trends is a key activity that many of us can take part in.
With a solid understanding of the trends you can also anticipate their impact and take action to prepare you and your family for them or even to take advantage of them (for instance learning a new skill that will be in high demand). How about your place of work? Can you instigate actions there that will counter the trends and help your business at the same time? There are 100’s of actions that we all can do (another shameless plug, my books, “Feasible Planet” and “Feasible Living” are packed with suggestions).