sustainably vegan
 

#ClimateStudyWeek

Photo by  freddie marriage

Introduction

So i’ve decided to take on the task of learning as much as I can during the week commencing June 10th, about climate change and the gaps in my knowledge. When you’re an online activist, you are often expected to be an expert on your topic even if you’re simply an enthusiastic activist. However, with a large following does come a responsibility to at least try to know as much as you can, about the topic you choose to speak on. This week will be filled with recommendations all about climate change. From Ted Talks to books, to articles to science journals, and all the way to the biggest headlines of the past few years. To start you off here are a few books I highly recommend.

BOOKS

  • This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein

  • Merchants of Doubt: How How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway

  • The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh

  • The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

  • Six Degrees by Mark Lynas

  • The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells

  • An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore

  • Don’t Even Think About It by George Marshall

  • The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan

  • The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth by Tim Flannery

Now there are quite a few books here and of course I do not expect you to get through them in a week, or even one this week. The purpose is to bring your awareness to the literature that is out there on the topic. So that you may choose what interests you within the topic and you can pick something that you are likely to be able to get through and digest.

Ted Talks Worth watching

These Ted Talks are all quite varied and are simply to show you what information out there is being consumed and what different scientists, journalists and ‘experts’ are saying about climate change, its problems and its solutions.

interesting Youtube videos

Science journals

Interesting articles

Hopefully there is something for everybody here. Don’t worry if the science journals aren’t really your thing, or the books too dense. It’s important that you choose something that is accessible to you, so that you learn in the way that best suits you. I’ll be sharing what I learn with you everyday and updating the lists as well. If you find something interesting please send it my way and I will add it to the list as well. This is by NO means extensive. This is just what I found whilst starting my research or have seen / read before.

 
Photo by  Markus Spiske

Photo by Markus Spiske

HAVE fun

Learning should be fun and somewhat easy whilst also challenging you intellectually. Pick something easy to start with and even do your own research to make sure you’re starting with a topic that definitely interests you. There is nothing more boring than forcing your way through a book that just doesn’t grab your attention.

take notes

Nothing is more important than noting down a few interesting facts or figures when you’re learning, especially if you’re going to be talking about this stuff online. You MUST cite your source, give context and show people where they can go read more. Taking notes also helps you if you’ve got the gist of an important stat or quote but can’t quite remember the exact figure.

 

Day 1

So it’s day 1. Where to start? Start where you feel most comfortable. If you’re an avid book reader, pick something from the list and get cracking. If you’re more of an article person, start there. And so on. Easing yourself into a study week is great, especially if the topic is quite difficult. Try to spend at least 20 minutes reading, watching or digesting something and take a few notes too. Set a time to do it. If you’ve planned when you’re going to do your study time then you can set a timer, get it done and digest the info throughout the day or even at nighttime.

Maybe even grab a cup of tea, put on some chill music and get in the zone. I always find that closing my bedroom door, cup of tea in hand, light classical music has the power to put me in my flow state so I can take advantage of the short time i’ve put aside for learning. Remember that this week is about learning SOMETHING new. Not everything.

Good luck and remember to #climatestudyweek on instagram if you’re sharing your learnings online.

Day 2

So what did you achieve yesterday? Did you learn something new? Did something simply peak your interest. The most important thing when diving into a new topic is to find something you connect with. Without connection it’s incredibly hard to dedicate that much focussed time to learning about it. Today I realised that Re-greening and reforestation was particularly interesting to me for many reasons. Firstly, because re-greening is claimed to be able to mitigate around 37% of of atmospheric carbon emissions. See here for more details. And secondly, because it made me realise that there are sound solutions out there that give me hope that it’s not too late. There are lots of wonderful projects all over the world that focus on the re-greening process simply by planting trees, or by implementing a traditional method of digging that produces rainwater catching bunds.

  • JustDiggit: “If we can warm up the earth, we can cool it down again.” JustDiggit are an environmental organisation based in the Netherlands but focus on local management and restoration projects currently in Kenya and Tanzania. They have a few projects like Grass Seed Banks, Bund projects, and simple fencing off areas to allow regrowth. By focussing on local partnerships they’re not your typical ‘white saviour’ organisation, and instead hope that more independent projects (that they have no part in) blossom from their initial engagement. They are not only about environmental sustainability but also economic. The Grass seed banks are run by Maasai women, who are in charge of everything, from harvesting the seeds and the grass to the finances and the selling of the product. Each year the banks generate enough money to support the homestead as well as send all the children to school. So no need for JustDiggit after the initial setting up period.

  • Ecosia: Where have you been living if you don’t know what Ecosia is! It’s basically the ethical and sustainable version of Google. They are immensely transparent and for every search you do on Ecosia a tree is planted. They even have a counter in the top right hand corner so you can keep a track of all the trees you’ve planted.

If you’re interested in learning more I would suggest checking out both of these websites and also taking a lot at some of the resources I have listed for you below. It really is a beautiful solution to cooling down the planet, and giving the world some hope that we can in fact save it from ourselves.

Influencers

articles

Organisations

Day 3

Myths about climate change that are just lies…

On Day 3 I watched a really interesting video by Leena Norms that I highly recommend watching, here is the link. She breaks down some of the lies she thought were real about climate change, and how and why she came to those conclusions. It’s particularly interesting to think about some of the things other people believe to be true, as it forces you to look at yourself and better understand what you believe and why. Some of the things that Leena touches on is this idea that small changes make a difference. Now I do and don’t agree with her but that’s mainly because one small change that I made turned me into a climate activist that actively tries to create systemic change as well as individual change. However, I see where this falls short with the everyday person. If one person only decided to change their coffee cup to a reusable one and that was the end of their journey then no I don’t see that as changing the world. That person may drink from their keep cup but continue to fly across the world on lavish holidays every month. This isn’t sustainably is it.

Leena also goes on to talk about how people says things like '“global warming just isn’t my thing,” and how choosing to not engage in global warming isn’t really possible. She talks about how people see it as a trend or an issue that some people decide to take on and others not, but with something so impending you can’t really pick and choose. Climate change isn’t a trendy bandwagon you can jump on. It’s a necessary movement that should globally mobilise those affected and those who can make a profound impact. I love the way she tackles these issues and with such light fun humour that makes you really want to stay, watch and listen.

Please go and watch her video and support her because the information and the visuals are so well put together. We need more activists like Leena who push us to think about our own impact, and what we believe and whether we’re kidding ourselves or not. From this I want you to think about yourself and what you believe. How you’re making an impact, who can make the biggest impact and our individual roles in that effort. I have realised that I need to be more political, more provocative and really push those companies producing 71% of global emissions to stop and change.

Otherwise we’re all fucked to be honest.

Day 4

In progress of updating…