Sorting Climate Change Choices


New Facebook Page

Here’s an invitation to Climate Change Choice, a new Facebook page for ideas on choosing your personal responses to climate change. (If you “like” it, it will keep coming to your Facebook feed.)

For those not into Facebook, longer blogposts like this one will continue to focus on ways to sort through the many, often confusing, options. (Click red Subscribe button below for email delivery; no password necessary.)

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From Art to Action

In 2008, I began making art about whales. That led to a gradual awareness of how climate change was affecting endangered whale groups. My normal news intake kept highlighting how different local and global changes affect these wild migrating creatures. Pretty quickly, though, I got snarled up in all the connections. Statistics on carbon sequestering got mixed up with images of plastics in sea life and often got technical and too polarized.

Over time, I found myself making little diagrams on post-its, napkins, and in the back of my checkbook, trying to map how it all applied to whales. One drawing tried to fit it all into a footprint. More reading helped me face, sadly, the complicated science as best I could. I began to see the bigger picture: it’s not just about the whales. We are all endangered.

Maybe not immediately. And maybe not at the survival level. I started to accept that our lives and lifestyles, whatever they are, are going to change. When I took that clearly selfish perspective, the news started to make more sense to me. I could focus on those threats that are likely to affect me and my loved ones (still including the whales here).


At first, my intentions were for planning ways to adapt to coming changes, the way we on Northwest fault lines prepare for earthquakes. As I kept learning more of how are others are working to slow climate change though, hope took root that individual efforts can help. Maybe not in time for me and mine. Maybe not the most cost effective. But I became interested choosing actions that might slow the changes down.

So, from the whales and art I’ve become curious about how to sort through climate-friendly options. My background as a psychologist has kicked in with ways to consider skills, passions, and resources, but first I needed a way to map the options as I continue to learn about them. Now the little diagrams I’d been making on napkins are getting a bit clearer; I’ll be sharing them for those of you who are looking for an overview from this personal perspective.

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Here’s a peek at the latest diagram I’m using. Stay tuned for more on how it’s a tool for sorting out climate options and part of the Climate Change Choices Facebook page.

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