It’s an undeniable fact that when people unite under a common goal and implement actionable steps to achieve the progress they wish to see, change is possible. Right now, the most significant worldwide issue we’re facing is dealing with global warming and the accelerated climate change it’s triggering.
This is why I jumped at the chance to join the Climate Change Collective; a group of environmentally-minded bloggers who want to share climate action news that motivates and informs — keeping the subject at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
Created by Michelle from Eco Boomer Crusader and Jamie of Jamie Ad Stories; each month a different member of the collective will take turns to write a lead/focus post that shares key details, concerns and/or unique perspectives about climate change. Once the post is published, the rest of the group will link to it in a response-style blog on their own sites; discussing any thoughts and ideas they have about the information/issues raised.
The collective is currently open to any other bloggers who want to join; if you’re interested, get in touch.
Financial Impacts of Climate Change
To kickstart the Climate Change Collective; Michelle shared the first lead/focus post at the end of August — mine is next, coming later this month — where she examines how climate change impacts both physical and financial health. Within this informative work was a striking point that I think many of us overlook; the effects of global warming on our retirement.
Useful Article | How Will Climate Change Impact Your Retirement? – Forbes Advisor
I will admit that while I’m a keen environmentalist who lives day-to-day as responsibly and sustainably as I can; I hadn’t properly considered how climate change will influence my future financial security. It stands to reason that as the planet experiences more extreme disruptions to its ecological systems that our general health will suffer — which as we get older makes us increasingly vulnerable. Both hot and cold heat-related health concerns, for example, tend to effect those more severely who are over 65 years of age. Not to mention how weather events (wildfire, flood, drought) and air/water pollution, etc. all directly link to an increase in injuries, disease spread, and loss of housing. The stability we’re meant to build on, no matter our age, is literally crumbling around us and becoming more expensive to maintain.
Retirement may be many years away for you or just around the corner. No matter where you are in your life, there’s growing evidence that climate change will impact your health and wealth in your later years. | Welcome to the Climate Change Collective – Boomer Eco Crusader
Ignoring Climate Change Isn’t An Option
Another notable point that Michelle establishes is there’s still a significant number of people who won’t take climate change seriously; primarily because of a belief that they aren’t experiencing any of its impacts. They must have missed the memo about how we’re now living in a world where rainwater is so toxic it’s no longer safe to drink.
Useful Article | Key Facts About Americans’ Views of Climate Change – Pew Research Center
Not taking action until something affects us personally is a very common response; we all do it to varying degrees because lived experience frequently provides precious insight and empathy — but this goes beyond that. And I want to clarify a fundamental distinction here; I’m not referring to those of us who don’t always have the means/accessibility to make eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle changes. This is focused on those who continue to categorize global warming as something they can ignore.
It doesn’t matter, for example, whether we can afford to change to an environmentally responsible vehicle or not; what counts is that we achieve what we can because it’s for the good of everyone and everything around us — including following the science. We’re an interconnected part of the world’s ecosystems as much as the rainforests, the waterways, the mountains, the animals and the insects. What happens to one of us happens to all of us — I hope this mindset shift becomes fully realized; especially by those who think that climate change is what happens to other people.
Useful Article | Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability – IPPC Sixth Assessment Report
Taking Effective Climate Action
At the end of her post, Michelle provides some excellent suggestions, including: changing our consumption habits; supporting businesses which make an effort to reduce their environmental footprint; and using our vote to hold politicians accountable — objectives that many of us can undertake in one way or another.
We also need to remain vigilant and informed about who is facing a concerted effort to hinder them from exercising these same eco-friendly choices; voter suppression, for example, is a well documented tactic within U.S. democracy that targets certain communities — often those at the forefront of experiencing the consequences of climate change.
The heart of this strategy is aimed specifically at suppressing the voting rights of Black, Brown and Indigenous communities, citizens residing in low-income communities, students, and progressive sectors of the White working class. Not coincidentally, these are the people and communities on the front lines battling the climate crisis and who are disproportionately at risk for environmental harms like air pollution exposure, water contamination and radiation, resulting in higher vulnerabilities and health effects. | Climate Xchange – The Disproportionate Impacts of Voter Suppression and the Climate Crisis
Alongside the compelling calls to action from Boomer Eco Crusader, here are some suggestions about how we can create a collaborative drive towards climate justice:
- read and share reputable sources of information about climate change that fact-check/counteract disinformation
- join grassroots, community-based climate groups that improve sustainability in our area
- where possible, divest from 60 of the world’s largest banks that fund fossil fuel projects (to the tune of trillions of dollars) and instead choose sustainable and/or ethical banking
- fund/promote/support high-profile, dynamic and well organized climate advocacy groups such as; Clean Air Task Force, Carbon180, Evergreen Collaborative
- donate money and/or time to the campaigns of representatives who have a proven track record of environmentalism — for U.S. candidate info, click here
- support voter participation (especially among groups disproportionately impacted by disenfranchisement); find organizations that help with registration, access to mail-in or early voting and that provide transportation to polling stations — for help with U.S. enrollment, click here
Climate action represents an issue that we can all get involved with; there’s no perfect way to generate beneficial change — we just have to start somewhere. As long as we’re willing to learn from each other; and be a part of the solution, we have a real chance of creating a global collective that can’t be ignored.
What sustainable changes have you been able to make?