A lone monarch butterfly pollinating a small purple flowers on a plant; photo via Elisa Kennemer/Unsplash.
Climate Action

Understanding How Climate Action Redefines Our Future

The decisions we make now will impact our future; a reality we likely can all understand because we’ve experienced this within our personal lives. We frequently make choices based on how to positively influence where we’re headed and/or mitigate any potential adversity. It’s much the same when it comes to global warming — what we decide to do today has a ripple effect on whether or not we alleviate or magnify the disruption and damage that climate change brings. 

How we see ourselves in relation to this chain of cause and effect on Earth’s ecosystems is all important; too many people still think environmental action can wait because of a mistaken belief that the consequences of climate change are not being felt — or that humans are somehow separated from nature in a way that insulates us from climate breakdown. Failing to recognize we represent an integral part of the natural world means we overlook our influence and can ignore our responsibilities. The relationship between humans and Earth’s ecology is inextricably interconnected; the quality and continuance of life rely on balance and reciprocity — it always has. 

Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us. | Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants – Robin Wall Kimmerer

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This article is the second installment within the Climate Change Collective blog series; a group created by Michelle from Eco Boomer Crusader and Jamie of Jamie Ad Stories where 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.

Useful Article | Welcome to the Climate Change Collective – Eco Boomer Crusader

The Natural World, Climate Action and Us

Climate sustains a direct and influential impact on the world’s environmental ecosystems. We can’t maintain global food security and produce healthy, successful crops, for example, if we don’t tackle the emerging impacts that rising climate temperatures have on harvest growth/yield. A warming planet has set in motion a decline in key pollinator populations like bees and butterflies; two species so sensitive to rising temperatures it can alter their migratory, reproductive and hibernation behaviours. Drought and wildfires triggered by climate change also damage and destroy the habitats and food sources that these insects rely on.

It was only a few months ago that monarch butterflies were declared endangered because of unsustainable legal and illegal deforestation of the trees they use for winter shelter; as well as pesticide use and drought killing off milkweed (the only plant monarch caterpillars feed on). The natural world is alerting us to potential, and in some cases, ongoing issues that we cannot disregard — we have to encourage eco-friendly practices and policies on an industry-wide and individual/personal level. The delicate yet mighty monarch helps to spread pollen to food crops, plants and flowers; losing them would produce significant consequences for other flora and fauna that depend on them to survive.

They spread pollen as they flit from plant to plant, making it possible for blueberries, squash and other foods to grow. They pollinate many flowers as well. Monarchs are part of the food chain in another way: Birds, snakes and rats eat adult butterflies. Insects and spiders prey on the larvae. | Why Monarch Butterflies Are Endangered and How You Can Help – AZ Central

Everything on Earth relies on healthy, well-balanced natural systems; a changing climate that disrupts this interconnected sustenance will intensify the disorder and risks we all face. It’s not only just about being sad that bees and butterflies are disappearing, it’s about the vital role they play in plant reproduction; a cycle that we depend on for food, materials and medicines — all things that underpin our well-being and existence.

A yellow, white and black stripped monarch caterpillar on the underside of a lush, green milkweed leaf; photo via Sara Codair/Unsplash.
photo via Sara Codair/Unsplash

Long-term rising/warming temperatures and alterations in weather patterns do occur naturally over time (allowing for ecological adaption and survival) but human activity has triggered climate change at an alarming speed. What would typically involve millennia or even hundreds of thousands of years to shift has been sped up — primarily through burning nonrenewable fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, oil) that increase heat trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Useful Article | Mapped: How Climate Change Affects Extreme Weather Around the World – Carbon Brief

Whether fossil fuels are used for electricity, heat, transportation, agriculture or clearing land/forests for raw materials, etc.; this vast increase in usage in the last century has altered the environment at unviable, unprecedented levels. As they cause the climate to warm, they increase temperatures that change rainfall patterns and extend the frequency and duration of heat waves and drought. Higher temperatures start altering the balance of growing and blooming seasons — all of which impact the life-cycle of pollinator insects. It’s clear species like monarch butterflies and bees are as integral to our survival as we are to theirs.

In fact, there’s no separation between us and any ecological impact that global warming has. It doesn’t matter if it’s dwindling insect populations or extreme weather; deforestation or ocean acidification, for example — it all leads to a rapidly changing world that will become increasingly unliveable. We have to redefine our climate action to include how we see ourselves in relation to the environment — as a functional, intrinsic part of the natural world. What we do matters.

If you’re interested in gaining a more intimate knowledge of exactly how connected to the environment we are (and reliant on it), I highly recommend reading Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. It revolutionized how I saw my place within the natural world and revealed exactly how incredible plants, animals and insects are.

I think if we could recognize how humanity is reflected and sustained within the beauty and balance of all life on Earth; we wouldn’t fail to act. 

What are you doing to protect nature in your local area? What do you think local, national and world leaders could do to ensure climate action is taken more seriously?


Further Info:

Climate Change Widespread, Rapid, and Intensifying – IPCC

Support the work of the Save Our Monarchs Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving the embattled monarch butterflies. 

46 thoughts on “Understanding How Climate Action Redefines Our Future”

  1. Molly, I am so happy you’re part of our Climate Change Collective. I really like how you tied this back to Indigenous wisdom, especially as we approach Orange Shirt Day this week here in Canada. I love how Indigenous culture recognizes and respects the interconnectedness of all life. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if embracing those teachings was part of our truth and reconciliation journey?

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    1. I think we’re all catching up with what Indigenous People have always known; their understanding of the balance of the environment is how we all should approach living as part of nature. It’s great to be a part of this collective, I am so grateful that there are like minded people who care about climate action!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Molly. I wanted to thank you for recommending Braiding Sweetgrass. I have been reading it this week. I just finished the chapter “Allegiance of Gratitude” and it’s one of the most powerful and thought-provoking things I’ve ever read. Everyone should start their day with some form of the Thanksgiving Address.

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  2. I totally agree that we often don’t realize how intertwined we are with the natural world. We work so hard to keep ourselves separate yet everything we do impacts the world around us–including nature. Your post is a timely reflection as I just visited a beloved childhood mountain trail this weekend that is now being demolished for a road and subdivision. My heart’s still broken a little over seeing so much nature destroyed.

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    1. That is heartbreaking; to see something so beloved get destroyed (when there was probably other options available) would stay on my mind for so long. I hope many more people change the way they see themselves in relation to all life on Earth — we are so connected.

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  3. I definitely try to do my bit for global warming and the climate change. I am sustainable wherever possible, I recycle. I have started now using up what I have before I spend more instead of creating waste where there can be none. It is so important that people do what they can. I am not sure what we could do to make world leaders pay attention. The fact is I think there are some that just think it doesn’t affect them – which is a terrible attitude to have. I think maybe if we all came together to make a point maybe it could help change some laws!

    Thank you for sharing this interesting post. I am interested to see what others think.

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    1. I love all that you’re doing; it is great to hear that there are so many people who take this seriously and make changes wherever they can. We can definitely all do our bit to combat climate change. I hope more and more people realize we are being impacted now by it and it will not go away. Thanks so much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We’ve known for decades about how we need to change our ways to protect our climate and our futures, but without government intervention to force the changes needed, not enough can be done

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    1. Exactly; none of this is new and fossil fuel industries, governments and world leaders and the public have know about this for decades. We can do individual action but the key driver of success is government/industry level change — on a massive scale.

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  5. Great post, very well written. Living in the city of Singapore, the afternoon’s heat can be unbearable, a sign of global warming it was never this hot before. I do my part by recycling every weekend, upcycling some items and donating items to those who need them.

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  6. This is a nice post.bees butterflies and birds all Palma their pollination role and are all being wiped off due to human activities cutting down trees and pesticides. Butterflies are so important. One peeticide spray kills all othet beneficial insects. And yes to fossil fuels. These all are climate and nature disruptors and should be taken responsibility for. The recommended link was a nice element in it too. Xx
    Isa A. Blogger

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  7. Global warming is an issue that persists and I’m glad more people are starting to educate themselves and try to do their part to make sustainable changes. Leaders have the ability to do more, and I hope that by continuing to raise awareness that more will be done to protect our planet. Thank you for sharing such an informative and important post Molly.

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  8. Thank you for a post that creates awareness.
    I avoid single use materials as much as possible.
    Spreading awareness among people and promoting environment friendly activities is essential to save the planet.

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  9. A very interesting and thought-provoking post. We all need to do more to save the planet, especially political leaders who should lead by example xxx

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  10. I live in Florida and I remember from when I was younger climate change was talked about. It so true the impact it has on insects, animals, and us humans. Especially here in Florida with how warm it is already and it really has been feeling warm and warmer each year.

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    1. I can imagine that Florida has been/will be very impacted by climate change as there is quite the collection of unique flora and fauna in your state and I am sure things are impacting them already; the weather too has been getting more extreme!

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