'Hope is a dangerous barrier to courageous action. In dark times, the miracle that saves the world is to act'
- Hannah Arendt
Action begins with climate literacy
What is climate literacy?
It is similar to language or mathematical literacy- a person needs to know the alphabet, grammar, and vocabulary in order to communicate in a language; one must know what numbers mean, as well as basic addition, subtraction, etc., in order to do household math. It seems obvious that people need to use language and numbers, but why should we be climate-literate?
Because the climate and ecological emergencies are the biggest existential threats to human civilization and the natural world that we have ever faced; and they require immediate collective action to give us a chance at a livable world in the coming decades.
It is imperative that every citizen in a democracy understand the scale and urgency of the actions that need to be taken, and what is at stake, so that we are able to judge whether the ‘solutions’ offered us are appropriate- if they are enough to avoid catastrophe.
Sign up for my new, asynchronous online Climate + Change course through Sterling College
I acknowledge that I have benefited from the unmitigated extraction of resources from nature and emission of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels, the causes of climate and ecological breakdown. My social, political, and economic privilege would not be possible without the wealth forcibly removed from the Earth and living systems, as well as the subjugation of animals and peoples of color around the world.