How I Define Climate Change

By Emily Rodgers | Editorial, Sustainable Living

In a recent conversation Tara and I had with Andrew Winston – the brilliant author of the new book The Big Pivot – it really sunk in for me that we’re still having conversations about whether or not climate change, or the need for sustainability is real. Is this still a necessary conversation to have? Are we wasting our time trying to convince the deniers of why sustainability is important? Or is it best to just communicate our message with the already-converted?

This inner conflict had my subconscious mind totally consumed for days. As any other hyper-analytical person can attest, I thought it best to dive to the root cause of the problem. In most cases, I believe that a lack of communication can be held responsible for many of the problems we’re faced with today. This is what we’re trying to change at PowerHouse Growers. Scientifically, people respond to the same message but communicated in different ways. This is where talented marketers are so effective. I believe this same concept to be true about sustainability and how we define climate change.

You see, we all had our ah-ha moments when we realized what sustainability means, and we put our faith in the idea that we will improve the world, that it will become a better place, and that hope is not lost. So why is it such an insipid task for us to still talk about the why? Are we done acquiring new members into the club of the sustainably-converted? I sure hope not. I’m not done, and you shouldn’t be either.

The conversation about whether we continue to talk about why, or we just plough forward and talk about how is not an either/or proposition, in this writer’s opinion. I believe that in order to present a properly packaged message, the why and the how need to be harmoniously wrapped together and translated in a way that flows from the motivation to the execution.

This is perhaps where we went wrong with climate change. It’s my belief that “climate change deniers”, as Tim Cook or Richard Branson calls them, are actually “Al-Gore-defined Global Warming deniers”. And I’d like to make the differentiation because I feel, though it may be “square-one” to some of us that have been talking about why for twenty years, I understand that not everyone has been delivered the message in a way that resonates with them.

The modern and most effective way of looking at the world – our politics, economics, foreign policy, social concerns, resources, corporate structures, and environment – is from a holistic standpoint. Collaboratively, we can improve all such aspects by recognizing that they are inherently affected by one another; and that in order for all to function positively and healthily we need to apply the appropriate solution.

This is how I define climate change. It’s not just about the polar ice caps melting. It’s not just about air pollution. It’s not just about drought. The climate is the holistic repercussions of all the functions I previously listed. Yes, even economics. Though it’s difficult, and scientifically proven to be counter-intuitive, we must change our mindsets. We must either as individuals or collectively, gather all the information that has been published, look at it objectively, factor in the economics and the social interests, and set ourselves a goal. This goal must then be communicated to everyone – including and especially – the climate change deniers.

My faith has been put into the belief that their ah-ha moments will come. And until that happens, I’m not going to stop talking about why. I’m going to rephrase, paraphrase, and translate both verbally and visually. Heck, I’ll even try telepathy. But I’m not going to stop because I don’t have a problem “wasting my breath”. It’s not wasted. Someone will hear it and it will make sense to them. If I can show even one person the vision we all share, then I’ve done my part. Isn’t that after all what we’re all talking about? Connectivity, collaboration, innovation, strength in numbers.

Someone once told me “if your why doesn’t make you cry then it’s not strong enough”. So either the why-deniers don’t have tear ducts, or our message isn’t strong enough.

Keep the faith,
-Emily Rodgers

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What do you think about redefining climate change? Do you know climate change deniers? Send me your thoughts – they are important to us!

Feature Image: Earth’s climate change. Image via Shutterstock.

About The Author

Emily Rodgers
Emily is Editor and Co-Founder of PowerHouse Growers. Having found a passion for sustainability, she seeks to be on the cutting edge of ecological urban design. Emily's mission is to help others see the value in social and environmental responsibility so they may live happier, healthier, and more productive lives. By delivering relevant, useful, and educational news and articles that inspire action, Emily believes that all individuals, businesses, and city officials can do their part to collaboratively create sustainable communities.