Action Ideas

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The Healing Earth Introduction outlined four steps to help you advance from textbook learning to concrete action. These were:

  1. See a problem.
  2. Gather information and analyze the problem.
  3. Develop possible responses, imagine outcomes, and select an action.
  4. Perform the action and monitor results.

You may want to review what goes into each step. Below are ideas that invite you to see a problem, gather information, analyze the problem, develop responses and perform action.

  • In 2008, Bill McKibben of Middlebury College in Vermont, USA started 350.org, a group advocating for reduction of carbon emissions by restricting industrial burning of fossil fuels and by direct divestment from fossil fuel companies. Check out some of the worldwide initiatives that they are organizing. Discuss with your friends the possibility of encouraging your school to join in the 350.org divestment movement.
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    More than 4,000 volunteers across the United States are observing and recording phenology--the timing of the recurring life events of plants and animals such as when cherry trees or lilacs blossom, when springtime songbirds build their nests, when salmon swim upstream to spawn or when leaves turn colors in the fall. Each record helps scientists understand how plants and animals are responding to climate change and how those responses are affecting people and ecological systems. Think about contributing to this valuable information by starting a nature-recording project with your friends and classmates. Learn how to get started at the USA National Phenology Network website.
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    Commercial flying accounts for four to nine percent of the climate change impact of human activity. With air travel growing, it is set to become the world’s largest single contributor to environmental damage and climate change. With this in mind, the Jesuit Conference of Asia Pacific (JCAP) has created a carbon-offset scheme, Flights for Forests. People who fly for work or pleasure are asked to contribute US$5.00 for every flight taken. The contributions go into a fund for forest renewal activities undertaken by youth groups in rural parts of Cambodia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Think about a project that you can do to spread awareness of this program in your school and community. Go to the Flights for Forests website to learn more.
  • Climate change is disrupting the world's rainfall patterns, meaning some parts of the developing world are suffering from a drastic reduction in rainfall leading to a drop in water levels in many reservoirs and rivers. For example, in sub-Saharan Africa 90% of agriculture is rain-fed, making it even more vulnerable to changing weather patterns. Rainwater harvesting is a way of capturing rain as it falls and retaining it in the soil or in tanks below ground so that it can be used later as a source of clean water. Do you know what you can do in your community to harvest rainwater? Visit this website to get some ideas.
  • A project in the town of Abomey-Calavi in southern Benin West Africa challenged local musicians to produce a 'sensitization song' about climate change. The purpose was to communicate the impact of climate change in their region and encourage adaptation and mitigation ideas. Consider inviting student musicians, poets, dancers, and artists in your community to put their artistry in service of the environment. Get project ideas here.
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    In 2012, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition organized the largest demonstration for renewable energy in the history of Australia. After a fifteen day walk to encourage Australia’s investment in a solar thermal power plant, 2000 people gathered at a Rally for Solar in Adelaide.  Read more about this project and then consider how students in your community could rally for renewable energy.