Climate Change

My Interview with a climate activist on climate change


Social media as way of connecting like people

I was “introduced” to @lisamarie2222 through a tweet. I am not sure if I liked one of her tweets, or the other way around. It does not matter at this point. One of the things I enjoy about sustainability is getting the insights of those who are passionate about our planet. Therefore, I am excited when any climate activist to agrees take a break from their activities and share some of their insights on climate change from their view.

The questions and their answers

How did you become a climate activist?

Being born in the 1960’s and growing up in the 1970’s taught me a lot about recycling, Earth Day, etc. That has evolved, as I’ve matured, into global warming and climate change and all it entails.  My mother was a huge influence on me as well.  She was an environmentalist before it was cool, and she taught me to fear the weather and appreciate nature (as a photographer).  She was active in both Obama campaigns (and Bernie Sanders’ campaign) and was a member and supporter of several organizations such as the Nebraska Democratic Party, Nebraskans for Peace, and the Audubon Society.  She was also the co-founder of the Lincoln chapter of the Citizen’s Climate Lobby (CCL).

Could you explain what carbon pricing is?

So, thanks to my mom, I am also now a member of the CCL (since her passing a year ago) and am familiar with carbon pricing.  It is basically a fee or tax at the source of a CO2-producing industry that is based on the amount emitted into the atmosphere.  (Along with it, CCL promotes a dividend that is returned monthly or quarterly to households.)  It is designed to encourage companies to reduce CO2 emissions and at the same time encourage clean energy technology utilizing renewables like solar and wind.

What do you think is the best way to tackle carbon pricing? 

I am inclined to follow the mission of the CCL, which has identified the IRS, for example, to execute.  In addition, I agree with the idea that this is a bi-/non-partisan issue that can be handled with respect for each other.  A similar solution would also be acceptable.  We do need to hold our elected officials accountable; they work for us and should represent us.  We also need to exercise our right to vote.

How will fighting climate change increase the livability of our planet?

There are many ways that climate change affects our well-being.  Among them are economic and health issues resulting from severe weather events like storm damage, floods and disease, food production, and sea rise.  Species extinction will also have a huge impact, all the way up the food chain.  All of the issues have the biggest impact on poorer communities and third-world countries.

Do you have anything to say to climate change skeptics?

Even if you ignore all of the climate projections, it still makes more sense to invest in clean energy technology and jobs than in dirty fossil fuels due to issues such as fracking and oil spills.  It is not only better for the environment, but it is better for our health and economy.  As if that isn’t enough, take notice of the number of countries involved in the Paris agreement.

What do you think is the best way to communicate the need to address climate change?

I think social media with its ability to organize marches, along with public TV and radio with facts and background information on the issues, is essential in our society.

What do you appreciate about Donald Trump?

Absolutely nothing.

Can you tell me about any moments you have had as an activist that remind you of why you became a climate activist?

Going to marches (love the signs) and Twitter have been both empowering and enlightening.  It’s been an education in the real world that has strengthened my views and given me inspiration.  There is power in numbers.

I became an activist on the morning of November 9, 2016.  I believe though the times are tough, there has been an awakening.   I thank you for asking.

Parting Shots on Climate Change

I agree there has been an awakening. Perhaps one positive that will emerge in the aftermath of the election of Donald Trump is that there has been a developing trend for those who might not have been enlightened otherwise. Hopefully, everyone who has been stirred to face the climate change challenges we collectively face has decided to act.

We can all be climate activists in one way or another. Think of it this way: If the planet cannot advocate for itself, who else should take the lead other than the inhabitants who depend on the planet for their existence?