Climate Cafe: sharing grief & determination

I attended a Kamloops Climate Cafe for the first time last week, and I’m glad I did. It was a group of about 20 folks, many of whom were familiar faces, there to share their anxiety about the world we are leaving behind for our kids, as well as their ideas for positive, tangible action. For me, it was a chance to speak honestly about a topic that gnaws at me almost constantly, and it was empowering to feel the collective determination in the room.

We had enough time to go around the room twice: once to share our feelings without judgment (yes, there were tears, but also affirmations of hope), and once to bring forward ideas for what we could do in terms of shared actions to make a difference.

I captured the main themes of the second round and thought I’d share them with you here. What strikes you as you read this summary? Let me know in the comments.

  • Connect with others.
    • Large groups of our fellow citizens are still not on board. Need to reach out and establish relationships with people across the spectrum, even those who think differently from us.
    • Look for champions in positions of influence to leave “legacies” in their fields.
    • We also need to do a better job of connecting with people who are aligned with us. One of Transition Kamloops’ goals this year is to grow our mailing list to identify more supporters and increase our impact. (Explore further how to do this?)
    • Connect with school climate clubs, TRU Eco Club, other groups.
  • Connect through art.
    • Generate something: screenplay or film or series. The current challenges (including COVID) can help us to envision and prepare for the coming changes. Developing resilience.
  • Don’t forget about the good news and the good things that are happening. Keeping the vision of a better future alive is really important.
    • Make love, make art, gather together and enjoy each other. We need an antidote to despair and doomscrolling.
    • Major in climate change has been proposed at TRU? Speaker Ellen Kelsey (Hope Matters author) will be brought in next spring.
    • Online self-directed 7-week course based on Joanna Macy’s work on Active Hope (maybe this is something Transition Kamloops supporters can do together as a group?)
    •  Propolis (net zero building for 7 families). Group of small organic farmer’s getting together to share ideas about how to become more regenerative.
    • Explore replacing “sustainable” with “regenerative” (one means keeping the same, the other speaks to new opportunities.
  • Individual action is important, but collective action is key to systems change.
    • Is it time to escalate beyond the traditional polite requests for action? Might be a good time to be a little louder and a bit more shocking. Civil disobedience. Satire is also another form of social critique.
    • Consider using the climate action pledge for municipal election campaign? Needs more thought about pros and cons. (Maybe offer “climate report cards” for the candidates?)
    • Guerrilla tree-planting? Citizen action!
  • Fundraising
    • Should we collect money at these meetings? Would more fundraising make us more effective, i.e. what would we do with it, if we did have money? Consider devoting some time at the next session to this question? Maybe little breakout groups for brainstorming?
  • Things we can do today:
    • Advocate for funding for climate action via City budget survey – closes Thursday, Nov. 25
    • Share link to climate action pledge — need more signatures to have impact.
    • Increase TK mailing list – spread the word so we can communicate directly with more people.
    • Volunteer (e.g. ESS help for Merritt folks who are displaced, soup kitchens where food waste is avoided)
    • Continue to educate ourselves (webinars, online courses e.g. Project Drawdown)
    • Talk about the climate crisis with those around us to build awareness and reinforce urgency (see Katherine Hayhoe’s TED Talk)

If climate anxiety is getting you down, think about attending the next Climate Cafe. It might be just what you need.

2 thoughts on “Climate Cafe: sharing grief & determination

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *