It is sadly fitting that as the youth of Revelstoke take to the steps of city hall demanding climate action that the world is flooding, burning, quaking and being struck by tornadoes.
This was one of those weeks that I really didn’t want to be following the news.
Sitting on the beach enjoying the sun that is too hot for this time of year would have been a much more pleasant use of my time.
And that is where the problem lies. Change is unpleasant.
Last week, I participated in some professional development, a motivational interview training workshop.
While I won’t get into details but basically you listen, reflect back what a person is saying and through this they will find their own focus and motivation to change.
With all that is going on can we apply this on a worldwide scale?
J: Hey Earth! What is going on with you?
Earth: I’m feeling all out of sorts. In some spots I am too hot. In some spots I am too windy. In others I am too wet. I don’t know what is going on! Or what to do about it!
J: So on one hand you aren’t feeling yourself and on the other you want to get back to normal but don’t know what to do.
E: I don’t think there is anything I can do. And all of these people living on me aren’t helping the problem.
J: You think it is humanity’s fault?
E: Yes. They are ruining everything.
J: I agree with you. Maybe you are redirecting your unhealthiness on your inhabitants?
E: Maybe. They are ruining everything and pretending not to notice.
J: I agree. Keep putting on the pressure until they figure out what to do. And if they don’t, they will all die because they made you inhabitable and then you get a clean slate…
So, this isn’t how motivational interviewing should go. Not at all.
Turns out you can’t apply this kind of thing on an inanimate object that has no control over its own fate.
Who knew. So let’s try again.
People: It is our leaders that need to change laws and policies, and businesses that need to reduce pollution. What we do on an individual basis won’t make a difference.
J: I’m hearing that other people need to change and that you want to see a change.
P: I want to save the world! I want it to be habitable for my children and grandchildren, but I can’t do anything about it.
J: I believe there are things that you yourself can do about it. Could I offer you some suggestions?
P: No. I am just one person, no matter what I do nothing will get better.
I think, as a world, this is where we are stuck. I certainly feel this way.
My carbon footprint isn’t very big. Could I even do anything to make it smaller?
Yes. We all can. Bike more. Avoid buying products in packaging. Buy second hand items. Plan vacations that don’t require airplanes.
Compost. Grow vegetables. Support locally produced food and other products.
Turn down the heat and put on a sweater. Turn down the air conditioning and sleep in the basement. Use LED light bulbs.
Need other ideas, throw the terms “how do I reduce my carbon footprint” in Google.
Or, if you are very advanced and you don’t even want to turn on the computer, head to the library, I am sure they have at least one book on the subject.
So let’s listen to the kids, they usually know what’s up.