Climate change is real. And other things I’m not sure of.

I don’t understand the science of climate change. Nor do I understand the science of climate change deniers.

I’m not interested in debating the science of it all. I’m also not interested in debating the politics of it all. These things are all too big for my puny brain, and too mean and self-righteous for my pragmatic nature.

What I am interested in, are the small things. Whether we believe climate change is real or not, there are usually everyday realities behind the bigger scientific/philosophical/moral/ethical questions:

  • Could we be more responsible about how we use our natural resources? Sure. I’m not even thinking about the politics of oil or hydrofracking. I’m considering our everyday resources, like water. Stop wasting water! Even if you hate the idea of dirty, barefooted hippies telling you how to live your life,  you actually don’t need to leave the water running while you brush your teeth or when you wash dishes by hand. You can say no to automatic water refills at restaurants, or shower with a friend.
  • Could we reduce use of plastics? Reduce, I think so. Not everyone can/can afford to switch to cloth diapers, or buy milk in glass bottles. And maybe not everyone can pay $.10 for every plastic bag they use at the grocery store. But, don’t we hate having so many of those bags under the sink? Would it kill us to reuse them every once in a while? They’re great for picking up dog poop, carrying lunch to work or school. Heck, they’re pretty useful when you bring them with you to the grocery store on your next shopping trip. If we don’t have to fill up land with landfills for plastic bag graveyards, think of how many golf courses or actual graveyards we could build. I might have to rethink that one…

There are more small actions, I’m sure. And I’m open to learning more, and in making other changes. I bet there are probably more people like me. Who and where we all are, I don’t know. What I do know is that we’re not godless cretins because we don’t watch FoxNews or read Mother Jones. We’re out here, around these movements, being shaped one way or another by the rhetoric and the revivals. And despite not joining in the massive (though fairly inspiring) movement, it might just be we, the people of non-direct action, but of open minds, who can make the most impact.

I would offer that it’s possible that the small actions that our (I’m guessing?) large numbers are capable of implementing in our everyday, workaday lives can actually make substantial impact on areas of concern: sustainability, preparedness, energy efficiency, conservation, and awareness. Maybe getting awareness of those small actions into the mainstream, without the sanctimonious undertones, should be a priority. If the Real Housewives started composting, I bet community gardens in Orange County, Atlanta, and wherever would be bountiful.

So, maybe don’t judge us for not marching with you on Sunday. We’ll be at home, not showering.


Design by Ellie and Akira Ohiso for the People’s Climate March Design Contest (click photo to link to source)

This VICE feature below isn’t a product of our imagination. Is it climate change? I don’t know, but it’s definitely something. No, I don’t think it’s because God hates the Dominican Republic. If he did, Major League Baseball would fall apart.