When Words Become Action: Combating the Climate Crisis by Talking about It

Mount Diablo

Here in California, the Dixie Fire has officially become the second-largest fire in history, amid a record-breaking drought. It would be understandable if sometimes we felt hopeless about the climate crisis.

However, there is still a lot to be optimistic about. Find out why we’re lucky to be in the Bay Area, and some easy things you can do to help combat climate change. In fact, you can help address the climate crisis by just talking about it.

Get the Climate Conversation Rolling

Lao Tzu told us thousands of years ago, “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”

Hand-painted sign saying

“Watch your actions, they become your habits.”

A key action in addressing climate change is simply to talk about it. As our Senior Land Use Manager Juan Pablo Galván Martínez says, “Normalizing concern for climate change is part of the work toward climate change solutions. One of the best ways we can normalize our concern is by talking about it with friends, family, and colleagues.”

In the Bay Area, the people who know that climate change is real and that it’s mostly caused by humans greatly outnumber those who don’t. In fact, at 86 percent, Alameda County has the highest percentage of people who know global warming is happening in the country. And in Contra Costa County, 80 percent know it’s happening.

In Alameda County, 74 percent of people know that global warming is caused mostly by human activities, and in Contra Costa, it’s 64 percent. The fact that most people know climate change is real and that it’s mostly caused by human activities makes talking about the climate crisis much easier.

So, let’s get the climate conversation rolling! This video tells you everything you need to know about talking about climate change.

Keeping Optimistic

Climate change can be depressing and overwhelming. In fact, getting depressed about it is so common, there’s a term for it: solastalgia.

But there are many different ways to help. A great way to prevent burnout is to focus on one small thing at a time. Talking about climate change is a great start. And if you’re ready for the next step, you can start with simple actions.

For example, the next time you’re in the store, you can focus on choosing a more eco-friendly toilet paper, or you can try an eco-friendly diet. Over time, your small individual actions accumulate into bigger actions. Here’s a wonderful website from the Audubon Society that gives you a whole menu of options for things you can do.

If you’re still feeling solastalgia, the best way to feel better might be to go out into nature, and enjoy what you are protecting. You can try taking some time to schedule a hike or to discover a new trail on Mount Diablo.

Collecting samples in the field

Exploring the outdoors is the best way to combat solastalgia. Photo by Al Johnson.

Looking for more things to do on and around Mount Diablo? Check out our calendar for free Discover Diablo events or do some restoration work with our stewardship staff.

Top photo by Scott Hein.

Join us to save the remaining natural lands of Mount Diablo!

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