Modest Plan to Save Humanity — Starts With You

Queens, New York
Hot Town: Heatwave in Queens, New York. Photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Chris Goldberg / Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Reading Time: 3 minutesWhoWhatWhy Climate Change Coverage

Most of us feel that climate change is too big for us to do anything about — or maybe it’s just not real enough. We’ve become fatalistic, putting our heads in the sand and tuning out the growing din of alarming signals.

But some people — though very few — are actually doing something about it.

Now it’s time for each one of us — yes, that includes you — to sign up. With determination, and a shared conviction that we will not go down without a fight. Why bother? Well, we kind of like the idea of human life continuing on Earth.

We started WhoWhatWhy with a somewhat more modest goal: do our part to save journalism. It’s faced its own “existential threat,” due not to fossil fuels, but market realities. Through innovation, armed with a very modest budget and a small army of skilled, dedicated volunteers, we’ve created a pretty awesome news operation that is giving the public vital information it needs.

Now, we’re committed to doing our part to save humanity. It’s just a small step, really, but we believe that if everyone takes a small step… right now… all those small steps will move everything forward, fast.

That’s why we’ve joined a consortium of hundreds of other news organizations to participate in a special Climate Week project, Covering Climate Now! We’re all producing climate stories between September 15 and 23, in the run-up to the UN climate conference. And though we’re small, WhoWhatWhy, itself, will have plenty for you on our site.

Now, what about you? What will you do? You may say there’s nothing that you can do — you’re not one of the leading polluters, you’re not a lawmaker with the power to fight for regulations that control the polluters, you’re not an inventor capable of producing a technological breakthrough or even a hail mary pass.

Actually, we think that, if every single one of us decides to get on a war footing, the same way our forebears did against a common enemy, we’d see a singular transformation.

For one thing, if each of us begins expressing ourselves, then the conversations we hear daily about football and celebrities and personal relationships might just begin turning to something imminent and urgent: our mutual survival.

That in turn would produce the thing that government listens to: people pressure. Then maybe, President Donald Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — and all those who seem oblivious to the fact that what they are doing could lead to the end of civilization in our lifetime — might decide to change course.

When government listens, and acts, then everything else is set into motion. And the kinds of solutions you’ll hear about this week will suddenly not only seem possible, but could become reality.

Besides trying to get the government to listen, you may be able to help in other ways. Just like those who donate their skills to WhoWhatWhy, maybe you could help out the groups working on climate change. With graphic arts skills. Bookkeeping. Marketing. Fundraising. Spreading the word. Organizing people.

Maybe you even know something about soil or air but aren’t currently sharing your knowledge. Maybe you have some land on which some critical work with soil carbon sequestration could be done.

Our point is, something needs to be done — and not by someone else. But by you. By me. By each and every person.

Let’s get moving.

Please write to us and tell us what you can do, or will do. You can email us at climatehelp@whowhatwhy.org.

Once we sort through the responses, we’ll share them and see where all this might go.

Oh, did we say this? Let’s you and I get moving. Now.

Covering Climate Now

Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from CJR.

Where else do you see journalism of this quality and value?

Please help us do more. Make a tax-deductible contribution now.

Our Comment Policy

Keep it civilized, keep it relevant, keep it clear, keep it short. Please do not post links or promotional material. We reserve the right to edit and to delete comments where necessary.

print

4 responses to “Modest Plan to Save Humanity — Starts With You”

  1. Colleen says:

    “Modest Plan to Save Humanity — Starts With You”

    NO, it starts with the Pentagon. The US military is a greater polluter than 140 other countries combined. Stop US perma wars has to be the environmental movement’s #1 rallying cry.

    Regrettably, not a single one of your environmental subject titles in your recent “Change in Climate” email headlines the Empire’s war machine.

  2. Martin says:

    What are “taking care of” besides ingesting the sweet comfort of pure hopium? You are not going to reform the fully corporatized political system – look at the level of malign idiocy in power now. The Paris Climate Accords were fully voluntary, “a joke” in James Hansen’s words.
    If by “cynicism” you mean “reality,” then we are in accord. Everything you do is fossil fueled – where do you think the juice is coming from to power this Internet monster? A certain novelist is getting pilloried for daring to tell you bright-eyed, ever-hopeful ones: “Stop Pretending”!

  3. JC says:

    What are you talking about? there is a ton people can do, including voting deniers out of office, and returning to the Paris Climate Accords. Your cynicism reveals you. Stay seated on your hands, we’ll take of everything.

  4. Martin says:

    No, despite the real integrity of your site, this is just cheerleading boosterism. “Climate change” is not an issue that is amenable to the ol’ rah-rah siss-boom-bah of the vaguely liberalish type. We, as a species, are mobbed up in fossil fuels – so is WhoWhatWhy, from its Internet server use down to the well-trodden shoes on their gumshoes’ feet.
    There is absolutely nothing any individual can do but recycle a couple of cans, listen to hopium speech after speech, but can we try to stay in at least close proximity to the truth? We can do that, gang, can’t we?