On Weirdos and Change

Friends, please take the time to read this post from my friend, Julia.

Julia is one of Junket’s consignors – and she’s also one of the most tuned-in-to-climate people I know — in fact, she’s what we’d call a ‘weirdo’ on the trend curve (way out ahead of the rest of us by leaps and bounds). With a carbon footprint of just half a planet (learn more about what this means – and calculate your own – at http://ift.tt/2hjHh4v), she’s already living a sustainable-on-one-planet lifestyle — the type many of us will be adapting to in the months and years ahead.

The message she’s taken the time to craft here is in alignment with what I, too, know to be true about rapidly deteriorating climate conditions — the current pace of ice melt i.e. this month) is accelerating even more quickly than scientists had anticipated, and we’re now about 2-3 years from a forced headlong market jump into what’s called ‘deep decarbonization:’ putting prices on greenhouse gas emissions that require companies to absorb the cost of their negative environmental/social impacts (and likely passing along those costs by increasing prices).

The likelihood that we would end up here (that we wouldn’t legislate our way to success, and that the scope of change required couldn’t be orchestrated via high tech business as usual) is why I’ve been so focused on developing systems and processes at Junket that can help us understand, articulate, and measure the beneficial carbon footprint of the stuff we sell while also setting the stage to lead through rapid change: there will come a time (and sooner than we’d care to acknowledge) where reducing our carbon footprint (and/or water footprint) becomes disruptive, and comes to personally matter in ways that we had previously been able to ignore.

Will we be able to afford our lives and lifestyles when carbon taxation (a concept rapidly gaining traction the world over) is applied to our current footprints? Can we afford to pay another $1/gallon for gas (a cost that is now abstractly socialized, showing up as someone else’s storm damage, asthma inhalers, property devaluation, insurance premiums…)?

For all of the financial planning and retirement saving we’re encouraged to do, we’re being given poor guidance when it comes to living within our other means (social/environmental). How many of us even know where we stand or how to start?

If you want to know – and care to start, I invite you to visit http://ift.tt/2hjHh4v. If you have 10 minutes, you can complete the calculator. If you have more, you can go back and play with some of the variables: what would happen if I took one less airplane flight this year? What would happen if I took the train to work instead of driving a few times a month?

I’m sharing this because it’s such a powerful learning tool, and I know many of us are wishing we knew more/could do more and don’t know where to start.

Given my current 1.4 planet footprint (meaning civilization would need 1.4 planets to sustain 7 billion people at my current consumption level), I’m no Julia yet, but my stuff-purchasing habits alone save me a full planet worth of impact (everything else being the same, adjusting waste to ‘same as’ instead of ‘significantly less than’ equated to a 2.4 planet footprint).

By playing around with this tool, I’ve found specific opportunities to make better food and transit choices (I’ll need to develop some systems, but I can do that) – and I’ve also begun pondering ways in which we might help Junket further reduce its waste and footprint even as we continue to build capacity, assortment, and engagement. More on that will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead. 🙂

Ok- if I’ve done this right, this is what you’re going to do next:

1. Read Julia’s post.
2. Calculate your own footprint at footprintcalculator.org.
3. Share one thing you can change immediately that will have a positive impact on your own footprint (DM is legit, else comment). I’d love to know what you’re coming up with – and it might help others brainstorm, too.

Better than a SleepNumber,

Julie

Julia
We need an incredibly rapid pace of change to keep our planet habitable, our books indexable, our societies stable, our futures dreamable. It’s a scale and pace that our individual brains struggle to grasp, and it’s easy to feel sad or disheartened or, worse, choose to ignore it.

But our status quo choices—our flying and driving and buying—don’t preserve the status quo; they erode it. And the status quo hasn’t worked out so well for most of us anyhow.

Yesterday I joined in a climate mobilization conference call for the first time. I needed to feel connected to others, to feel less alone in bearing this knowledge. And since I’ve never done a conference call with strangers before, I decided to it outside, walking, picking up trash around the tiny island natural reserves I live by, before today’s snow buried it again.

It was what I needed, and yet still hard. Our timeline for radical change is short and so many of us deal with our fear through silence and denial and thinking of something else. But every time I’ve connected with others around our climate crisis, I also feel our energy and potential, our best selves ready to rise to be our heroes, every single one of us.

The lichen in snow grounded me, the cautionary tape read as allegorical as I untangled it. And after the conversation ended, I picked up my copy of Parable of the Sower and headed to the treadmill to reread it as I walked.

The same cognitive traits that make it hard for us to take personal responsibility for the existential danger of climate change also make it difficult for us to believe in our own individual power as part of a community.

We aren’t a species of individuals; we are a species of relationships. We’re bees and wolves and mushrooms and crows. Our cities are our strengths, the internet our meta-city.

We need our collective selves in this; we need to move together, fight together, change together. We need to do what we do best: tell our stories of what is possible and do it. We underestimate our capacity for change, the ripples of each action in a relational network like ours; we are the leaders we’ve been waiting for.
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