I am a climate change scientist. I am a policy analyst. I am a sustainability practioner who is trying to champion a sustainable path forward for our existence and all the biodiversity left in this world and I am becoming disengaged with climate work.
Climate change work is radical culture change work. We can’t talk about needing to live more sustainably, consuming less, driving less or converting to reneweable energy without asking people to change their behaviors and what they value. We also can’t ask people to change their behaviors and what they value without examining the current values and the culture we have. Yet we never really attempt meaningful culture change work or get beyond the small group of converted sustainable living practioners; why is that and what do we need to do instead?
This isn’t a depressing article I promise you. And if the title makes you want to turn away then you are exactly who I am talking to. The trauma we know about are of those who have been suffering from the cultural trauma that has been happening for centuries, the oppression, racisim, abuse.
A life without purpose is a life without soul. Empty, automatic, aimless, unsatisfying. The antidote to that is taking action to contribute to a meaningful cause. But how do you find your way to that? What got lost? When did it happen?
The only inkling we have that something might be wrong is that deep dissatisfying feeling we have that something is missing, or that we are capable of more but cannot seem to figure it out or find it.
Climate anxiety and climate grief is the feeling of sadness, loss, fear and uncertainty due to the impending environmental catastrophe caused by global warming and the unimagineable consequences of collapsing ecosystems, climate refugees and a change to life as we know it. It is no secret that we are at a critical moment in climate action, such that many governments have declared a climate emergency. However, this crisis is challenged by the significant changes that need to be taken and the current lack of action by political leaders, corporations and institutions. It’s no wonder that many people are feeling a sense of anxiety and grief.
A conscious leader takes action aligned with their values and creates space for crucial conversations. A conscious leader considers people and the planet, as well as their own well-being. The term conscious leader is being increasingly used to describe a new kind of leader but what does it really mean and how do you make it more tangible?