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"Climate change is not about climate. It's about everything you love." This is the concluding statement by Dr. Dan Dolderman in his TED Talk at the University of Toronto. He opens with a poignant story of how much his son loves certain sea creatures, species which may soon become extinct. If we think about everything we love we can all probably acknowledge that someone, or some thing, or some species, or some place is, has been, or will be adversely affected by climate change.

Instead of thinking about global warming, which can seem like a vague scientific observation, let's think instead in terms of cleaning up our air and water, and seriously addressing the causes of pollution.

Let's think instead about how to protect communities against the threats of oil leaks from pipelines that go under major waterways like the Missouri River, or the communities which are most harmed by environmental degradation.

Let's think instead about cleaning up the toxic waste produced by the practices of big agriculture which put tons of pesticides and chemical fertilizers on crops that poison the soil and pollute the groundwater.

Let's think in terms of cleaning up the tons of plastic in our oceans and landfills by regulating the plastic producers.

Let's think in terms of educational programs about reducing food waste, and waste in general, which are major sources of methane emissions.

Let's think in terms of restoring a true democracy so that corporations and billionaires are not calling the shots.

Let's think in terms of how we can consume less of the Earth's resources so that everyone will still have enough of what we need, and learn to be happy with less stuff. Remember Eleanor Roosevelt's famous motto: "Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Do without."

If we think, and act, on these things, the climate will take care of itself, and the Earth will continue to take care of us.


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