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Greta Thunberg and “Taking Action”

If you’ve been paying attention to news related to climate activism of late, you’ve likely heard of a Swedish teenager name Greta Thunberg. Greta has captured the world’s attention with her powerful and inspiring calls for robust, meaningful and imminent climate action. Like other young leaders in the world, she is reminding adults that we simply haven’t done enough to address the climate crisis, and now must move far beyond the half-hearted measures currently underway.

Greta not only motivates people with her words, but also her actions. True to her commitment to reduce her carbon footprint, she traveled across the Atlantic Ocean for the upcoming UN Climate Conference via boat so as to avoid flying. This young woman is quite popular in our household. Even my three-year-old daughter is taken by her efforts to “help the planet”.

The realities of climate change-likely the greatest threat facing our world today-necessitate that we all take action, that we all do our part to help the planet. Most people in our EcoPsychology Initiative community recognize the responsibility and opportunity we all have. What isn’t as clear is both what we should be doing, how best to be successful, not to mention what actions to take to ensure that we feel regenerated as opposed to depleted.

In an effort to empower people to maximize the impacts they have in their community, our first Group Coaching session on Climate Psychology will be devoted to “Taking Action”. We will be focusing on what are the strategies, principles, ideas and approaches that can enable us to be most effective. Instead of debating what are the most important climate actions-an important conversation but not one we’re leading-we want to empower participants with the skills and abilities for how to be successful.

Furthermore, we want to ensure that the climate actions people are taking are nourishing and uplifting, that they promote every greater engagement and commitment to the cause. Too often people involved with climate action end up feeling discouraged, exhausted and drained; their actions might be beneficial, but they’re left feeling depleted. If we are to sustain climate efforts, we must avoid this tendency. As part of our focus on “Taking Action”, we’re going to explore how best for people to engage so they feel regenerated by their actions.

Participants will gather in our first Climate Psychology Group Coaching to share experiences and ideas, strategies, successes and struggles. The focus of our time will be how can we maximize our impact, feel healthy and positive, while avoiding common pitfalls, challenges and setbacks. Participants are invited to share not only what they know, but also their questions and uncertainties. Collectively, we will move towards improved engagement, empowerment and effectiveness.

by Dennis Kiley

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