“An animals eyes have the power to speak a great language.” - Martin Buber
January’s over, and I’ve only read a book and a half.
Productivity Twitter is going to be so disappointed in me. 😔
I’m running behind on a few other things as well. But I guess it’s better than having nothing to run behind on.
Sort of Fiction
Last week I wrote about venturing into the science arena through the flagship climate course at Terra.do.
Our first assignment in the course was a light and fun exercise.
We were to imagine it was the year 2040. We have solved the climate crisis. And the Terra.do community played a massive role in making it happen. As part of the celebration, we were invited back to Terra.do to give a speech.
Without going into the nitty gritty scientific details, we were supposed to explain some of the things that happened between now and then that led to the new world, where the climate is no longer an issue. And we were supposed to speak about our role in the process.
This is the closest thing to fiction I have written, and I’ve decided to share it here. Remember, we were supposed to focus on the “what,” not the “how.” So don’t ask me how some of this shit is supposed to work. Much of it is blind optimism.
Seventeen years ago, I decided to make a drastic change in my life and focus my energy on what I could do to help positively impact the climate crisis that our planet was facing.
I was fortunate to join Terra.do in the early days, long before it became the large global community it is today. Participating in their Climate Change: Learning for Action course was one of the most critical steps in launching my journey.
The tasks at hand were overwhelming but not impossible. Through a concerted effort of millions around the globe, we have managed to do what seemed implausible at the time.
The massive factory farms of yesterday are a thing of the past thanks to policies passed around the globe. The tireless efforts of activists, scientists, and politicians in countries worldwide have led to international standards and policies to prevent such farms as well as limit things like pesticide and insecticide use. We now have smaller, healthier farms and more of them in small communities so food can be provided locally and require fewer chemicals to preserve them. Crops and livestock co-exist on farms allowing more regenerative practices. Because of this, not only is our food less contaminated with chemicals, but we have also increased its quality.
We have replaced nearly all combustion engines with electric substitutes. The air in our cities is cleaner and fresher. In the winter, snow along roadways no longer wears the stains of fumes from combustion engines.
Thanks to years of research backed by governments around the world, nearly all production of plastic has been halted and replaced with greener and more sustainable options that we can recycle almost infinitely. Individually packaged products are practically non-existent now as grocery stores and large retailers have transitioned to selling many products using a refillery style of sales.
We have curbed the consumer economy by requiring items to reflect their actual cost of production. Public and private companies' valuations now consider the positive and negative impacts they have on the environment. More people re-use products because their costs have increased to levels that don’t permit the throw-away society we were once accustomed to. The days of disposable products are long behind us. Items are made better and more locally, and people better understand their value.
Thanks to the work of thousands and commitments by some of the largest countries in the world, we have reversed the destruction of our oceans. The near elimination of plastic has played a massive role in this, as has the dozen mobile filtration systems that constantly roam the seas, powered by solar, cleaning debris and litter from the water.
The hard work of millions worldwide has allowed for these changes to take place. It has been my honor to play a small role in this process. I started simply writing about the climate crisis, and companies focused on fighting it in my newsletter. This allowed me to learn even more and spread those lessons to others.
My writing opened up doors to meet founders and entrepreneurs whose companies were working towards making a difference. Through these connections, I was fortunate to be able to invest early in many of these companies and help promote their work through my writing. It allowed me to see this incredible process from many different perspectives. And even better, it gave my daughter an inside look at how businesses can be financially successful and provide a positive impact.
Watching her learn these vital lessons as she grew up has been one of the joys of my life and has provided her with the experience she needed to start her entrepreneurial journey.
In the grand scheme of things, my contribution was tiny. Still, I am honored to have gotten to know the founders, leaders, politicians, and activists I did and to have been able to help, however small the contribution.
All of this was possible because of the start Terra.do provided. So thank you, and congratulations to everyone involved in this extraordinary process.
The Story of Climate Change
I've been looking for some great resources for my daughter in the climate space. She's only five, so I have been unsure of how much detail a five-year-old should hear about our planet collapsing around us.
We already spend lots of time discussing the importance of nature, planting trees, not littering, and recycling with her, but I want a little more.
Recently I came across The Story of Climate Change. The authors Catherine Barr and Steve Williams, do a great job of explaining the topic and using amazing illustrations to help kids grasp the points they are making. I read it with my daughter this week, and she may have been a little young for it but not much. She asked some excellent questions, which opened doors to great conversations. We actually read the book over two nights because she asked so many questions we couldn't get through it all the first night.
If you have children and want to teach them about climate change but aren't sure where to start, I highly recommend it.
Best of Twitter
I LOVE dogs. I spent nine years volunteering as the treasurer of a local organization that pulled dogs about to be euthanized from shelters, found foster homes for them, and worked to find them permanent homes. It always broke my heart when the older dogs would get overlooked again and again.
Adopting an older dog can be incredibly rewarding. I once adopted a dog that no one wanted. She had parvo as a puppy and, because of it, had tons of health issues. When I adopted her, they waived the adoption fees. They told me I would spend plenty in vet fees dealing with her many ailments. They were right.
But I swear she knew it. People can say I’m crazy, but I believe, without a doubt, she knew what I did for her. I’ve never had a dog that was so loyal and showed so much love back to me.
Videos like this one make me smile ear to ear. I could sit back on my couch with some popcorn and watch stuff like this all day.
I hope you all have a great week!
As always, I would love to hear from you.
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If you would like to discuss something further, shoot me an email.
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If you want to see more of my work, visit chasinganswers.co.
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"My writing opened up doors to meet founders and entrepreneurs whose companies were working towards making a difference."
Hell yeah, Randy!! Write it into existence. I love how much you want to make sure your daughter stays informed and curious. Never too young.
Also thanks for the dog video, totally not tearing up over here lol
I absolutely love your 2040 speech. And it sounds very plausible to me. It rings of truth, like you are actually describing the future. It's a powerful exercise to name your vision for the future. Speaking of which, Karena De Souza writes the Tilt the Future Newsletter which is also focused on climate activism in case you don't already know about it and want to check it out. I'll bet she'd love to read your "speech". https://tiltthefuture.substack.com/