The Climate Psychologist

Revised Human Climate Pledge

Since publishing, “Answering the Question of our Time, Together,”  I have received lots of excellent feedback on  Human Climate Movement strategy, and on the Human Climate Pledge itself. I have revised the Pledge to incorporate this feedback. (And, in a week or so, I will release a revised version of the proposal.)

**This Pledge is for the United States; my  hope is that other democratic countries can adapt the Pledge, and the Pledge App, and utilize a parallel, allied organizing strategy. But since the Pledge relies primarily on an electoral mechanism, and electoral processes differ from country to country–such as in whether citizens vote for individuals or for parties– it seems that the Pledge needs to be country-specific.

As usual, let me know what you think :)

THE HUMAN CLIMATE PLEDGE

Humanity is at a crossroads. We are in grave danger.  Climate change threatens me, my family, my country, and civilization itself. Thus, fighting climate change is a moral and strategic imperative. It must be our top political and societal priority. Following the example of the American effort during World War II: we must act with common purpose, shared sacrifice, and steely resolve. The United States must mobilize all Americans, sectors of society, and international allies to fight this crisis.

We can be passive, helpless victims of climate change, or we can fight back, together.

I pledge to:

Vote for candidates in local, state, and national elections who have signed the Human Climate Pledge, whenever they are running against a candidate who has not.

Only give time or money to political candidates who sign the Human Climate Pledge.

Spread the truth of climate change to people I care about and respect, sharing the Human Climate Pledge with them.

Encourage academic, religious, environmental, political, professional and community organizations in your area to endorse the Pledge.

Contribute my unique skills, talents, and energy to the climate fight. This could be through local adaptation and mitigation projects, gardening or community agriculture, scientific or scholarly research, art, installing renewable energy sources, political activities, social movement strategizing, and myriad other possibilities.

Most importantly: I pledge bravely face the fearsome reality of climate change. I will forsake denial, and strive to live each day in climate truth.

Signed:

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “Revised Human Climate Pledge

  1. Jeff Cope

    Margaret,

    I appreciate your efforts here; especially as someone else trained in psychotherapy I’m so excited to see other voices than mine adding that perspective. I’m looking forward to hearing more from you and forging ways with others to use the wisdom of a deeper, more conscious view.

    I also think we need to think politically too, in realistic, experienced ways, and asking people to vote only for candidates who sign the pledge may be necessary and nice and a good start, but seems like about half a percent of what we need, at best. With maybe 20 years to cut emissions by 90% in order to have any hope of civilization surviving, and damn few candidates or members of the public even aware, let alone willing to do even a tiny fraction of a percent of what it’s going to take to accomplish that, I’m worried that people will continue to have faith in a system and 2 parties that have completely abandoned and betrayed them, and have absolutely no interest or intention in changing. What they have an interest in doing is lying better. It’s an uphill struggle to get the pledge out, and once enough people witness climate catastrophes that one of the candidates in each contest is willing to sign it, having them actually pay the slightest bit of attention to it is a battle a much longer way up an even steeper hill.

    Recognizing the family systems-like functions of the corporate, Republican-Democrat duopoly that keeps all other views out of view is the first step forward. In a system so completely dominated by corporate money, and corporate media whose major function is as a sleeping aid and vehicle of misdirection, people thinking their votes can accomplish the enormous changes we need to make is not part of the solution; it’s a central part of the problem. As long as people continue to believe that, they will continue not to do the things that actually will change the direction of society. It is here, as much as anywhere, that psychology is the absolutely crucial bit of inner power and love needed to draw us on over the crest of the hill.

    I’m hoping we can have some deeper conversations than seem likely here,on strategies, symbols, and meanings, to come together with a deeper voice than is offered by anyone else in the discussion. The annual psychology of climate change conference? The first convocation on transformational ecopsychology?–has anyone done that?

  2. Barb Krueger

    Well done, Margaret! One small edit to your last sentence: “Most importantly: I pledge bravely face the fearsome reality of climate change. To forsake denial, and strive to live each day in climate truth.” I believe you meant to say “Most importantly: I pledge TO bravely face….”

    I also very much appreciate Jeff’s comments and appeal to the dramatic changing of the political, corporate, and media machination of the United States. No doubt this will be necessary elsewhere. And I like the idea of a “psychology of climate change conference.”

    1. Margaret Klein Post author

      Thanks for the comments :)

      Hans– Yes– climate change is the ultimate global issue; every Nation must play a role. The Pledge not only has to be translated into different languages and adapted for different political systems (do voters vote for parties? Individuals? etc) but also, it will likely have to utilize different historical memories. For the United States, the memory of WWII is paramount… our finest hour; our “greatest generation.” But obviously this is not true of every country…. the Pledge needs to be modified to be evocative in different countries…

      Jeff- It’s always great to meet other therapists working on climate change! I agree with you that the Pledge is not a cure-all, but rather an organizing platform. I think that another prong of the approach is holding news outlets accountable… no American media outlet that I am aware of reports on climate change in a truthful way. Certainly not the New York Times, the LA Times, the Washington Post, or CNN… I think these outlets are prime targets for activism efforts. There have been psychological conferences on climate change, but there should certainly be more (and with the explicit focus on solutions!) If you google, “Engaging with Climate Change” and select the “Video” results, you can watch an excellent psychoanalytic conference on climate change!

      And Barb, thank you very much for reading and your sharp eyes! I do my best, but I can’t seem to shake my type-o problem!!!! Your help is always appreciated! If you (or any other reader) have any interest in reading posts for this kind of errors pre-posting…I would be very much indebted…

      Onward!

  3. klem

    “We are in grave danger. Climate change threatens me, my family, my country, and civilization itself..”

    Once again, more evidence that lefty climate alarmists live their lives in fear and self loathing. I have a solution to your problem: join the climate skeptics.

    The skeptics do not fear the world in which they live. They know that the earths climate always changes whether humans exist or not, they look to the future and see a place of enjoyment, prosperity and light. The alarmists blame themselves for the earths continually changing climate, and they see a future of trouble, poverty and darkness.

    I used to be a climate alarmist too, until I realize how depressing it was and decided I did not want to waste my life like that. So I joined the skeptics.

    Join the skeptics, life is so much better as a climate skeptic.

    cheers

  4. Margaret Klein Post author

    Hello Klem! You are the first ever skeptic/ denier who posted on my blog. So a milestone to be sure! I can certainly understand that life is better denying/ being skeptical of climate change. In some ways, I would love to do this. I would feel less fear and less weight of responsibility, thats true.

    Just one thing interferes: the truth. We don’t get to choose our reality, and being “skeptical” about climate change, irregardless of the scientific consensus, and the palpable daily evidence, doesn’t stop climate change.

    I choose to live in truth, even though that truth can be pretty uncomfortable. I hope you reconsider.

    1. Sandy Turner

      Hi All,

      Having read some of the work of Derrick Jensen, Guy McPherson, and Carolyn Baker, and having heard them speaking, I respect all of them. I believe that both Guy and Carolyn are thinking that it is time for us humans to check into Hospice and face the inevitability of runaway climate change that will toast most of life on Earth by mid-century. Guy is a biologist and Carolyn is a counselor and I think they are both wise people. However, I don’t agree that it is time to check into Hospice yet.

      I am not sure what Derrick Jensen thinks about the odds of most life forms making it through past the end of this century. I subscribe to Carolyn Baker’s “Speaking Truth To Power — Daily News Digest” where she gathers up about 30 or 40 articles from around the world on a variety of topics and sends out links to them almost every day. It is a really valuable service. Anyway, that is how I learned that Derrick Jensen will be interviewing Carolyn Baker tomorrow (Monday, Dec. 30) at 5PM Eastern Standard Time. It will be broadcast on Resistance Radio. That’s at http://prn.fm/category/resistance-radio/

      I live ten miles outside of town and have dial-up internet, so I am not sure that I will make it into town to listen in on faster internet. But hopefully it will be archived to listen to later also. I hope some of you can check it out.

      And one of the quotes I picked up from one of Guy McPherson’s talks or articles is by Carl Sagan, the popular astronomer who passed away a few years ago. Sagan said (or wrote), “It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” However, to that I say it is pretty tough to grasp anything “as it really is” and be certain we are actually understanding “it” accurately.

      Concerning politics in the U.S., it may take a 2 week heat wave in D.C. of about 120 F that kills a few dozen Congressional representatives and senators to get their attention.

  5. Sandy Turner

    Hi Again,

    I just looked at Carolyn BAker’s Speaking Truth to Power Daily News Digest this morning and see this:

    Derrick Jensen Interviews Me on Resistance Radio,

    http://prn.fm/category/resistance-radio/

    [PLEASE NOTE, THE SHOW WILL NOT AIR TODAY. IT WILL AIR IN A WEEK OR TWO, AND I’LL POST THE LINK BOTH IN THE DIGEST AND ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE.]

    So I guess we will need to wait a few days to be able to hear that interview. I will try to provide a link to that radio show when it becomes available.

    1. Margaret Klein Post author

      Thanks, Sandy. That sounds like an interesting interview. Thank you for your thoughtful reading. I agree with McPherson and Jensen that the situation is dire, but not with their fatalism. I, for one, am not ready for hospice. All we can control is our own actions, and we should dedicate ourselves to fighting for a secure and stable climate.

  6. Jeff Joslin

    Thanks for what you are doing, Margaret.

    I too think I see two typos. In the second to last paragraph should the wording say, ” Contribute my unique skill, talents AND energy to the climate fight.”? Also in the last paragraph, “… climate change, to forsake denial…”? make one sentence out of a fragment?

    I would also like to offer a thought about terminology. “Denial” is the term for turning away from truth. “Skepticism” is a healthy respect for truth. If I am a skeptic, I don’t automatically buy into what is said, I investigate and ensure the scientific truth of what I am told. Good scientists are skeptics. Those that turn from scientific findings are deniers. Skeptics live in truth, deniers do not.

    I love what you are doing.

    Blessings,

    Jeff

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