Learning about Climate Change in an RC Class

I was in a class Diane Shisk led in Seattle, Washington, USA, on transforming society with a focus on climate change. That class, along with the new RC goal on care of the environment, made me realize I needed space to systematically read and re-read the facts about climate change. I knew I needed a place to do it consistently with other people, so I decided to do it in the weekly ongoing RC class I teach.

Diane has made it so easy with all the information on the RC website. I took the “Why We Prioritize Addressing Climate Change” information (see <www.rc.org/publication/environment/climatepriority>) and divided it into eight classes. We read it slowly, so we could take in [absorb] the information. When we didn’t understand something, we combined our knowledge to come up with [arrive at] a better understanding.

We also watched Al Gore’s Ted Talk (in several segments) and were able to work through understanding that. One person did more research when she didn’t agree with something Al Gore was saying.

I ran [taught] the class so that everyone could have input and say what they knew. They loved this. It also made them realize they could talk about climate change better than they had thought.

I have since been able to explain how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, mostly caused by fossil fuels, is the core of the problem. Then I can talk about how it will be hard to solve given corporate ownership of the energy sector, and then go on to how countries of People of the Global Majority, as well as People of the Global Majority in the United States, will be the hardest hit.

All this is such a contradiction to my years in school when I had to figure out so much on my own [alone].

Below are some comments from others in the class.

Sarah Christensen

Seattle, Washington, USA

 


 

I loved that we did this project for an entire class series and that we did it together. Not only did it bring our class closer together, it made the material much easier to look at and the situation much more hopeful.

My husband and I are both in the class, and it got us thinking about how our living arrangements could be different in the future. Will we be cooking with gas? Will we have gas for our fireplace? We’ve been learning more about passive and net-zero homes. [Passive homes are designed to be highly energy efficient. Net-zero homes use no more energy annually than they produce from on-site renewable sources.]

On a smaller scale, I’ve finally gotten some alternatives to plastic wrap and plastic bags, and I’m much more cognizant of where plastic shows up [appears] in my life.

Karen W.

Seattle, Washington, USA

 


 

The problems of climate change play into [interact with] my chronic pattern of discouragement. I already had a sense of that. But I learned that the extent of my restimulation depends on distance. Very locally (in other words, at home) I actually feel encouraged by what I can do. At the city level, things still appear not too bad, even with Seattle’s growth. The national level gets to me [bothers me] the most, to the extent that I have to cut off some of the news in order to not get totally restimulated. Seeing this led me to think that I need to get to more meetings of the organizations I belong to and meet living people (as opposed to participating only on the Internet). I am slowly moving in this direction.

Eric Swanson

Seattle, Washington, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders in the care of the environment

(Present Time 191, April 2018)


Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00