News flash


Threats from Nuclear Weapons
led by Julian Weissglass
February 11

Unified Goal on the Climate
led by Diane Shisk
& Janet Kabue
March 4 or 5

An Introduction to Climate Change

It is scary and discouraging for many people to look at the issue of climate change. The situation got quite serious before many people were even aware there was a problem. If it has been hard for you to look at what is happening with our climate, it might be good to start with looking at these basic facts and discharging on whatever feelings come up for you. (Climate change can be denied, but it can’t successfully be debated. The facts are in and well supported.)

In your sessions, you can remember to use the Spectrum of Techniques from the Fundamentals Manual--beginning with attention to benign parts of our environment, pleasant memories about the environment, and moving to heavier distresses only as you can discharge. And remember that whatever feelings you have about climate change are rooted in your early hurts. Discharging your early distresses will give you attention to be able to look squarely at the climate emergency.  

The average global temperature is slowly rising. While some variation is normal, what we are seeing now is that the temperature is rising steadily and rapidly (considering the planetary scale). This cannot be accounted for by natural causes.

The science shows that the temperature increase is caused by excess (the planet can handle a certain level) greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, methane, and other gases) that are accumulating in the atmosphere. They act like a blanket around the earth and trap heat that naturally would escape to space. Excess greenhouse gas emissions have been accumulating in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution. As the percentage of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere increases, the temperature rises.

The primary source of these GHGs is our use of oil, coal, and gas (called fossil fuels). Industrialized agriculture also is a major contributor. The primary contributors to the rising emissions are the industrialized nations of the world. GHGs stay in the atmosphere for hundreds of years before they break down.

There has been a major effort to hide these facts by those invested in making profit from oil, gas, coal, and the agriculture and livestock industries. Because the population as a whole has not paid much attention to the issue of climate change, human activities have already emitted a dangerous amount of GHGs into the atmosphere. Damaging effects are already being felt in many parts of the world. These effects will increase as the warming continues. People who live in the Arctic, closer to the Equator, in small island nations and coastal cities, and those in countries with fewer resources (and so are limited in their ability to address climate change) are the people most impacted so far. Eventually the impacts will directly affect everyone, everywhere, unless we address it now. 

It is very important that humans quickly become aware of the situation and act to stop emitting GHGs in every way possible, and restore natural ecosystems to draw GHGs from the atmosphere. Many, many people are studying the problem and working for change. We have just enough time to turn this situation around, if we act quickly. The upcoming decade will be critical. 

It seems that our distresses are a major block to our being able to look at and face this information, take action to stop climate change, and engage with others in a way that informs them of the issues and brings them into action with us. RCers can play an important role in helping others face and act on this information once we have done our own work. Discharge will help us think clearly about this situation, act in our own ways to address this issue, communicate about it to others, and organize with others to make all changes necessary to end rising emissions--all as we work simultaneously against oppression, which is deeply interwoven in the causes and results of the climate emergency. We can start where we are, try things, discharge as we go, and try again, always involving more people in our efforts.

Diane Shisk


Last modified: 2023-01-08 14:40:31+00