Hope and Strategies

for the coming decade

If, like me, the news about our changing climate and the urgency for action leaves you stuck, wondering what you should do, here is, perhaps, a remedy .... some strategies for getting engaged in the work of repairing the damage we have done to the earth .... and lots of wonderful, inspiring stories of thousands of people around the world who are doing just that.   I would love to hear about others.  Let's create together an inspiring, educational resource of strategies.


Strategies for the Coming Decade

Here are ideas, success stories, and challenges to inspire your engagement.

…Most of the damage caused to the environment…is caused unintentionally, it is just from all of us blundering along not questioning what we do.

Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia

Pick one issue to influence and join an organization that can keep you informed of opportunities to add your voice to the conversation.  

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution."  Albert Einstein

We have been hearing the same old stories for too long. They don't inspire us. But a story that claims the possibility of an abundant earth with enough for everyone to share is one that is possible.  People are demonstrating it all over the world.

Do It In Your Own Backyard

Our greatest influence is with our friends and neighbors - in our own backyard.  Begin there.  Clean up a riverfront, plant a food forest, join a co-op. Make a difference in your own community.  People around the world are doing the same.

Engage Community

It takes a village is not just a truism.  When the community is actively engaged in transforming something it is quite amazing what can be accomplished.  Here are a few examples.

Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is

When you invest in the entrepreneurs in your own community you become an active participant in designing the future.  It is a different experience from owning stock in some faceless company.

Support Ecosystem Restoration

In the last 150 years human being have made a profound impact on the planet.  Together we can repair the damage we have done and restore functioning ecosystems.  There are hundreds of examples.  Here are just a few.

Keep Your Heart Open

It is hard to stay engaged when every day there are more heart rending stories of loss.  The future can seem terrifying.  How do we keep from shutting down, becoming numb or depressed?

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What's Happening in DC?

It's spring in the District of Columbia

Today I am hopping on a plane to Japan but wanted to let you know what happened while I was in DC.

I decided I wanted to explore Strategy #2 Become a Citizen Lobbyist.

Influencing our congressional representatives seems to me to be a very mysterious and difficult thing. We are up against old narratives and well funded interest groups. Who in the Congress has some influence over the area of legislation that we want to have a voice in? What happens if that isn't my representative?

So I took my own advice and visited with Emily Wirzba at the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL). The FCNL is working hard to build bi-partisan support for a Carbon Pricing Bill. To follow what FCNL is working on, I suggest you subscribe to their "Inside the Greenhouse" newsletter.

And then I joined the Citizen Climate Lobby (CCL).

I met with several climate activists that Emily suggested and then I scheduled a visit with the staff of my Congresswoman, Suzan DelBene. She is on the influential Ways and Means Committee. I intend to keep learning how to work with others to influence the conversation around regenerative agriculture.

#8 - Support Eco-System Restoration (and Regenerative Agriculture)

#4 - Tell a More Compelling Story

In my talk I share the video "One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts" about how Will Harris has made such an amazing impact on the economic health of his community by changing the way he raises cattle. Yesterday on NPR I heard this story about how Columbians are making similar changes and growing 5-7 times more cattle per acre with less impact on the environment. The narrative is beginning to change.

The narrative that "the more fertilizer you put on your crops the better yields you're going to get" is being proved wrong. If you have any farmer friends who are asking about the scientific tests for cover crops and reducing inputs, the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is featuring a very compelling video that reports on a multiple year/5-farmer test. "We're maintaining the same yields with less inputs, that's how we are saving our money. Our fertilizer costs are down a minimum of 80%. Not only are you becoming a better producer and eliminating a lot of your costs but you're doing it in a way that is friendlier to the environment."

"Soils are living dynamic ecosystems. These are the principles we need to apply:

1. Minimal disturbance of the soil - start with reducing tillage

2. Keep the soil covered

3. Keep a live root in the soil year round

4. Diversity, diversity, diversity - more than 15 species over a three-year period"

I truly believe that we are beginning to see the tipping point. Can we influence the decision makers who are developing the legislative strategies to implement climate friendly practices in the next Farm Bill that will be written five years from now?

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