Based on my own experience and that of people I work with, I offer this simplified personal action map as a tool for finding a way to live fully in a time of Catastrophic Climate Change.
Much like Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, and Elizabeth Kubler Ross’ model of grieving in On Death and Dying, this personal action map offers a way of understanding the emotional territory encountered in the everyday, practical experience of facing the extinction of our species. Its purpose is not so much to provide answers as to organize questions like:
- Why should I pay attention to Catastrophic Climate Change?
- If it’s real, what’s the point of going on?
- Why try to do anything if we’re doomed?
- What’s my best next step?
After years of pondering questions like these and following many false starts, I have organized the map into five major phases:
1) Normal life – Obliviousness to or denial of climage change
2) Awakening – Accepting that climate change is real
3) Grieving – Letting go and lightening up
4) Refiring – Finding new passion and purpose
5) Sharing – Moving from me to we.
These phases are not necessarily chronological, though they tend to be. One may shift among them depending on how life presents itself.
And your journey may differ markedly. But hopefully you may find in this map a systematic approach, a starting point, some few fresh ideas, and practical tools to help you find your own way through Catastrophic Climate Change, this greatest challenge ever faced by humankind.