What To Make Of This Month's Climate News (Plus An August Book Club Pick)

What To Make Of This Month's Climate News (Plus An August Book Club Pick)

This article is part of our "Round Ups" series, where we share things that inspire us, guide us, or are just really cool. Today, a brief discussion of where we're at, plus our August Book Club contender.


It's August, and already it's been a big month for climate. Well, actually all months are big months for climate— but you know what we mean. There has been lots of news as it relates to people and planet, and it's only early August 2021. It's been a few days since the IPCC issued a "Code Red" over the state of the crisis, and as the Dixie Fire grows in size, the climate crisis is impossible to escape, no matter how close or removed you are to the climate catastrophes at large.

It's easy to get mired in the climate anxiety that's so ubiquitous these days— to panic or freeze or jump to denial. It's an unbearable weight and an unbearable truth. We're of the mind that most folks actually don't actively want people, animals, plants, or our ecosystem to suffer. Sometimes it feels like we're all sort of sitting around looking at each other wondering… what can I do? 

Yes, you can vote. That's maybe the most important part. You can compost. You can do your part at home, ditching the plastic wrap for beeswax wraps. But if that feels futile to you sometimes, you're not alone. Most of us are right there with you.

You can protest. You can stand up for Line 3. Maybe most importantly, you can be curious. You can learn. And the one good thing— maybe the only good thing— about dealing with climate grief in this era is that we have a wealth of resources, information and access at our fingertips. 

If you can afford a book, buy a book. (We prefer 'em.) Here's our guide to reading on climate based on your interests and personality type. Speaking of which, today we're announcing our August Sustainable Book Club read: say hello to How to Prepare for Climate Change: A Practical Guide to Surviving The Chaos, by David Pogue.  Practical, eh? While we're at it, here's a great Black woman owned bookstore to consider getting your sustainable book club reads from. 

Books out of the question or not feasible or affordable right now? Emily Atkin's newsletter, Heated, is a once-weekly knowledge drop. Be forewarned— it's at times less optimistic than the books we recommend above. If you want the headlines without the editorializing, and you can stomach a lot of heavy news or articles at once (or you're looking to get climate crisis literate as fast as humanly possible), subscribe to Climate Nexus, a daily newsletter with a compilation of all climate-related news stories. (We only recommend this for folks with a strong support network or a great therapist. It can be heavy. Joking, but not really.)
There will be days where this load we are shouldering feels heavier than you can bear. But we are climate optimists. We can do hard things. We do do hard things. And however slow it may be, we have proven that we absolutely can make progress when it comes to shifting societal norms and behavior and tilting the scales to the side of justice.

It's up to you to decide how you want to participate in that shift, in that movement, and to define what your personal take on climate activism and sustainable living looks like. And it's up to us to support you through that journey. 
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