Our climate is in crisis because our relationships are broken.
In this episode, I speak with Kamal Kapadia, the co-founder and chief learning officer of Terra.do, an online school for climate action that is striving to enlist and educate a hundred million people from all over the globe to work on climate change solutions.
Kamal and I dig into the importance of building communities of care, how to balance climate awareness — and the anxiety it brings — with climate action, and why it’s crucial that literally every single human being on the planet starts getting involved in working on climate change.
This episode was originally recorded in front of a live Zoom audience on February 17, 2022.
Key takeaways from this conversation:
- Climate awareness vs climate anxiety — how to get out of the “doom cycle” and take action
- Terra.do’s mission of enlisting a global audience to address climate change and the impact students are making
- Where climate work sits within the larger ecosystem of social justice work — how we can’t work on climate without addressing economics, race, politics, and more
- Why getting absolutely everyone involved in climate change, and not just relying on policy, is so important
- Why we need to build communities of care to support us in this work
“So why does climate change exist? It’s because our human relationships are broken. And what I mean by that is our economic systems are broken, our political systems are broken, but those are just at scale manifestations of human relationships, the way we relate to each other economically, the way we relate to each other in terms of our power relationships… And because these systems are broken, we have a planet in crisis. And so I think what we actually are trying to do is rethink our human relationships. And in order to care for this planet, we have to care for each other.”
“We are in a time of multiple overlapping crises. We are in a global pandemic situation where millions of people have died and millions more have been debilitated, face loss, grief, fear, anxiety. Overlay that with the climate crisis, think of the political situations that we are facing around the world, the threat of loss of democracy — we are in a time of great anxiety… The first time we ran this course [at Terra.do], we just threw people into the climate science. And then one guy was like, ‘I’m having a nervous breakdown now.’ And then we realized… we can’t just throw people into this climate science without providing the support and care that we need emotionally as human beings in order to be able to take this in and process it.”
“So there’s this relentless thing called climate change, but there’s all of this action. I am just sitting in the contradiction: Are we going to do this in time? Is it going to move fast enough? I don’t have any of these answers, but it’s not just all the bad stuff. There’s all of this amazing stuff going on. It’s got problems. I mean, we’re the human race, we are highly imperfect. So what we’re doing is imperfect. But it’s happening at scale right now in a way that I have just never seen in all of my time.”
The people, media, and ideas that we mention in this epi:
- Terra.do’s flagship program, Climate Change: Learning for Action
- PBS Nova episode on Arctic Sinkholes
- Mark Epstein: The Importance of Uncertainty on Hurry Slowly
- Follow Kamal at: Terra.do | Twitter
Call to Action
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