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“Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up. In contrast to optimism or despair, hope requires that one actually do something to improve the world. Authentic hope comes with an imperative to act. There is no such thing as passive hope.” – David Orr, introduction to Hope Is an Imperative: The Essential David Orr

The science has long been settled, climate change is real and it’s happening all around us right now. Our lifestyles are not only a contributing factor, but the root cause, despite what many politicians and talking heads would have us believe.  Those of us hoping for real solutions often despair at the unnecessary political gridlock and the lack of traction for widespread solutions.

But there is reason to hope: many ordinary citizens desire to make positive change in their daily lives, in their communities, and in the world at large. Yes, climate change is already happening. Yes, it is getting worse. But people working together to take action can find real solutions.

The choice is ours – take action now or react to even larger systemic problems later. The NW Earth Institute’s new five-session discussion course on climate action will help your community to do just that – take action in your own lives to increase resilience and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Presented in an interactive ebook, this new discussion course experience integrates video, audio and printed content with action plans that help you roll their sleeves up and get started taking action toward a better tomorrow. Change Is Our Choice can also be paired with our energy course, Powering a Bright Future, to create an eight-session course with an emphasis on sustainable energy.

A detailed list of articles and resources included in the Change Is Our Choice course book is available in the Table of Contents.

Sample Discussion Questions

  • Marshall Shephard brings in his personal story and concern for his children in his interview. Does this feel like a powerful strategy to you? How could you incorporate your story into your communications/conversations about climate change?
  • In some respects, authors Naomi Klein and Wendell Berry take completely opposite approaches to addressing climate change in their articles — Berry
    opts for local and a focus on doing good in the present; Klein prefers to focus on the future and the big, big picture of radically changing society as we know it. Do
    you think these approaches are mutually exclusive? Explain the appeal of one or both of them.
  • Katharine Hayhoe states that “The reason we care about climate change is
    because it affects the people and places that we care about.” What is happening (or will happen) in your area that will affect the people and places you care about?

To preview a short discussion activity drawing from this course, please fill out this request form.