Getting unfrozen about climate change

Unfreeze Yourself: Five Ways to Take Action on Climate Change Now. By Christine Penner Polle. Outskirts Press, 2015. 214 pages.

Eastern Canada Correspondent

Christine Penner Polle knows well the warning in Al Gore’s presentations and his 2006 movie, An Inconvenient Truth. It is possible to move from denial to despair in regard to climate change, both of which result in nothing being done and people being frozen in place.

First, she had to be unfrozen herself. Climate change and its connection to the burning of fossil fuel seemed to be just too big and complicated. But as she became convinced of the science, she also began to read about hope. Humanity had faced other issues and, together, could face this one, too.

To this end, she has peppered Unfreeze Yourself: Five Ways to Take Action on Climate Change Now with stories of hope. The third section is a call for readers to become heroes on a daring adventure to grow hope for themselves and others.

The five methods referred to in the book’s subtitle are all ones that she has used herself:

  • In “talk therapy: Changing the climate conversation,” she focusses on each person speaking to five others weekly about climate change, giving helpful advice, such as not arguing science with people, and using “I” in speaking and not an accusatory “you.”
  • In “group therapy: Connecting with others,” she writes that each person needs others who believe or know the same thing to keep on going in the face of many who will throw up anecdotal tidbits and false news as “deal-breaker” facts.
  • In “nature therapy: Spending time with Mother Nature,” Polle expresses her conviction that people do not care enough about the planet because they do not spend enough time in nature, both enjoying the good that is there, or seeing the changes that are happening at an increasing rate.
  • In “science matters: Know the consensus,” she states that “97 percent of climate scientists agree, based on the evidence, that global warming is happening and is human-caused.” Polle points to this overwhelming consensus and encourages readers to simply hold to the facts, instead of arguing against boorish references to unscientific opinion given by non-scientists on unreliable blogs or websites.
  • In “keep calm and price carbon: A solution big enough for the problem,” Polle focusses on this as the solution, noting that the problem is bigger than individual lifestyle changes can solve. Governments, which depend on science to do their planning and work, can influence the market to reduce how much carbon is spewed into the atmosphere, she writes, favouring a revenue-neutral carbon tax herself.

The book has helpful hints throughout on working on climate change, including lists of organizations and websites, plus an appendix filled with media of various kinds that help inform and connect readers who want more information.

See also the full list of the Spring 2017 Books and Resources. 

See also:
Creation care in action
‘I’m pretty earnest about living responsibly’
Living with a carbon footprint conundrum

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