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Wanted: Regular folks in the fight against global warming

Published Apr 8th 2008, 9:53pm by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles

Hands In case you haven’t heard, you are needed in the fight against global warming.

Eugene Kleiner, a partner at the famous venture capitalist firm, Kleiner Perkins, once said, “Sometimes panic is an appropriate response.” Panic is a good motivator to do something, but taking action is a better way to keep our spirit and hope up, in the face of such a major global challenge. Fortunately, doing your part in tackling climate change is getting easier by the day, as green groups pop up all around us. Here's why it is fun, and here are some tips how...

I have found that hanging around groups that care about the environment is a very pleasant experience. By definition, these are folks that care. They care about people, about the living environment, about quality of life, and about nature. Basically, all the good stuff in life… positive people are good for our soul, so why not hang around more of them! At these environmental or sustainability groups, I have always met only good folks. I usually leave these meetings inspired about the fundamental goodness of people.

So if this piques your curiosity and you have not heard yet about such groups, here are some possibilities:

At home
Moms are going green! The Eco Mom Alliance has a two-fold missions:

  • To leverage the power of mothers to help reduce global warming;
  • To inspire and empower mothers to take First Steps For A Sustainable Future by Sustaining their Homes, Sustaining their Planet and Sustaining Themselves.

In the neighborhood

  • Join or start a CoolCities group. Begun in 2005, the Cool Cities campaign empowers city residents and local leaders to join and encourage their cities to implement smart energy solutions to save money and build a cleaner, safer future. You can make this real in your city too! Volunteers across the country are joining and leading teams, guided by their detailed toolkit and resources and have the support of peers across the country as well as an expert team.
  • Your city may have a sustainability taskforce – where citizens can provide suggestions to the city council and mayor on short and long-term actions to reduce greenhouse gas emission and create a more sustainable lifestyle.
  • Take a look at the Climate Manual for Cities if you are interested in how you can help your town or city becoming more sustainable.

At work

  • Green groups are popping up at many workplaces to brainstorm ways to make the workplace more environmental friendly. I don’t think there is a climate manual for the workplace, but it is always fun to find ways to make work more meaningful. Someone in one of these groups told me that once she started such a group, many colleagues came out of the environmental closets and expressed appreciation that she took the first step. As an environmentalist for the last 20 years, she never knew she worked amongst so many kindred spirits!

So spread the word and try to get the climate change message to the mainstream society. It is our biggest problem in this fight. There are a lot of leading, bleeding edge folks on this bandwagon now, but climate change can only be effectively tackled if even non-environmentalists are convinced of why they need to act.

Joining or starting a local group a great way to contribute concretely to the fight. As they say, “Think global, act local”. It is going to take many such acts but each of us can make a difference. Even if you are climate change believer, don’t just talk and think about it. DO SOMETHING. ANYTHING. According to IPCC, we have already surpassed the critical level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We have less than 10 years to turn things around drastically to prevent more catastrophic problems. Time is of essence.

Thank you in advance for your part in the fight!
- Your AskPatty green editor

Extrazoom Marn-Yee Lee
Contributing Editor

Marn-Yee Lee is pursuing an MBA in Sustainability at the Presidio School of Management in San Francisco. After spending a decade in I.T. and on Wall Street, she is now pursuing her passion for the environment. She sees business as a partner for creating innovative solutions to pressing environmental issues. In her spare time, she writes a blog to inspire others to consider the impact of their daily lives on the environment at


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