Money matters: The most impactful action to address climate crisis

Sept 2019—Psychologists are finding people depressed about the fate of our planet. You’re doing what you can. But here are two things you probably haven’t thought of: supporting climate-friendly candidates and buying carbon offsets. There are pros and cons for each.

Though giving is highly personal and there’s no single right answer, Rachel Cleetus, an economist and policy director at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said she would first funnel her money toward politicians — both local and national — who would most likely be proactive when it comes to the climate. That’s because, although we have the technology to transition away from fossil fuels, Dr. Cleetus said, “the biggest stumbling block to bold action has been a lack of political will.”

Rob Jackson, a professor of earth system science at Stanford University and chairman of the Global Carbon Project, basically agrees but also adds,

“What we need today is a way to leverage our funds into greater action,” he said. “If I had just one $500 check to write, I could offset part of my emissions and feel good about that and have done something meaningful. But it won’t change the political layout of our country.”

Neither of those float your boat? Check out Project Drawdown and then find non-profits (or even investments) addressing the top priority issues. There’s something in there for everyone: wind farms, educating girls, plant-rich diets, rainforest conservation.

Darcy Hitchcock