Before I end my opinion piece series on psychology in the climate emergency, I want to address one final thing: the importance of a personal narrative in the climate emergency. This is the story your grandchildren will be telling their grandchildren and that features you as the main character.
Let’s say it is the year 2100 and I am looking back at the past. I would see that the Earth was a place covered by sunlight. The sunlight gave warmth and energy to all living things including the people. It gave them the energy to engage in different activities and that is exactly what people did. They travelled all over the planet and invented devices that made their life more comfortable. The Earth was also a place covered by shade and darkness. This gave the living things fresh air and the opportunity to relax and distress from all activities. It was a nice place to live and many people found a way to be happy on Earth.
Around the year 1970 people started realising that their activities may impact the mechanisms of Earth’s nature. Some 50 years later most people understood that a continued exaggerated use of resources would lead to an impactful climate change. They also understood that action was required to ensure the existence of human life on Earth.
Some people felt threatened and chose to ignore this new state of emergency but others saw it as a challenge and started taking action. The magical turn-around moment in the climate emergency story happened when the people discovered there was no villain determining the fate of the world. Instead, it was the heroes and heroines taking initiatives that decided how the story would end.
That magical moment is now, in 2020. We have a chance to take action and choose to become the heroes and heroines of our narratives. Both people, governments and organisations can take the heroic approach in the climate emergency. Here are a few you can explore:
- Find green investment opportunities that can give you or you organisation exposure;
- Be faithful to your own values and explain your actions;
- Show that you are a leader capable of transitioning and/or innovating;
- Highlight the potential benefits to the quality of life that come with your actions;
- Take the stage and engage with others on climate change.
In taking initiatives such as these, we can make sure we end up living happily ever after. Not as a newly-wed Disney bride but instead as our beloved humankind.
- Jacobien Kamp