WORDS & IMAGE: KATE WEINER
This election has reinvigorated my passion to get some serious shit done with this wild life I lucked into. Most of us have been waiting for government policies that will protect our planet. But real change is—and will always be—in the people. If we don't want Trump to squander our public lands, cripple our climate, and decimate energy agreements that are essential to ensuring life on earth, we have to tap into the power that exists within ourselves and our communities to create change. And one of the most radical ways we can do that is by investing in renewable energy right now. Let's not wait and see how Trump screws up our ability to live in a safe world (paralysis is a luxury). Instead, let's take action today because #ImWithScience and oh my goddess, I am not ready to relinquish my wish to have children in good conscience or to watch wildlife wither or to stand idly by as whole countries are swallowed up by rising sea levels.
So how do you know if renewable is right for you?
- You're a person who loves and values other people and might someday want to raise a person of your own.
- You like to eat good food from healthy soil.
- You like to sleep under the stars or go backpacking in parks or swim in lakes.
- You think every creature has a right to live in their native habitat.
- You recognize that climate change disproportionately impacts marginalized countries and communities and that's not part of the just world we are working toward.
Basically, if you eat food and breathe air—and if you care about continuing to do just that—renewable energy should be a priority in your plan of action for taking down Trump. Particularly because renewable energy is intersectional. Investing in our environment is one of the many ways we can show our solidarity with movements such as Black Lives Matter and Native Liberation. Without environmental justice, social justice is not possible.
I totally get it—change is tough. My brother works in solar energy and says that the hardest part of his job is convincing people to change. Most are still operating under the false assumption that clean energy is unreliable and expensive. The environmental and economic benefits to supporting renewable energy are pretty damn clear—it is the cheapest new electricity on the market and one of our strongest tools in creating a healthy future. As a manager for Solar City, Sam is literally selling a product that is free to install and significantly reduces electricity costs. In spite of that, he regularly encounters people who just don't feel like changing because they're "waiting for the government" or "don't have the time." Don't be that person. Don't wait. Do.
It's not an exaggeration to argue that big picture thinking is essential to our survival right now. Radical change is how we are going to create light in this dark mess. In that spirit, check out these three things you can do today to support renewable energy. It's an option that is yours to pursue regardless of whether you rent your room or live on a small budget because there is nothing that can stop you, daring, darling one, from being the change you want. Here goes:
(1) Sign up for a program such as Arcadia Power, a clean energy supplier that allows you to source your energy from community solar and wind initiatives. If you're hesitant to sign up for the 100% option because you don't want to pay five bucks more a month to support clean energy, remember that cost actually translates to just one less happy hour drink with friends. You can swing it—for yourself and for our earth.
(2) Become a solar ambassador with Solar City. Each time someone you refer installs a SolarCity power system, you'll get $200 and they'll get one month for free. THAT'S HUGE! You might not own your house but if you know somebody who does, talk to them. (P.S. If you have any questions about solar—such as how to get your apartment complex or college campus to support sun power, Sam is doing pro bono consultations. Reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line LOAM LOVES SOLAR to get started).
(3) Join your local chapter of the Citizens' Climate Lobby and learn how to fight for a fossil free future through government and grassroots channels.
I'm so angry right now at the kind of devastation Trump can wreak on our world. But here's the thing—not one of his evil environmental plans has transpired yet. And if we start fighting ferociously now, they won't. We don't have to consider the next four years as damage control. We can see it as an opportunity to thrive by taking matters into our own hands. Power to the people.