By Nicole Carr
The pressure for Democratic presidential candidates to address the climate crisis—which resulted in CNN’s marathon seven-hour town hall last week—is an indication of how urgently many people care about addressing the problem. Humanists are no exception.
The American Humanist Association launched the Humanist Environmental Response Effort (HERE) for Climate on April 1 to encourage humanists to participate in the struggle to address the climate crisis. Made possible with the support of a generous challenge grant from two AHA members (first names Adam and Rachel), the project is designed to provide humanists, most of whom are aware of the scope of the problem, with information about how to make a concrete difference in their own communities.
Explaining the impetus for their support of HERE for Climate, Adam says, “One of our main goals is to have other humanists recognize their responsibility to step up and do their bit on addressing this civilizational challenge. So much needs to be done against fearsome odds, but every step in the right direction matters.”
In its first few months, the HERE for Climate media campaign has already reached more than 16 million people–with more to come before the end of the year. Thousands have visited the project’s website (www.hereforclimate.org) to learn how to be part of the solution to the climate crisis.
Almost 2,000 people—most of them small donors with an average gift of $60—stepped up to the challenge and have supported the project. And donations are still arriving to make sure the project thrives.
HERE for Climate highlights the manageable ways that people can actually make change by shifting mindsets from “what can I do?” to “we can do this”—and provides people a roadmap for action. The project motivates individuals and humanist groups to encourage local governments (cities, counties, states) and businesses to effect the real, immediate change that will reduce carbon emissions, even in the absence of effective action by the federal government.
HERE for Climate is an ongoing project that helps raise awareness about specific impacts of climate change and moves people toward effective action by emphasizing the actual possibilities for transformation rather than just stressing the daunting scope of the emergency. All the media, paid and otherwise, is designed to drive people to a central website (www.hereforclimate.org) that offers success stories, concrete actions, climate crisis news, and information about relevant events around the country.
The HERE for Climate website makes is easy for interested humanists (and others) to gather information about climate and the environment and identify ways to make a measurable difference. Visitors can:
- find out about events happening near them
- take actions (including Contact My Elected Officials, Mobilize My Local Group, Host a Local Event, Write a Letter to the Editor, Sign a Petition, Learn More)
- identify replicable success stories that have worked in other parts of the country
As part of HERE for Climate, AHA staff and supporters will participate in the Global Climate Strike on September 20, 2019. On that day, three days before the UN Climate Summit in New York City, adults and especially youth will hold strikes in the United States and all around the world to draw attention to the urgency of the climate crisis. To find and join a strike in your area, go to https://strikewithus.org/.
And if you—or your local AHA chapter—plan to strike, let us know here. We’d love to help publicize your action on the HERE for Climate website.