Shirley Freriks: We The People can make a difference |

Shirley Freriks: We The People can make a difference

This is the second article by a group of community members in a series on our changing climate, offering a variety of perspectives on food, health, nonpartisan lobbying and shared values. Through Climate Connections, we will offer positive ideas about what we can do personally and as a community. This is for our children’s and grandchildren’s future. For more installments of Climate Connections, see this story at

— Marilyn Nyborg

We know we have climate-originated concerns, and we know we have solutions. Now we need each person to do her/his part to make them happen. In aggregation, We The People can make a difference! Like giving a Christmas or birthday gift of trees from organizations that will plant and care for them (see below).

It is easier than you think! Take your pick of one or more of the following categories on which to focus — or come up with your own and let us know what it is. Then it is about constancy to do a little something every day, week, or whatever it takes to reach goal. Send it out to your friends. Ask them to join in the action that can be fun as well as beneficial for the earth and species. Ask them to send it out to their networks. This how we create a living web of caring that makes a movement. Let’s go viral.


Now to the categories that are part of the puzzle of solutions:

Financial — Encourage helpful corporate behavior by asking financial advisors and broker friends to withdraw financial support from funds and stocks that are involved in fossil fuels while offering support to new clean energy companies. Here is one of many: There are a plethora of climate cure ideas percolating up that need funding to go ahead, like taking greenhouse gases out of the air. Check

Educational Literacy — Help our young people from kindergarten through college learn about the situation and what they can do. Take them into nature to witness the miracles of life. How does this web of life work and why are great quantities of heat trapping gases causing harm to living systems? Help them do a garden to learn first hand the vital importance of healthy soil and water.

Lobbying and letter writing — Make your voice heard to Congressman LaMalfa of our 1st District. As a community, our collective voice is strong. Sign email petitions from organizations like Natural Resource Defense Fund ( to support their legal work at federal level on behalf of the earth’s resources. Let our city and county officials know we want a clean energy provider, like Valley Clean Energy in Davis and Woodland.

Trees — Give a gift of the planting of carbon dioxide-oxygen transformation machines called trees as Christmas and Birthday presents, or as a memorial. Arbor Day Foundation ( is one organization that plants here in the USA as well as abroad. TreeSisters ( is a global network of women who nurture the seedlings and donate to fund restoration of forests in South America and Africa.

Promote the Vote — Encourage consistent voting behavior by messaging people all over the USA to remind them to use their voting privileges as a volunteer of this Elders Climate Action project. They learned that 37% of people with strong environmental priorities are not always the most consistent voters.

Resist – Reduce – Reuse – Recycle — Take keeping stuff out of the waste stream to a new level personally and by asking businesses we patronize to use less packaging materials, and recycle, and donate old inventory rather than putting it in a dumpster. Thrift shops are cool. Give pre-owned goods as presents. Toilet paper production takes a big chunk out of dwindling forests to satisfy the needs of billions of people. It is made of clean recycled paper.

Electric and hybrid cars — Buying an electric car will reduce greenhouse gas emissions dramatically when enough of us do it. More and more are available, and so are charging stations. Write to businesses and cities to convert to electric trucks and buses soon.

All we have taken for granted of the earth’s abundance is being threatened. Its carrying capacity for more and more human demands is weak. Humans use as much ecological resources as if we lived on 1.75 Earths.

The good news is we can change that by stepping in and stepping up to do our parts. What matters to you to keep and grow in this beautiful place? Any effort you make will make a difference.

There is no Planet B.

ACTION – Educate, educate, educate the young people and all those you know about the situation and what each of us can do to reverse global warming.

Shirley Freriks of Elders Climate Action Network is a retired executive and life long lover of the Great Nature, now living in Grass Valley. Contact her at

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