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  • Occupy Wall Street: What Just Happened?

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Our Climate Ourselves

Supporting Grassroots Education

About Global Climate Change

What We Do

We provide training and materials to help people who are leading their families, their communities, their businesses, or their industries in taking action on climate change. We serve especially the many people who are convinced that climate change is a real and serious issue, but who feel poorly equipped to justify this concern to others, and the many people who have a sense that our world will be a much better, safer, and more beautiful place once we have addressed climate change, but can’t paint as clear a picture of that better world as they would like.  Our goal is to produce and distribute tools and trainings which empower such people and the people that they influence to become much more effective advocates for individual and collective action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and more articulate carriers of visions for how our communities will look and feel once we’ve weaned ourselves from fossil fuels.

Our Climate Ourselves aims to offer, and to train others to offer, both accurate data about the state of the climate, and a sense of possibility and purpose. We help people make the case that the problem is urgent and serious, but we also help them see the riches of resources and creativity available to address the problem once we decide to do so, and we help them discover their own vision of world that has succeeded in it’s response to climate change.

Although we are a small program with a small budget, we invest our time strategically, adding momentum where we can to reinforcing cycles of change that will continue to operate long after we lead a workshop, share a slide set, or distribute a piece of writing. We focus on three activities:

  • Climate Basics – Supporting people who are teaching others about climate change
  • Climate Vision –Helping people envision a society that exists in balance with its climate system
  • Climate As Teacher –Finding lessons in climate change

Who We Are

We are a small team based at Sustainability Institute, in Hartland Vermont – Beth Sawin, Phil Rice, and Diana Wright. We have backgrounds in biology, ecology, writing, systems dynamics, and teaching. We each are parents of school-aged children, children who will live with consequences of our generation’s actions on climate change. In our own lives each of us experimenting with lowering production of greenhouse gasses with schemes that range from telecommuting when we can, to growing much our own food, to heating our water with solar energy and our homes with wood. We are trying, but we are nowhere near perfect, and we know that our individual efforts. even if they were ‘perfect’ wouldn’t be enough to ensure our kids a healthy climate system. So we are, in this project, using what we have – systems knowledge, science training, personal commitment and a sense of possibility – to try to help the many people we’ve met and others we are yet to meet become what we all need to be, smarter, clearer, more persuasive, and more outspoken on the problem of climate change and the necessity of addressing it.

We don’t work alone, of course, we receive lots of help – from our colleagues at SI, from OCO participants, volunteers, and testers, and from our funders, especially The Hidden Leaf Foundation, and the New Horizons Fund.

Ways to Participate

Organize a workshop – depending upon your location, if you can assemble a group of 10 or more participants, we may be able to send a trained OCO presenter to lead the 1.5 hour Our Climate Ourselves Introductory Presentation. To inquire about this possibility send an email to oco(at) sustainer.org

Prepare yourself to present an introductory workshop on your own. We offer annotated Powerpoint slides and some tips on using them with your co-workers or community members. See our workshops page to learn more about delivering the workshop yourself.

Sign up for the OCO email newsletter. Periodically we send news, essays, updates on workshops and trainings and other information to a network of folks who have been involved in OCO presentations or want to support our work. This is also a good source for short, informative columns that may be reprinted in your own newsletters or used on websites promoting action on climate change.

Make a donation. Your tax-deductible donation allows us to develop more materials, and offer support to more climate change leaders.

Sustainability Institute • 3 Linden Road • Hartland, VT 05048 • Phone 802-436-1277 • Fax 802-436-1281 •  http://www.sustainer.org

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