A Solutions-Based Approach to Climate Change

Focusing on the problems that climate change is causing often paralyzes people and stops them from taking action. Focusing on solutions provides opportunities for people to get into action.

I would like to talk with you about how it is more effective to communicate about climate change from a solutions-based perspective than it is to communicate about climate change from a problem-based perspective. So much of what we are currently hearing about climate change talks about the problems – polar ice caps melting, the rainforest in South America is on fire, the challenges that we’re having with reducing CO2 emissions below the acceptable level, the fact that we may only have twelve years left before climate change runs a devastating impact over the planet runs devastating impacts over the planet, and more dominate the talks about climate change. Yet with all of this information, why are we not taking any action. Is the information incorrect? Do people just not care? Or is something else going on here?

All this information is true and it’s valid. And so much of the focus with climate change has been on you. You are the problem. You’re the problem. You’re the problem. You’re the problem. You’re the problem. You’re the problem. You’re the problem and I’m the problem too. Let’s think about this from a different perspectiveΒ  So if we are talking about everybody is the problem, she’s the problem, he’s the problem. Yes it is accurate that climate change is a man-made problem and at some level we are all contributing to climate change in our own way. Here’s the thing though. There’s no one person that’s responsible for climate change and there is no one company that’s responsible for climate change.


A lot of climate change has come as a result of CO2 emissions, methane emissions, and greenhouse gas emissions and for so long we didn’t know how harmful all these things were. The U.S. built its economy around the principle that we have all the resources and because we have all the resources we can just keep on wasting them. This has been the model of economics since Adam Smith wrote his book, β€œThe Wealth of Nations.” in the late 1800’s. With this said, this model doesn’t work anymore and it’s clear that that doesn’t work anymore. Global warming is showing us that there no question that the extraction/use/burn/slash/destroy/blow up model of our economic principles doesn’t work anymore.Β 

Business are definitely equally or possibly more responsible for climate change and coming at climate change from a blame someone else model that is solely focused on the problems that are happening starts to create a situation whereΒ  we don’t know what to focus on. There are so many problems happening! There are so many issues happening! What do I do? Aaaagggghhhhhhh!!!!!

There are so many things happening all of which are catastrophic potentially. I get that. And yes it’s very very easy to run around run around and feel like you need to go crazy because of all of the problems that are happening in the world. Yes they’re all happening. Yes they’re all catastrophic. But one when the focus is on a new problem every day it becomes very tough for you to focus your energy on anything. And here’s the thing – in my opinion, to be able to solve climate change we need each human being out there in the world focusing their energy on one or two solutions to climate change that they can implement easily, quickly, and effectively and engage another 10 people to join them on this on their work of reducing the environmental impacts that they are committed to reducing in the world.

So if your passion is solar, then pursue solar solutions. If you are passionate about reducing the amount of food waste that gets sent to landfill,then go work on that. If you are passionate about reducing agriculture’s impact on climate change, then go work on that.Β 

Find another 10 people who are passionate about what you are passionate about and start a community-based project. Let’s look at agriculture as an example. Agriculture is the largest emitter of methane and carbon dioxide emissions and also one of the largest emitters of nitrous oxide which happens when nitrogen interacts with the soil and produces a harmful chemical called nitrous oxide that is 300 times more dangerous than methane emissions and carbon dioxide emissions for the environment. What if you could collectively work with farmers in your area to use organic practices and biofuels that can significantly reduce their methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions?

We all need to be taking focused clear action to reverse climate change and global warming. The action that one person takes may be completely different than that actions that another person takes and that’s fine, as long as we are all taking some action on a daily basis to reverse and eliminate the impacts of climate change from being as catastrophic and devastating as they can be. If everybody is focusing on one or two areas that they can put their time, energy, and effort into then that is a huge win for the planet.

When it comes down to the finger pointing the blaming the etc etc. Think about it like this. I’d imagine that a lot of us have worked in companies and/or departments that weren’t perfect. Actually, I’d imagine that every single one of ushas worked in a company or department where things weren’t perfect and I can imagine that every single one of us has been blamed for causing a problem at work. And when we are the problem, when we are the cause, we frequently get mentally paralyzed

Think about if this was happening every day in your work environment, β€œJohn what did you do wrong. Sarah what did you do wrong. Courtney what did you do wrong. Michael what did you do wrong. Caitlin what did you do wrong.” And your day to day job becomes a finger pointing process. Wouldn’t you get paralyzed and start to not take action because we feel so badly about ourselves being the problem, being the reason why this didn’t work, and being the reason why this failedMentally it’s very common for us to get paralyzed mentally when we feel we are the problem. So it’s the same thing when it comes to climate change. When you’re the problem and you’re the problem and I’m the problem and she’s the problem then we get paralyzed and we decide not to take action because by doing nothing we don’t have to deal with the guilt of being the problem and we hope that we can scathe by unnoticed to live another day.

Rather than focusing on the problem or problems, let’s focus on the solution and talking with others about the solutions to climate change. This is something that I’ve been experimenting with lately when I have been talking to people about climate change. I used to focus on the polar ice caps are melting. I used to focus on greenhouse gas emissions are at this level. I used to focus on food waste having such a huge impact on climate change and now I am looking at it from a solutions-based perspective. People know these things. People are well aware that carbon emissions are at a level that is not safe anymore for human beings and at a level we’ve never seen it that before. People are well aware that we are wasting too much food. People are well aware that there are too many cars, buses, and trucks on the roads submitting methane gas into the environment.

Look, we know this. Knowledge is valuable and without clear solutions that people can take action on, not much is going to happen. I also know that a lot of people are going to want to participate in something and not everybody is going to take that initiative. Not everybody is going to lead a project in your community and a lot of people want a path they can follow. If you approach somebody and you say β€œHi Rita, I am really concerned right now about the amount of food waste that we’re producing in our city and here’s a solution that I have to it” you have just opened up an opportunity for Rita to step into it rather than another problem for her to deal with. Rita may start to see that she can participate in something that can help her solve a problem. If you say to Rita, β€œI have a solution and here’s my solution. I’d like to start a community composting program. Would that be something you’d be interested in?” You have now offered Rita an opportunity to participate by focusing on a solution.

Rita may yes, Rita may say no, Rita might come back and say, β€œHey Michael you know I’d love to get a proposal from you. I think this is something we’d be interested in” or Rita might come back and say, β€œHey you know I don’t think we can start a community composting program as it is going to be too expensive this year and we have been talking about some ideas to bring in more sustainable practices. Can you help us with that by providing a different solution?”

And if you said to Rita, β€œYou know, I’m really concerned about our environmental impact as a company and as you’ve seen manufacturing companies have one of the highest environmental impacts because we use a lot of electricity and we are we have an assembly line which uses power 24 hours a day. You know we’re causing a lot of problems here?” You may get a defensive response from Rita or shut Rita dow

There are a lot of people out there who want to do something about climate change. There’s actually been a very interesting study done showing that shows where everybody stands on climate change. And it showed that about 15 percent of people are 100 percent yes, I want to do something about climate change. I am passionate about this. I love this. Tell me more. I want get to work!

About 30 percent of people believe in climate change. They think that it’s a problem but aren’t really going to be taking a lot of action. They might sign a petition, they might go out and rally some support to at least engage people, and they may talk to a few people, but they might not take action on their own. There’s another 30 percent of people that are kind of iffy about climate change. They think it’s real but they’re not sure how it’s going to impact their lives. They’re not sure they can do anything about it. They’re really not taking action, but could be moved to action if an opportunity arises. And then there’s another 15 percent of people that are going to deny climate change and global warming and will fight with everything they’ve got to deny climate change. It’s ok, truly as denying climate change is part of their identity and you shouldn’t spend your time trying to convince them that climate change is real.

It’s much better to focus on the 30 percent of people that believe that climate change is real and will take small action and the 30 percent of people that won’t may take action if you can provide a solution that they can jump in to. These are the people that may go from being somebody who’s on the fence or somebody who’s taking small actions to somebody who’s taking big actions because you have something for them to do.Β 

So let’s start focusing on solutions and if you are unsure about how to solve the issues that you are concerned about reach out to me as I would love to help you, or your company get into action to reduce your impact on climate change and global warming.

Michael Forman is the founder of Pure Love Sustainability Inc, a sustainability company that is focused on reversing and eliminating climate change.. Our website is www.purelovesustainabilityinc.com and our Facebook page is also Pure Love Sustainability Inc. I am also always available via email at purelovesustainabilityinc@gmail.com

I look forward to having more in-depth conversations with you about climate change and how we can have effective conversations with people about how we can start taking action and moving forward and getting getting work done here.

The Fashion Industry and Climate Change

The fashion industry produces more methane and carbon dioxide than the aviation and transportation industries combined and is the industry with the second largest contribution to climate change after agriculture.

On Friday August 9th I presented at the Project Green Boise Sustainability Summit for Teachers about the impact that fashion has on our global water resources and climate change. The aim of this two-day summit for Boise and West Ada School District Teachers is to provide lesson plans and lessons that teacher can use to bring sustainability education into their classrooms, and to provide teachers with the knowledge that they need to educate their students on climate change and the sustainability challenges that we will be facing in the future.

My presentation focused on Fashion’s Impact on Global Water Resources. Research from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and from Fashion Industry magazines show that fashion is one of the most unspoken of and most impactful industries in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, carbon emissions, and water use as it takes 10,000 gallons of water to harvest the volume of raw cotton that is needed to develop one pair of jeans and another 750 gallons of water to produce the same pair of jeans (https://unfccc.int/news/un-helps-fashion-industry-shift-to-low-carbon). Eventhough fashion is not my background, I was inspired to learn more about fashion’s impact on claim change after attending a Project Drawdown workshop in Boise and hearing a documentary filmmaker talk about the work that he is doing documenting nine Boise high school students to learn about how they believe climate change will affect their lives.

These students were very concerned about fashion and its impact on global warming and after researching fashion’s impact on climate change. I started to see that educating students on the environmental impacts of the fashion industry may put enough pressure on the fashion industry to cut its carbon emissions and resource use, while also creating students who are global citizens that take action to inspire new solutions and actions towards reversing climate change.

The Fashion industry also contributes to climate change as conventionally produced cotton, of which 99% of the world’s cotton is conventional produced and is typically fertilized with nitrous oxide (https://www.commonobjective.co/article/can-fashion-stop-climate-change). Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas that is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Our goal at Pure Love Sustainability Inc. is to reverse and eliminate climate change and is determined to educate and inspire and lead movements where students, adults, communities, businesses and local governments take action to reduce their carbon footprint and their impact on the planet.

For more information about Pure Love Sustainability Inc. and the work that they do to reverse climate change, please either visit our website or email me directly.

Michael Forman

Founder

Pure Love Sustainability inc.

Boise, ID 83712

(208)584-1492

purelovesustainabilityinc@gmail.com

www.purelovesustainabilityinc.com

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I am a Highly Accomplished Sustainability Professional

And I’m no longer going to hide this for fear of making people feel bad or because I am worried about being too self-promotional

Being a business owner is scary. In my experience, it takes a willingness to constantly step outside of your comfort zone, a willingness to put yourself out there over and over again without knowing if you will produce results, a willingness to try new things that you had not been open to prior to being a business owner, a desire to learn new skills so you can attract customers and putting your heart on the line over and over again.
One of the new things that I am doing as a business owner, which is way out of my comfort zone, is writing my own press kit. Writing is well within my comfort zone and something that I do extremely well, what is outside of my comfort zone is self-promotion. I have had a disdain for self-promotion for quite some time, partially because I feel like talking about my accomplishments makes other feel like they are not doing enough and partially because I downplay my accomplishments at almost every chance that I get.
I am typically really good at producing results and producing them quickly and for almost all of my life I have thought that the things that I have accomplished require no special skill, no talent, and are things that anyone can do.
To make this a real example – I have worked with over 60 hotels, restaurants, commercial kitchens, stadiums and grocery stores in 7 different cities and states to help them divert over 5,000 tons of food waste from the landfill and prevent 4.2 gigaton of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere and until 2 months ago I would never share that I produced these results with people. I have also helped these same 60+ clients cumulatively reduce their waste hauling bills by over $600,000. I also conducted food waste audits, labor audits, designed and presented ROI reports to my clients and have trained over 1,000 kitchen staff members of the clients that I have worked with.


Yet all I would tell people about the work that I have done in this realm that I was working with over 60 hotel, restaurant, grocery store, commercial kitchen and stadium clients throughout the country to help them reduce the amount of food waste that they send to landfill. I would hide my accomplishments because I thought that I did nothing special and produced nothing out of the ordinary and 2 months ago I realized that I have done amazing work that not everyone could do successfully. I also had no prior experience in this field, created the food waste audit and labor audit processes and reports from scratch with zero outside influence.

My previous uncomfortability with self-promotion has kept me from reaching my business goals and while I have worked through some of this fear over the last few months, the thing that is pushing me over the edge is having to write a press kit. As I learned from a friend who has been in PR for 15 years, a press kit is just a massive self-promotional package where you talk about your accomplishments, speaking engagements that you’ve had, breakthrough results that your business has produced and more. I was so uncomfortable doing this and I committed to going past my fears and writing the press kit. It took a few tries and not quitting and the work has been worth it as I already am more comfortable talking about the work that I have done and am less afraid to share it with people.

If you were just as scared as I was about self-promotion I highly recommend that you write a press kit. It will push you past your comfort zone, which is so crucial for a business owner. I have been pushed so far out of my comfort zone in founding and marketing Pure Love Sustainability Inc. It honestly has been tough and it also has been worth more than its weight in gold.

Michael Forman is the founder of Pure Love Sustainability Inc. Michael Forman is a native of New York City who moved to Boise in Jan. 2018 because he wanted to be able to help Boise citizens, communities, businesses, organizations and local governments reduce their environmental impact and reduce their impact on climate change. You can schedule a food waste audit and/or energy-efficiency audit for your home, business, building or food establishment with Michael by either calling (208)584-1492 or sending an email to purelovesustainabilityinc@gmail.com

Is there a place for spiritual healing in politics

I’m going with something different today. There’s a lot of crazy s*** happening in America today and very few people in “positions of power” are addressing the inequality that has happened in our society for decades. While I did not watch the Democratic Presidential debates — partially because I don’t own a tv and partially because I decided to do other things that evening — I read the recaps on CNN and MSNBC and there is one candidate who is speaking to the inequality that exists in society. This candidate is also really winning me over, although I know that they have no chance of winning, because this candidate is talking about healing the divides in our country and is addressing real issues that are continually swept under the rug.

This candidate is not Bernie Sanders, is not Joe Biden, is not Kamala Harris, nor Elizabeth Warren, it’s actually Marianne Williamson. Here are some things to know about Marianne Williamson:

She’s Oprah’s spiritual advisor. Whether that means anything to you or not is your opinion and at the very least it means that she’s connected to Oprah who is one of, if not, the most powerful woman in the world.

Millions of people look to Marianne Williamson to guide their lives and help them do the spiritual work to live the lives that they want to lead.

In her early 20’s she foundedΒ Project Angel Food, a volunteer food delivery program that serves home-bound people withΒ HIV/AIDSΒ and other life-threatening illnesses.

She is also the co-founder of theΒ Peace Alliance, a nonprofit grassroots education and advocacy organization supporting peace-building projects.

Marianne Williamson is a powerful woman who creates and leads massive, life-altering and society-altering work. She is bringing a spirituality, compassion and healing to politics, all of which are needed and missing. I know that she has zero chance of winning and it’s sad that she has zero chance of winning because her fresh, self-expressed, compassionate platform could lead to intergenerational and intersocietal healing which could break down the structures that keep most people stuck where they are and prevent only the top 1% of all Americans from benefitting.

Climate change is here, we now need to work to mitigate its harmful effects

I just had a very interesting conversation on Facebook with the founder of the Climate Change: Adaptation, Mitigation, Resilience Facebook group about how we cannot actually reverse climate change as the law of thermodynamics states that things can never reverse to their previous states. Instead of saying that we are going to reverse climate change we should be focused on mitigating and/or stopping the adverse effects that climate change will have.

This conversation turned on a light bulb that had never existed for me before as I have always used the term reversing climate change and have actually always meant mitigate and/or stop the adverse effects that climate change will have. This really clarified my vision and I hope that it will clarify yours as climate change is here, it’s happening and while it is alarming, we must act. We must act more than we ever have.

In the spirit of action, I highly recommend that you read the book “Project Drawdown” by Paul Hawken. Project Drawdown reveals the scientifically-backed top 100 solutions to climate change. Hawken provides a refreshing perspective of optimism, an equally refreshing view that the power is within our hands and the message that we can make the difference in mitigating and/or preventing the harmful effects that climate change is having and will have. Some of the solutions to climate change that “Project Drawdown” has concluded are no-brainers such as transportation, renewable energy and reducing food waste and some are shocking as science shows that the number one solution to climate change is refrigerant management 🀯 and the number 6 and number 7 solutions to climate change are educating girls and family planning 😲.

If you are reading this message I am confident that you care about the planet, so I recommend that you read “Project Drawdown” and start taking action to make a difference on the solution that matters most to you.

Michael Forman is the Founder of Pure Love Sustainability Inc., a Boise, ID based sustainability consulting firm whose mission is to mitigate and prevent the harmful effects of climate change. If you would like to speak about what you, your community, your business, your family or any other group that you are a part of can do to reverse climate change send me an email at: purelovesustainabilityinc@gmail.com

Averting Climate Change Locally

Climate change is already in effect as global temperatures in many parts of the U.S. are already rising, seas levels are rising, ocean acidification is happening and we are seeing the impacts of these changes in the climate. I have been doing a lot of research lately on the local impacts of climate change and wanted to bring some interesting data to people.

The first link that I found shows the fastest warming cities and sates in the U.S. Some of the cities and states on the list may not be a surprise and other may be total surprises, I in fact was quite surprised that Boise, ID (my home city) is the 13th fastest warming city in the country with temperatures having risen 3.9 degrees Fahrenheit in the last 48 years. Yet Idaho is not one of the fastest warming states in the country. The link to this article is below:

https://assets.climatecentral.org/pdfs/April2019_Report_EarthDay.pdf?pdf=AmericanWarming-Report

Another interesting one is that in 2016 the EPA released state by state data on the potential impacts that climate change can have on each state. I read the Idaho data because I was curious to see how my state would be impacts dby climate change. Water is going to be the biggest challenge in Idaho as climate change continues to wreck havoc. I was really surprised to see that due to decreased water flows that Idaho’s hydroelectric power generation would be reduced. This is significant because 51% of the state of Idaho’s power is generated by hydroelectric sources. The link to the impacts that climate change will have on Idaho is below and there is data for each state as well. I found Idaho’s info my typing “how climate change will impact water in Idaho”.

https://19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-09/documents/climate-change-id.pdf

Each state will be impacted differently by climate change and we all need to be on the same page and take the same actions to avert climate change. Local action is going to be the key to this process as the federal government currently denies climate change and state and local governments are making efforts to reduce their carbon emissions by 2035, which is great and 2035 is too late as the effects of climate change may be too strong to reverse by then. So local action is the key.

I know that I’m normally a make a big point and veer you in a direction. And I won’t do that this time, what I will do is ask you to think of an action or actions that you can take to make an impact locally on climate change. Once you think of an action or actions that you can take find a group of people whom you can share them with and start taking action on a local level. Every action does make a difference no matter how big or small.

Pesticides are dangerous to human health

Pesticide drifts and dumps are becoming commonplace in conventionally farmed systems. It’s as if farmers believe that they cannot produce crops without using pesticides, chemical fertilizers, soil additives and chemical herbicides. What happened? Chemical farming has only existed for the last 50 or 60 years. I do understand that it is very hard to farm large plots of land organically and with proper management it can be done.

Chemical farming is dangerous for everyone. When crop sprayers fly over a property the farmers or the family of the farmers (for farms that are on family property) need to go inside because the amount of pesticides that are sprayed are dangerous to reproductive, cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine and excretory system health. Once these chemical pesticides, fertilizers, additives, herbicides, fungicides and more are sprayed, one would think that their harmful effects stop there, but they do not. These dangerous chemicals run off of the plants and the land when it rains or when the soil or the crops are watered and infiltrate our water systems. Science shows that there is a higher concentration of pesticides in breast milk and the tissue cells of babies than there ever has been in the history of the world (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2569122/).

Chemical ag is harmful enough for fully grown adults and is even more dangerous for children as their immune systems and bodily systems cannot handle these dangerous materials (https://earthjustice.org/healthy-communities/toxic-chemicals/most-dangerous). Also when pesticides are sprayed by hand, you are required to wear a special suit that looks somewhat like a biohazard suit. You aren’t asked to wear this suit because infectious diseases are in the air, you are asked wear this suit because pesticides concentrations that are at the level that you are spraying them at are dangerous to your health.

I can go on and on about this and about the dangerous effects of pesticides and here’s the crux: we must end the reliance on chemical agriculture to preserve our planet, our water and human health. I know that large scale farms feed a lot of people and are the source of livelihood for a lot of people and organic farming is the way to go. Large scale farms can be transitioned to organic farms and we can be smarter and plant flowers and crops that attract beneficial bugs to kill the harmful bugs that farmers currently kill by spraying chemicals. You can transition your farm or garden away from pesticides and to an organic system.