Helpers 2022: Climate Change Activists Leading the Way

Climate Helpers 2022

It was the iconic Fred Rogers that told us, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

At Good Good Good, we’ve made that the foundation of our work — to know that even in times of extreme hardship, there are always people looking to do good in the world, people ready to receive the good, and most of us at the intersection of taking action. 

This past year has been another “unprecedented” year (ugh), full of overwhelming challenges and large-scale catastrophes. But what keeps us moving forward, what keeps us afloat amidst so many unknowns, is the potential to respond, problem-solve, and care for one another.

2022 ushered in violence and fear — threats to healthcare (the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade), ongoing climate change (climate disasters rocked areas across the globe), political unrest (Russia invaded Ukraine and continues to inflict unrivaled human rights violations) — and so much more.

But in these heartbreaking moments, we cling to hope. We must.

From entertainers using their platforms to help others, and protesters and activists fundraising and speaking out to change the future, to community members providing necessities to their neighbors at war, or leaders fighting to end gun violence — this issue celebrates just a tiny amount of the work at the center of it all.

What we love most about sharing and celebrating good news is that it’s messy and real; it’s full of hope, failure, triumph, and resilience. It helps us step into a new day with the unwavering belief that things do get better.

And it’s helpers like these that solidify this hope. As we step into another year navigating these unparalleled trials — and the enduring humanity that accompanies them — we look to them. 

Every year we highlight helpers in a number of categories — and this year we’ve chosen these categories:

In this post, we’re highlighting Climate Helpers and simple ways to make a difference:

Climate Helpers To Know —

The Global Alliance of Territorial Communities

The Global Alliance of Territorial Communities
Illustration by Johnathan Huang for the Goodnewspaper

Indigenous communities have always been at the forefront of tackling the climate crisis, but their warnings have too often been met with empty promises. So, they organized.

The Global Alliance of Territorial Communities (GATC) is a political platform of Indigenous and local communities representing 35 million people from 24 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America — defending over 958 million hectares of land spanning most of the world’s endangered tropical forests.

In September, members of the alliance and their allies rallied in New York to meet with policymakers and donors during Climate Week, which brought together the most influential global leaders in climate action.

Speaking as one united voice, GATC drew attention to previous promises made by international bodies that failed to materialize and demanded immediate action, such as direct financing, land rights, protection of the lives of community leaders, and more.

Though this resilient community has been able to adapt continuously to climate change, this combined global effort is saying enough is enough.

Learn about the leading Indigenous activists you should know 

Changemakers Behind the Inflation Reduction Act 

In August 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act — a bill containing important tax and health care changes, as well as the largest-ever investment in fighting climate change in the U.S. (around $370 billion in total) — thanks to the diligent efforts of young congressional staffers, organizations like Sunrise Movement, Senate lawmakers, and frontline communities who all kept the bill alive.

This bill is set to incentivize folks who choose clean energy options, help to fight climate injustice, and reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030. While the bill contains disappointing compromises for fossil fuel companies, it truly is better than the alternative — no action.

“A lot of people think activism does nothing, that it’s like screaming into the void,” Aria Kovalovich, a staff member for the House Oversight Committee, told Teen Vogue.

“But working for politicians, I know they pay attention when people are sitting in their offices or rallying just outside them.”

Yvon Chouinard

Yvon Chouinard
Illustration by Johnathan Huang for the Goodnewspaper

Yvon Chouinard is an American mountain climber, environmentalist, and founder of the outdoor brand Patagonia.

From promoting adventure for all, to urging businesses to take responsibility for their environmental impact, Chouinard has gradually cleared a path for a new economic approach.

Rather than selling the company or taking it public, Chouinard announced that he and his family were transferring ownership of Patagonia, valued at about $3 billion, to a specially designed trust and a nonprofit.

Both were created to preserve the company’s independence and ensure that all of its profits — some $100 million a year — are used to combat climate change and protect undeveloped land around the globe.

“Hopefully, this will influence a new form of capitalism that doesn’t end up with a few rich people and a bunch of poor people,” Chouinard told The New York Times.

“We are going to give away the maximum amount of money to people who are actively working on saving this planet.”

3 Ways To Advocate For Climate Action in Your Community:

  • Listen to the “How to Save a Planet” podcast, a show about climate change and the energizing solutions, or checkout the book “The Intersectional Environmentalist” by Leah Thomas from your local library.   
  • Sign climate petitions and vote in every local, state, and national election. The climate crisis will not be solved by individual action alone. Electing leaders who will put laws in place that will hold corporations accountable is key to furthering climate action.
  • Organize your own climate movement within your community, workplace, and school. Visit globalclimatestrike.net/organise for ideas, resources, and next steps to take action now. 

Article Details

December 14, 2022 5:30 AM
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