A plan for the planet

art by Peter Parnall

Today the internet is ablaze with calls for action, climate-centered content, and celebration for this space rock we call home…all of this can only mean one thing, it’s Earth Day.

I realize in writing this very blog, on this day, I’m adding to the noise that is Earth Day – but unlike most of the clamoring online today, I have a plan to save the planet!

Too bold of a statement? Maybe.
Am I a qualified climate scientist? Definitely not.
Do I hope you’ll keep reading anyway? YES.

Across the world people who spend much of the year ignoring our climate crisis are editorializing, reposting, and professing their love for the wonders of this planet. For the rest of us, today is an amalgamation of colonial-capitalist-white supremacy that presents as green capitalism and continues the cycle of harm to land, people, and resources. Corporations, journalists, and politicians serve up dangerous lip service and empty promises with no real commitment or care for the communities most impacted by climate disasters past and future.

Earth Day resonates with me in the same way many of the other designated days and months do. Women’s History Month, Trans Day of Visibility, Black History Month, the list goes on and on – I appreciate the intent (and even some of the resulting actions) behind these social awareness campaigns but they often fall short of sparking real long lasting change. Just as trans folks need protection year-round (not just one day), so does our planet. Our civilization’s survival depends on finding a slower, decolonized, more reflective way of life rooted in transformative justice. We need more than platitudes. We need a pathway to a future abundant in health, safety, and prosperity for all life, a future that values ecology and equity over profits and power.

When a problem like impending doom à la climate catastrophe comes along, to the average person (ME), the problem feels so big, so daunting, that most of us grab our reusable tote bags, head to the poles and hope for the best. But in case you haven’t read the headlines, our current methods aren’t working. Luckily, we don’t need to look to a political savior or super-advanced science to find our answers. We have the tools to address this crisis and it starts with personal, individual action.

Here’s the plan:


“People think accountability is an event, which comes back to being a ‘good person.’ I don’t think there are good people. There are people who do good and bad things. I think about that all the time because people think accountability is an event rather than an ongoing, minute-by-minute choice. This is also what you see in these ‘decisions’ made by people inside these death-making institutions, where people can literally convince themselves that they’re taking actions that are supposedly neutral because they have to [follow] the law. It’s just so much easier to turn back and rely on the rules. All the stuff we’re talking about is hard to do, and a lot of people just don’t want to do hard work.”

Establish a  practice of continuous hope, truth-seeking, showing up, and giving our best effort. “Accountability can look like apology, amends, repair, behavior change, and shifting the conditions that allowed harm and violence to happen in the first place.” So how does this relate to climate change?

  • End our relationship to habits or decisions where it is clear that our environmental values don’t align with our actions (stop eating meat, stop shopping with corporate giants, support local makers and farmers, reduce travel – whatever this looks like for you).
  • Make amends to the land – plant trees, waste less, grow a garden
  • Listen and have hard conversations. With our kids, our parents, our friends. Lean into generative conflict. Hold tensions alongside our care and respect for each other without avoiding or attempting to win. 
  • Think and act interdependently, for the earth, the self and others.
  • Take responsibility and change behaviors (however small or big).


Indigenous sovereignty is climate action. It is in the best interest of the mainstream climate movement to center Indigenous land, water, and sky protectors in their organizing. To avoid doing so is to carry on the legacy of colonization and white supremacy.”


  • Calculate the earnings made on stolen land this year, and consider how you might contribute to Indigenous-led work wherever you are.
    • “In the East Bay the Shuumi Land Tax is one small way to begin recognizing the impacts of the legacy of colonization while contributing to Indigenous women-led land work” – SOGOREA TE’ LAND TRUST
  • Support policies and politicians who are working with Indigenous-led organizations to rematriate the land.
  • Land return – “If you have access to land and wealth, consider your place in the lineage of this theft and how you might contribute to its healing, how you might reimagine your relationship to the land you are on.” – SOGOREA TE’ LAND TRUST

No matter the day, a thriving planet is paramount to building health, safety, and prosperity for all of us. This pale blue dot is our shared home and our common habitat and our collective wellbeing is determined by how we act together. 

Part of what I find both comforting and hopeful about how we repair our relationships with each other and this planet is that it’s a collective project. Our climate is not in peril because I forgot my reusable bags at home that one time, our planetary crisis is systemic. But when we work together, when we listen to the wisdom of the folks closest to the problem: we can change systems. We can write new laws and create new cultures. 

Our work together at Women’s Foundation California proves that year after year. Perhaps Angela Davis says it best, “It is in collectivities that we find reservoirs of hope and optimism.” These problems are collective and so are their solutions. So let’s work and play and live and learn towards rematriation, restoration, and regeneration – today, tomorrow, and for the next seven generations and on and on and on.

This work is powered by you.

The feminist future we are building together in California is going to be built by all of us sharing our time, our money, and our skills.  Please consider contributing today.

Together We Are Unstoppable.

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