What Do Family Values Have to Do With Fighting Climate Change?
If you’re reading this post, there’s a good chance you’re a strong supporter of climate solutions. But what was the moment that moved you from feeling concern to wanting to take action?
For Rolly Montpellier, it was a poem that read in part:
“My great, great, grandchildren ask me in dreams /
What did you do, while the planet was plundered?”
As he writes in this article for The Green Divas, he was newly retired at the time and in a period of self-evaluation. He realized he had to do something about climate change, for the sake of his grandchildren.
Concern for family is often a prime motivator for climate action. Climate change can seem like a remote and distant threat, and not everyone believes they will be personally affected. But once people start thinking about how climate change will impact the lives and well-being of their children and grandchildren, the threat becomes much more immediate and urgent. By showing how climate solutions can create a healthy and prosperous future for their families, we can help them understand how taking climate action aligns with their identities as parents or grandparents.
For more about linking personal identities with climate solutions, see Principle #1 of our report, Connecting on Climate: A Guide to Effective Climate Change Communication.
Rolly Montpellier, contributor to The Green Divas
I became a grandfather for the first time in the summer of 2005. I didn’t quite know what to expect. Life doesn’t really prepare you for this role. Why, it seems just like yesterday that I was a grandkid sitting next to my grandfather on his swing, moments I have always cherished. I now have four grandkids of my own, ranging in age from five to nine years old.
Parents nowadays are so focused on the busy-ness of raising children, driving them around to activities, homework, shopping… and let’s not forget their job or profession. Parents are just plain exhausted. Intimate time with their children is often hard to find and, of course, parents need their own time as a couple. Welcome to the 21st century grandkids.
Recently, I was a guest on the Green Divas Radio Show with Green Diva Meg. Meg and I are both grandparents who have become quite involved in climate action. During the interview, I was able to tell my story—about a grandfather who has turned climate activist. I wish to thank Green Diva Meg and Green Diva Lynn—the two Green Divas who have made this experience possible.