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In August, Scot Lehigh of the Boston Globe published an article soliciting responses for reader’s thoughts on climate change.

A long-time CREW member and host sent us the article, suggesting we ask some of our members to write a note responding to Scot’s article, including a word about the ways CREW has impacted them and their thoughts on climate change.

The responses were too good to keep to ourselves, so we’re sharing them here as well. Read on to learn about the incredible impact small group discussions and everyday actions can have; and if you feel inspired, go ahead and sign up for an upcoming CREW to see for yourself what it’s all about!

Maura M.

I am a teacher (having recently left the profession after more than 30 years), a mother of two grown daughters, and also someone who has carried around the threat of climate collapse since the summer I turned eight, when I came across a tabloid headline that claimed we only had 10 years left before the climate collapsed. I was far too young to recognize that tabloids are hardly the place to look for accurate information, and so that headline really seared my soul. Still, although the headline was nothing more than clickbait, 1960s style, it wasn’t absolutely wrong. 

Unlike some of the people you cite, who don’t “believe” in climate change, I’ve never had to be convinced that the problem is real, although my understanding of the multiplicity of issues that comprise  global warming is quite a bit more sophisticated now than it was when I was eight years old. Back then, my idea was to have everyone start driving golf carts instead of cars, and I took a petition to that effect around the neighborhood and mailed the signatures of all my kindly neighbors to President Nixon. 

These days, the signs of what amounts to a global systems failure are all around us – contemplate the tragedy and irony of Maui’s water systems collapsing as firefighters attempted to quell those raging wildfires. I can’t think of a better metaphor for our situation than the massive, climate-fueled fires that become weather systems unto themselves, feeding their own spread. 

The fossil fuel industry as a whole has deployed a decades-long disinformation campaign, the evolving sophistication and penetration of which has become as much a threat to human survival as the actual burning of the fuels themselves. So I’m not surprised that many people reject the evidence of their own eyes. And  I imagine that many people intuit that to acknowledge the sheer scale of the climate emergency and the speed with which it’s unfolding is to open oneself to grief, and to despair or to the imperative to act. 

I counter my own grief for our collective losses – of wildlife, of clean air and water, of open spaces, of the very future – with the imperative to act.  I didn’t “retire” from teaching – I stopped teaching, although I loved it,  so that I could devote my time and my skills to doing everything I can in my small way to stabilize the climate. That’s where CREW comes in – because each day I ask myself how I can amplify my efforts, and CREW is one very effective way to do that. First, CREW is a community of people. We are not going to solve global warming by working separately. Through CREW, I’ve met people who, like me, have gifts to bring to the table. We all have skills and qualities we can contribute to the climate movement, and CREW is a pretty wonderful way to come together and share those, while also supporting one another in our efforts to decarbonize our lives.

 CREW works so well because of its very specific combination of vision and brass tacks. My guess is that many people refuse to involve themselves in climate issues because, in their heart of hearts, they envision an apocalyptic future that’s simply too frightening to contemplate – and I can relate, because I internalized that vision at age eight. But CREW works to help us come together to project a future with a healing climate, more predictable weather, cleaner air, water for all, more green space – all the elements that will also help us achieve a more socially just world. And since visions are only truly useful if they are accompanied by action, CREW offers a very systematic, detailed, practical roadmap for each of us to do all we can to get from here to there. 

I am also the chairperson of the Capital Region chapter of the Climate Reality Project and we, in turn, are part of a very vibrant statewide Coalition of Climate Reality chapters. (In fact, our state Coalition has become a model for Climate Reality Chapters in other states.) We work closely with other climate organizations on public education and lobbying and everything in between. We have just created a slide deck and tabling kit to help New Yorkers stack IRA, New York State, and utility incentives in order to decarbonize their homes and cars. We’re not really talking climate – we’re stepping around that barrier entirely and focusing on savings, as many other groups are. We’re hoping to reach people who don’t (or can’t bring themselves to) care about the climate. We think this is the best way to bring in some of those disengaged or resistant people you refer to in your article. Long term? I’d love to see some of those folks find community and support in a climate CREW, because although individual action is critical, we need to go forward in community. 

We usually associate “tipping points” with bad news – like the accelerating collapse of the ice sheets – but CREW reminds us that there is another kind of tipping point, one in which a CREW group seeds other groups, which seed still more groups, until everyone is bringing their particular set of gifts to the climate fight. Because that’s the only way we’re going to save ourselves.

Krae V.

Katherine Hayhoe, A leading climate scientist and communicator, says one of the most important things we can do to respond to an overheating world is talk about it.  However, as climate related events around the world begin to personally touch everyone on earth, that conversation must move from worrying and obsessing over it to what we can do about it. 

Having worked on the East End of Long Island on the conservation of land, and with the East Hampton Towns Energy and Sustainably Committee and as a co-founder of a local climate education and advocacy group, I have learned that action at the individual and community level is the key to affecting positive changes that will regenerate the world.  The reason why is that what we do every day with every choice we make is both the problem and the solution to how our societies affect our world.  And, while it is hard for me as an individual to see how my actions affect the entire world it is much easier for me to see how my actions, especially with friends and neighbors, can affect my community.  Steering our communities away from destructive practices that lead to vulnerability and collapse and towards regeneration, resilience and sustainability locally will improve our lives immediately and have far reaching, global impacts.  But this requires that we know what to do and support each other in doing it.  I found it so helpful to be part of a team that shared information and support that made it easier to make positive choices.  This was crucial.  I participated in a Carbon CREW which helped me connect with others who supported me in making choices that are in line with what I value most.  It is a great way to be part of the journey.  We created personal climate action plans and went from working on our own personal choices to engaging with friends and neighbors on community projects to transform our communities.  In addition to insulating my home, getting solar panels, getting heat pumps for heating instead of fossil fuel, eating locally and organic, not throwing away edible food, composting, and driving an electric car, my friends and I have motivated a green energy purchasing program – Community Choice Aggregation – for two of the 5 east end towns, started municipal composting projects and influenced government policy to bring solar power to affordable housing and identify appropriate sites for community scale solar and energy storage projects.  Nothing feels better than doing positive things, you believe in with other like-minded people.

Mike L.

I spent the last 7 years working as a City Planner in the Hamptons focusing on mitigating climate related issues. And I now currently work for Trust for Public Land as the Senior Program Manager for Trails in New York State. I am managing the development of two major multi-modal trail networks in efforts to encourage alternative modes of transportation and connect people to nature: the QueensWay and the Long Island Greenway.

I have spent the bulk of my career aimed at mitigating the impacts of climate change either through policy or programs at the local level. I’ve written battery storage laws, managed the creation of a climate action plan, developed policy to promote EV’s, more efficient homes, large scale solar, and I’ve encouraged elected officials to participate in State programs like: Climate Smart Communities and NYERSDA’s Clean Energy Community program. Many of the projects I’ve worked on or developed, focused heavily on reducing carbon emissions and many of them continue to have success.

But despite being a part of such progressive, climate related projects, my day-to-day actions don’t always reflect my professional gains. For instance, I still drive a gas car (Subaru Forester), even though I wrote multiple laws paving the way for EV infrastructure… And I also eat more red meat and waste more food than an environmentally conscious person should. While I know what to do and even how to do it… it’s hard doing the right thing all the time, especially in a world filled with so much negativity and “bad news” – it can be quite difficult to stay motivated and continue to live a more environmentally conscious life, especially when you feel alone or unsupported by your community. And when half the country thinks climate change is a hoax, it gets a little easier for that voice in the back of your head to get a little louder: “What’s the point.”

That being said, I’ve spent the last 2 years working with a nonprofit organization named Carbon CREW Project, somewhat of a book club with a mission, this community comes together to take on climate change through weekly meetings, positive encouragement and the development of personal climate action plans. CREW really emphasizes not only what one can do to reduce their carbon emissions, but also why it matters.  By drilling down on a UN study that states: “2/3’s of all emissions are determined by choices at the household level” and then facilitating an environment for people to share what they’re doing to make a difference, individuals are left feeling inspired and supported. 

This community gives me hope. Coming together to discuss how to waste less food or figuring out ways to drive less, doesn’t feel like a conversation about sacrifice, instead you’re left feeling like you’re participating in a game. A game that saves money, introduces people to a community and supports individuals as they adopt environmentally conscious ways of living. But most importantly, it also feels like a game that we can win. 

Chuck T.

The article was excellent until it turned political.

There are no “politicians”, that is a made up distinction, unfortunately one which too many of us live by today.

We are all human beings with an innate love for life and our families.

In order to solve the climate issue we need to focus on what holds us together, not our differences.

Enough said; Katharine Hayhoe says it best, “we need to focus on what we have in common in any conversation about climate”.

If there’s anything besides my Personal Climate Action Plan that is really valuable that came out of my Climate Crew Project work, it is the profound realization that I am personally responsible for the condition that the climate on this planet exists in today.

I may not have caused it all, and like everyone else I’ve done my part in bringing our planet to a climate crisis.

Until more people are willing to take a look at and own their responsibility in the matter of our climate we will not get the job done.

It’s my intention to bring Carbon Crew to all of the Rotary Family through individual club participation and also the Carbon Crew Project to the Creation Care Teams of the Syracuse Diocese in Central New York.  

I have no special role in my community; I’m just someone committed to being of service and providing what’s wanted and needed around me. 

My Rotary climate affiliations include being the Source Person for our Rotary District 7150 ESRAG (Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group) Task Force and the Task Force Leadership Team, also the Chairperson of the District 7150 Environment Service Committee and the organizer of the CNY Rotary Environment Team. Additionally, I am the Chairperson Elect of the Eastern North America ESRAG Regional Chapter.

In the Syracuse Diocese I am a member of the Diocese Care for Our Common Home Task Force, the Lead Person for the Task Forces’ Eastern Region, the Co-Chair of the Diocese Creation Care Team Committee and the Founder of the Joint Creation Care Team for the Annunciation and Saint John the Evangelist Churches. I am also active with the Catholic Climate Covenant and the Laudato Si Action Platform

I am a member of the local chapter for The Foundation for Climate Restoration as well as the Rotary Ambassador for the Climate Restoration Network.

Additionally, I participate with the Citizens Climate Lobby, Third Act, the Pachamama Alliance and the Climate Reality Project.

As if that is not enough, I am currently a full time architect in my 50th year as a sole practitioner of C. Lewis Tomaselli Architects 

Additionally over the past 30 years I have sung in a Christian Contemporary Choir called The Exodus.

I will be 80 years old next month and I love my life!

Like the George Bernard Shaw quote goes, “I want to be thoroughly used up when I die”

I think I have a shot at it.

I don’t really think you’re going to use any of what I had to say about the article, and I do want to thank you for the opportunity to write down most of the things that I’m involved with outside of my personal life; as I’ve never done that before.

Mary P.

I would be happy to be quoted on what I am about to write.  I am Mary C. Pearl, Ph.D. and I am 73 and a conservation biologist.  I divide my time between Eastham on Cape Cod and New York City, where I recently retired as the dean of City University’s Macaulay Honors College.  Before that, I was founding dean of the college of sustainability at Stony Brook Southampton, a branch of the State University of New York on eastern Long Island.  I currently serve on the boards of the Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos in Ecuador, the Instituto de Pesquisas Ecologicas (IPE: the institute for ecological research) in Brazil, and the Center for Large Landscape Conservation, a global research and action organization based out of Montana. I’m also a member of the International Biodiversity Network.   

And yet, even though my career has been focused on saving biodiversity around the world, I have been troubled by my relative lack of knowledge concerning the impact of my own personal choices as they affect climate change.  Then I had the opportunity to join CREW, which is an organization that connects a person to a group of other people who live nearby to talk about our role as individuals in combating carbon in the atmosphere, following a CREW-provided curriculum over a series of Zoom meetings.  At our first gathering, I was astonished to learn that the UN Environment Program has calculated that fully two-thirds of all greenhouse gas emissions are determined by choices at the household level.  As one person, I feel helpless, but even knowing that a dozen other people are examining their choices along with me gave me hope.  Shortly after my CREW experience, when I spoke on the future of the environment at an international conference of women leaders in Colombia, I recommended that they each join a CREW group. I want the reach of CREW to expand to women around the world. After all, it is largely women who are making household consumption decisions. If all of us make the decision to only buy food that our families will consume and use our good sense rather than “sell-by” dates, think of how much landfill from excess produce would be avoided.  In the US, 43% of all food waste comes from households.  I loved that my CREW-mates were of all ages and backgrounds, and that we each had areas of knowledge or experience of value to share to help us making better choices concerning what we buy, what we wear, how we travel, and what we throw out. We enjoyed getting to know one another, and derived energy and hope and support to make decisions that better protect our planet.

Mary M.

Thank you for highlighting this summer as that of our “climate discontent.” I so appreciate you writing about the human-induced actions that are severely damaging our global atmosphere. No more reliable weather, no more places not affected by devastating floods, wildfires and biodiversity loss.  The more we write about it and talk about it, the more likely people will take mending, non-harming, healing action.

And there are alot of actions we can take.  I write a column called Climate Local Now for the local paper, the East End Beacon, based in Riverhead, NY, calling attention to healing, non harming actions.  A writing partner and I both continue to expand our knowledge about the many actions we, as individuals, can take, tweaking our lifestyles, educating our community, and one of my favorites, running pilot programs that help people learn by doing. We both are graduates of Carbon CREW ( a free program dedicated to helping us all lower our carbon footprint.  The science informing Carbon CREW is from Project Drawdown ( which has become the world’s leading resource for climate solutions, and from the film and book by Damon Gameau based on Drawdown science: 2040 ( 

Being part of a 6-week CREW has significantly impacted my life, introducing me to like-minded people who are now new friends and ongoing partners in getting more and more people to see that even small actions, tweaking our lifestyles a tiny bit here and there, can have an outsized impact: like reducing food waste, and pledging to send zero food scraps to become waste, rotting in landfills, releasing methane, a dangerous climate polluter.  Project Drawdown has ranked Reducing Food Waste as a top solution, #3, after on-shore wind turbines (all over Greece now!) and utility-scale solar photovoltaics (the US solar potential is huge and very profitable.)  I’m keen on stressing how each of us can tweak our lifestyle a bit (starting with food waste and saving money!) because I learned at one of my CREW sessions that there is tremendous power in individual action.  I like sharing this quote from the UN Environmental Program Report: ⅔’s for all GHG emissions are determined by choices by us – at the household level – because it motivates me, other CREW members and and I hope motivates even more people.
Scot – you might consider an article on the power of individual actions.  There is science behind the power of our actions.   It’s when we start working together that the real healing takes place… David Hume, Scottish Naturalist.

Rachel T.

Climate change is inarguably the most critical issue we are facing as a country, and a species, because it affects every single aspect of our lives. I understand that is overwhelming and scary, and causes a lot of people to downplay it, ignore it, or downright deny it. But as we are seeing so clearly this summer (and have been seeing for decades), we cannot wish away the laws of physics and chemistry and biology that govern our planet and the systems that sustain life. I have been working to educate and support people to address the climate crisis for almost a decade. Every single person has a role to play in solving this crisis – we need massive and fundamental systems change, and we are all a part of those systems and therefore have power to influence them. The work that the amazing team at Carbon CREW is doing to educate and empower people to take the climate crisis personally and use their agency to create change is really inspiring. It reminds us that we have so much more power than we think, and that when we come together that power multiplies exponentially and we can have a real impact. Making the changes the climate crisis is demanding of us does not have to only be a sacrifice, it can bring more connection, gratitude, and alignment into our lives and bring us genuine joy.

Dieter V.

I attended a presentation in 2018 by Paul Hawken and found his outlook on life and his pointing out the responsibility we as individuals should take and documented in his book “Drawdown” most convincing. That led to the logical formation of the Carbon CREW movement where I was involved in the initial test phase. I can’t think of a more convincing way to tackle this problem

We tend to look to “others” to do something regarding the environment but nothing is more important than one’s own personal action. The sum of that is a movement – Carbon CREW- which will assist greatly to reach our targets of a sustainable  world. It involves the people directly!

I strongly believe in the movement “from the bottom up”. To wait for “from the top down” is a waste of precious time we don’t have. Carbon Crew is the perfect and impressive example of spreading the gospel. Especially as households are responsible for 2/3 of all emissions (UN Environmental Report)

Sara G.

Carbon CREW has extraordinary potential, in its simple, practical and personal approach to meaningful individual impact, that is also highly replicable and as it catches on will have the exponential impact needed to rebalance the human relationship with our one and only planet. The most moving and empowering moments I’ve had in the multi-faceted movement to slow and address the challenges of the changing climate have come in Zoom CREW meetings with a remarkable spectrum of people. Every one of them, of us, can easily adopt the CREW process, the personal carbon action plan, and the easy-to-master process of leading CREW groups after participating.

I am ever more mindful of my daily choices, the impacts of these choices, and grateful for the relationships built through the wonderful group process – I run into people from the CREW groups I led, and we always reflect on how we’re doing, and reaffirm our dreams for this beautiful Earth.

Every choice matters! In and of itself, and as an example to one another. Most everyone wants to live more in harmony with the planet’s capacity, and the enthusiasm with which everyone adopts new practices and sees the potential to bring others along is quite powerful.

Once we know that all the information and technology we need to turn around the climate crisis is already at hand, it’s thrilling to envision and act toward attaining the critical mass needed to tip the planet back into sustainable balance.

What do you say? Let’s build a beautiful future together. Register for a CREW using the button below.