Link Between Wellbeing and Climate Change
The recent Paris Climate Change Summit delivered an agreement and raised the global consciousness. There are concerns that the agreement doesn't go far enough to address the challenge and that it is unfair to developing nations seeking to grow, but it is nonetheless amazing that the largest-ever gathering of national leaders was convened and that they were able to take a step in the right direction.
Climate Change and Wellbeing connect in a fundamental way, which I think California Governor Jerry Brown captured speaking from Paris. On moving beyond modernity Brown said, "we're talking about a different kind of life, a life not based on oil, and a life not based on so much emphasis on the individual as opposed to the common good." Brown is a leading voice calling for more significant action, calling for change in the way we live. However, when it comes to changing our lives he encourages, "Instead of being a burden, it's really an opportunity to live lighter on the planet. Friendship, beauty, art has to take the place of this heavy commodification of life on Earth."
The pursuit of Wellbeing aligns with Governor Brown's vision of living light on the planet. Wellbeing encourages the shift to Being, more than accumulating and consuming. Preparing a simple, nutritious meal is not only better for you than a fancy banquet, but it also demands less strain on the Earth. A walk with a friend or an afternoon working in the garden is better for your body than hours sitting in front of a screen. Outside activity also reminds us of the abundance of beauty and wonder already around us, replacing advertiser's messages promoting the neediness to consume more things to obtain happiness.
Incremental changes to support our personal Wellbeing, and that of our tribe (family, community, office, etc.), will improve out experience of life and our vitality. The bonus is that it might also change the world and support the paradigm shift that many scientists say is needed to heal our Earth.