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Fear and guilt don’t work. What does?

Don’t forget to register for the Sustainability and TRACS Summits below!

The No. 1 Thing You Can Do To Help Solve the Climate Crisis

Do you talk about the climate crisis? Or do you avoid the subject because it makes people uncomfortable?

Dr. Katharine Hayhoe is a world-renowned climate scientist and an evangelical Christian. She thinks we won’t be able to solve the climate crisis until more of us start talking about it.

In her new book, “Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World,” Dr. Hayhoe explains why and how people mentally shut down when thinking about the future. Who wants to think about a world in which the greenhouse gas effect — caused by human-made and natural fossil fuel emissions — increases the frequency and intensity of droughts, floods and wildfires? A future full of rising sea levels, loss of trillions of dollars of assets, climate refugees, wars, famine and more is overwhelming to many of us.

The primary messaging around the climate crisis for the past 50 years has been based on fear and guilt. It turns out fear doesn’t motivate people to action when they don’t know what to do next. Instead, it causes us to contemplate our own mortality, “invoking our finely tuned package of defenses … distraction, denial and rationalization,” says Dr. Hayhoe.

Guilt backfires when people are shamed for doing something they think is right and good for themselves and their family. For example, people who are aspiring to achieve “the American Dream” become understandably angry when someone suggests that they should use less resources. We’ve been told all our lives that we should pursue the American Dream! And now someone is telling me that is wrong!

If guilt and fear don’t work, what does work? Connecting with people through common values, talking about the local impacts of climate change and learning about the multitude of solutions and organizations that are actively working to reduce and even “draw down” carbon emissions. Here’s the good news: We have all the knowledge and technology we need right now to solve this crisis in a way that is good for people, the planet and our prosperity.

Dallas College’s Sustainability Office has chosen Dr. Hayhoe’s new book as our “Common Book” selection for Green Club students and Sustainability Team employees for the next year. We invite you to join us. We’ll share more information about how in an upcoming newsletter.

In the meantime, we invite you to join us for:

  • Two free, online conferences to learn about the tools and solutions we have available to us now that will allow us to survive and thrive in the next millennium
  • Weekly Sustainable U webinars

See Upcoming Events below.

Upcoming Events

October 2021 Sustainable U Webinars

Tuesday, Oct 26
Noon-1 p.m. — Online

Solar Incentive Programs From Oncor

Oncor is the electricity distribution utility for most of North Texas. It’s cheaper to save energy and install on-site solar than it is to build new electricity power plants and distribution systems. That’s why the state of Texas has authorized and funded Oncor to offer incentives to residential and commercial customers who lighten the load on the Texas electricity grid.

Learn what solar incentives are available to you and your business.

Speakers: Josh Emeter, India McKnight and other Oncor representatives

Register and read more about the Solar Incentive Programs event.

Thursday, Oct. 28

Women in the Environment meeting hosted by Dallas College at the Brookhaven Campus

“Women Who Followed Their Passion”

Register and read more about the Women in the Environment meeting.

Friday, Nov. 5

11th Annual Sustainability Summit — “Social Responsibility: Cultivating a Culture of Civic Engagement”

Register and
Monday-Tuesday, Nov. 8-9 

Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability (TRACS) Summit — “Hope for the Future”

Register and

Tuesday, Nov. 16
Noon to 1 p.m.

Recycling: Do You Know What To Throw? And Why?

Prior to the pandemic, recycling was in the news about shipments from the U.S. being turned away around the world. But with COVID-19 came an avalanche of single-use products, in a quest to keep us all safe and healthy. Now we have more garbage than ever and little idea of what actually belongs in the recycling bin and why. We can solve the problem by going back to recycling basics and reducing contamination at the curb. “Wish-cycling” — when we think something “should” be recyclable — is behind most of our recycling issues. In this webinar, you’ll learn how the recycling process works, why it’s important to keep contaminants out of the recycling stream and what you really should recycle.

Speaker: Lori Delacruz Lewis, assistant director of sustainability education, Dallas College

Register for the recycling webinar

Tuesday, Nov. 23
Noon to 1 p.m.

The Power of One

Speaker: Karen Cuttill, professional counselor, Dallas College

Register for “The Power of One.”

Check out more upcoming Sustainable U webinars.

Explore previous Sustainable U webinars

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