Everyone — we raised $4,840 since last week's email for India COVID relief. Thank you so much for contributing. Special shoutout to Dana for being our donor #1. Moments like this make me truly believe in the change we can all create together through tiny actions. 💌
I've been feeling particularly overwhelmed this week by... * gestures around wildly * and our May sponsor could not have been more timely. I was so glad to learn about April22, a marketplace to shop sustainable. The founder, Anya, is in our membership community, and I can't wait to ask her more about what she's building. (E.g. Anya, are you singlehandedly planning the downfall of Jeff Bezos?)
Okay, small talk is over. Let's chat electrification, our May topic. I used to think it was boring AF until someone offered to buy me a Tesla. Jk, that's just me manifesting, but I did realize how electrification can change all our lives for the better.
🎯 Action step 1 of 4: READ — Let's start by looking at a few articles together.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 1 of 4: READ.
🎯 Action step 2 of 4: LISTEN — we'll watch a short video or listen to a podcast to further expand on our topic.
Last week I promised you a 3-min video explaining what the heck fossil fuels actually are, and as usual, I got distracted by the next flashy thing: electric vehicles (EVs).
The reason I switched gears (haha get it) is because on Monday, we had a members-only fireside chat with Dr. Kim Nicholas. One of our founding members Joseph asked, "Do you think it's possible to meet any climate goals if electric cars are the default transportation mode for the next 20 years?"
The answer was a resounding No.
We have to electrify everything, including cars, AND reduce the need to drive. That's why today's LISTEN module talks about the true cost of EVs. Spoiler alert: EVs are cheaper if you're rich.
Today, I'm recommending a 5-minute video from Grist, my favorite climate news outlet. Shannon Osaka, a climate journalist, has a really funny overview on the true cost of EVs and how they're cheaper if you're rich.
Some of this, like the tax credit, only applies to the United States, but wherever you live, there's likely some sort of EV conversation going on.
My take: if you have the means to afford an EV, get one. Especially if you can get one secondhand. Those of us who are "climate privileged" should certainly do as much as possible to take individual action, but we can never forget that the goal is structural change that benefits everyone. Like expanded (and electrified) public transit!
I'd love to get your thoughts on this one -- there's a lot to unpack with the "electrify everything" movement.
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 2 of 4: LISTEN.
🎯 Action step 3 of 4: ACT — Now it's time to do something. Let's go!
Let's get right to it. Only one action today!
If you want more info on things to do around the house, check out our module from last April on home energy. One of the most fascinating things I learned is simply changing WHEN you use energy matters. Do your laundry + dishes when the sun is shining!
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 3 of 4: ACT.
Before we go any further, it's time for you to pledge your commitment. It takes less than 30 seconds to pledge and we can bother you about it in a friendly way, so we can hold each other accountable. Pledge here!
🎯 Action step 4 of 4: REFLECT — what can you commit to? What fresh perspectives can we look at?
This NYT article from earlier in May on the "lithium gold rush" is probably one of the most thought-provoking things I've read in a while. It's reminding me that we're building a new world, and as EVs become part of it, we've gotta think about progress holistically.
Some facts and takeaways:
I highly encourage you to read the article. Many of us have this mentality that buying an EV will solve climate change. Electrification is certainly a step in the right direction, but we have the chance to build a new world and keep people safe instead of charging towards "progress" at a cost to humans. As we switch to electric-everything, let's do it right!
🏁 Checkpoint: This is the end of action step 4 of 4: REFLECT.
Check out our membership community for more resources like free weekly events with social justice experts, sustainable product discounts, pre-written email templates, a social impact job board, and in-person hangouts with new friends. Thanks for taking action with Soapbox Project!