Two degrees Celsius. The do-not-cross line for the most damaging affects of climate change.

NY Magazine published yet another article yesterday on how bad climate change is for all of us. As someone whose undergrad degree is Environmental Science and went back to grad school for Sustainable Building / Sustainable Food & Agriculture, the content itself wasn’t really surprising. 

But I’ve been in quite a funk the last 6 months or so about my career / where I’m at in life. I’ve been so bogged down in the everyday slog of M-F job and the associated politics that the content the job hasn’t seem to matter. I’ve been unhappy and wondering if this is what I want to do with my life for the next 30-35+ years. 

Which brings me to the idea of FIRE (financial independence/retire early) – how can I change the trajectory of my life so I don’t HAVE to be sitting at my desk 30 years from now? Selfishly, how can I create a different life for myself? But in reality, that is still another 15 years out for me in all honesty. 

So I continued to struggle with the day to day, wishing I felt that same fire for my career that I have since I first really learned what climate change meant back in 6th grade (thanks Mr. Frank – you’ll probably never know how much you’ve influenced my life). My head knew what I do is important, but my heart hasn’t been in it. 

Then I read the NY Magazine article today. It may not have been groundbreaking, new information, but it struck me in the heart. We need to do better, and we need to do better now. I’ve been reading for 20 years how we’re running out of time to avoid the worst of the possible climate change impacts, and that time is now.

Two degrees Celsius. 

The FIRE movement really focuses on individual lives and creating independence from your career and your need to earn an income. But for me it needs to be about more than just personal independence. Frugality and mindfulness have evolved out of green living for me, which has been the basis for how I live my life. I’d just forgotten the big picture of why it matters. 

I intend to tread lightly, and retire early. 

16 thoughts on “Two degrees

  1. Heya! Reading through some of your posts and they’re pretty interesting for cool stuff to do for free! Could I make a suggestion? Maybe switch to a theme in which posts are a picture and the first paragraph or so of text so the reader can click on the “read more” button to go to that page. It’s a bit hard to see the catchy titles if you’re scrolling through a few pages of text :).

    1. Thanks for the suggestion! Haven’t once switched my theme so maybe I should look into that.

  2. Love this! I was more environmentally conscious when my son was first born. I really need to get back to that. I was far more frugal then as well. Thanks for the nudge in the right direction!

    1. It’s been ingrained in me for so long I don’t know how to be anything else 😊

  3. You are so right, and yet the politicians in my country continue to call global climate change fake news, and half the populace eats it up. I don’t understand how people can deny something that’s literally right in front of their face, and I am out of ideas on how to educate people. Sadly, I don’t see this getting better any time soon. But I do the little I can to not be wasteful and to recycle as much as possible! I”m looking for other ways to be greener, maybe you could write a blog post about some of the small things people can do on a daily basis to help the environment!

    1. Hmmmm. Maybe I should write that post! It’s funny, I never understood how far behind much of this country is on recycling, not driving, etc until I lived in South Carolina. Eye opening for sure.

  4. I’m starting to climb out of the fox hole I’ve been in the past few weeks and saw this link on twitter! Despite the impression I get from your tweet about your feelings of your earliest writings, this holds up! It’s a cool introduction article to the blog and still holds up today!

    I love how you connect the concepts of FIRE, frugality, sustainable living and climate.

    1. Well thank you! I’m definitely proud of what that post started with that blog, and it certainly still holds true a year later.

  5. Here I am, just like I said on Twitter! Lol I all seriousness, I enjoyed seeing where you came from on this journey. I grew up in North Carolina and we always recycled, but I never paid any attention to a lot of environmental stuff like that until I lived in the Pacific Northwest for a few years. I don’t know if it was the culture there or what, but I feel like it really opened my eyes to the impacts of the food I consume, the materials I use, how I transport myself, etc. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Oh yes, the PNW is such an environmentally friendly bubble. It was a bit of a shock to move to South Carolina where I had to take all of my recycling to the transfer station if I wanted to avoid the trash.

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