Dan Dolderman is a specialist in habit and changing people’s behaviour… and he believes that we are living through a time of great challenge to human civilization, perhaps greater than anything our species has yet faced, and as a result, that this is also a time of great potential for change.
An Environmental Psychologist at the University of Toronto, specializing in environmental activism and personal fulfillment, his work is based on a lifelong passion for helping people reach their full potential and cultivate a deeper awareness of their connection to the living world, two life paths that he believes are intimately intertwined.
This 20 minute TEDx talk is inspiring and despair-inducing.
Dolderman starts with a story about his daughter, who was filling containers with snow. “I’m putting it in the freezer. This summer I’m going to mail it to the Arctic so the polar bears don’t die.”
As Dolderman told Pierre Hamilton for a February 2014 Ecojustice interview:
When you get right down to it what really matters is issues of the heart, the body, our mortality, our communities, things that speak to our soul, things like beauty and community. The love of the living world is so deeply embedded in what we are as human beings, and kids can remind us of that.
He ends (spoiler alert) by explaining that climate change is not about the climate, or the environment. It’s about every single thing you love.
Addressing it doesn’t require changing lightbulbs, but systemic change, and that requires our engagement, our activism and a willingness to start talking to each other about bigger matters than recycling, the latest gossip or the sports scores.