Idea #8: Donate!

Most people against climate change don’t have a lot of money. This is in contrast to the people who don’t care about climate change, who are generally rich old men[citation needed] with a vested interest in the fossil fuels industry.

This is an example of what economists call special interest politics. If a policy has a minor negative impact on many people, and a massive positive impact on a few other people, chances are the few people will get organized and the policy will pass. The rest of us just don’t have enough individual incentive to resist, even if the cumulative negative impact outweighs the positive effects.

Solving this problem in general would be worth a doctorate in both political science and economics at least. But one simple idea that might work in the meanwhile is to pool our resources. Money itself doesn’t solve problems, but climate-protection nonprofit groups can solve problems if they have enough money to pay employees, fund research, and distribute their findings to people who will listen.

Solving problems is hard, but donating money is easy. Once you’ve set up a monthly contribution, you never need to think about it again. Admittedly, choosing a nonprofit can be overwhelming—there are a lot of options. I myself donate to the Environmental Defense Fund, but I encourage you to take a look around Charity Navigator or the other resources mentioned in this New York Times article to find a good fit.

Again, most people reading this don’t have a lot of money. But against special interest politics, crowdfunding might be the only way. How much would you be willing to pay each month not to need to worry about climate change?

One thought on “Idea #8: Donate!

  1. EDF is a great choice, Nathan. Some other charities we have supported over the years: EarthJustice, Green America, Humane Farming, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Earth Shares, Feeding America, Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, Smithsonian, etc.

    Using Charity Navigator can increase the odds that your $$$’s are being spend wisely.


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