Indian Youth Climate Network Propagates Power of Cultural Change
Posted Apr 01 2009 12:51pm
Living with modern conveniences can be a mixed blessing. On the one hand, the
convenience of artificial lighting with the simple flick of a switch has
revolutionized living conditions for billions of people. The same can be said of
owning an automobile and many other conveniences which people often take for
granted. The downside is that having these conveniences within our grasp
whenever we need them can be habit forming. Hence, when it comes time to change
our habit, even if the new way is better, many people resist.
Moving from careless to green living is an apt example of this phenomenon.
Commuting by foot or bicycle is known to improve overall health for many people
and, of course, save money on fuel. However, when confronted with such a choice,
many revert to the old way of doing things. For this same reason, recycling of
beverage containers is much more successful in areas which mandate by law that
consumers pay a small fee at the time of purchase which can be recovered when
the container is returned. Still, despite this arrangement, regions with
mandatory bottle recycling see a success rate of well below 100%.
The key to overall success lies in easing people into their new habits. Just as
noted comedian Jay Leno says that he does not understand the appeal of
conversing with a friend via text message rather than just placing a voice call,
many of us must adopt new habits slowly, over time, at a comfortable pace. That
is exactly why I have maintained since the earliest weeks of the existence of
this blog that cultural change is the best approach toward reversing the climate
What happens, however, when a nation is so large and its communities disbursed
over vast areas that influencing an entire culture presents unique challenges?
How do residents of one area learn about the environmental achievements
elsewhere? Enter the Indian Youth Climate Network. This wonderful endeavor by
inspired environmentalists from India and the United States led a caravan of
clean vehicles and environmental exhibits to many parts of India during January
The purpose of the tour?
"India is full of climate innovators, so spread out across this huge country
that many people don’t get to see that these solutions are working right now. We
wanted to find a way to bring people together around existing solutions to
inspire more action and more innovation. There’s no time left to just talk about
- Caroline Howe
Indian Youth Climate Network
I applaud the work and success of the Indian Youth Climate Network for showing
the world just how we must approach cultural change in order to combat climate
change. You can learn more about IYCN at