How to Become a Climate Revolutionary in 2021

If you want to make climate justice part of your New Year’s resolutions, here are some things to get you started

Eric Holthaus
Future Human
Published in
6 min readJan 7, 2021


Original art for The Phoenix by Laila Arêde

Future Human is partnering with The Phoenix, a newsletter by climate reporter and meteorologist Eric Holthaus. Every two weeks, we’ll feature new stories about climate science, justice, and radical change. As Eric says, we were born at just the right time to change everything. Subscribe here.

Our time here on this beautiful planet is so temporary.

If there’s anything that 2020 taught us, it’s that while time is fleeting for everyone, it’s the way society is structured that determines how fleeting it is and for whom. The overlapping tragedies of Covid-19, police brutality, and the climate emergency don’t fall equally on everyone, and it’s up to us to change that system to ensure everyone here gets the chance to thrive that they deserve.

That’s the heart of climate justice.

Our window for the revolutionary repair of our planet’s atmosphere and biosphere — caused by centuries of excesses brought by capitalism, patriarchy, misogyny, imperialism, and racism — is bound by physics. We can (and should!) argue about the best ways to get to a zero-carbon world as quickly as possible, but we can’t argue with the fact that current global policies will deliver a planet that’s incompatible with a safe future for billions of people who did the least to cause the climate emergency.

You can’t change all that by yourself.

On this first day of 2021, though, you might decide you want to be a bigger part of the new system — one built to live in accordance with the planet we all share rather than in opposition to it.

This is what we’re fighting for: indigenous sovereignty, regenerative care of the land, shelter, equity, joy. All the basics that people need to live a good life. A vision for a bread and roses future for everyone.

Getting started with that journey isn’t hard. The point is only that you show up. We need everyone to be a part of this transformation in their own way.

At the same time, becoming a climate person isn’t easy. But it’s some of the…