Pollution, the overheating of our planet, and worsening extreme weather events are things that affect us all. However, studies have shown that a higher proportion of women tend to be concerned about these issues than men.
But one advocacy group is challenging those gender norms. Climate Dads, founded in 2018, is a group of around 800 fathers located across 20 American cities who care about the environmental future of our planet and about pushing their families to make sustainable choices.
The group was started in Philadelphia by two fathers, Ben Block and Jason Sandman, but has since grown far and wide, as they were able to find hundreds of others who shared their concern about the effects of climate change as well as their optimism that it’s not too late for our society to reverse course and keep the planet habitable for future generations.
Prior to the launch of Climate Dads, Block wrote an open letter to his then-10-month-old son, which read, in part: “Bringing you into this world was my greatest achievement — now I need to make sure you can navigate the difficulties that lie ahead. What we need are new belief systems, new traditions, a new heritage based upon environmental ethics. If our generations collaborate, we can surely find solutions to our environmental problems. I remain hopeful.”
“The world’s environmental challenges are not my children’s fault,” Block told Bloomberg News. “Still, I try to meet them where they are — encouraging them to reduce unnecessary consumption, focusing on toys and games that they’ll find rewarding over the long term. It’s a battle.”
Despite the seriousness of their mission, the endearing Climate Dads like to joke about their nerdiness and obsessiveness about new clean-tech products.
“New kind of dad just dropped: climate dad,” Peter Olivier, one such Climate Dad, wrote in what would become a popular Twitter post. “This is in addition to the traditional options of 1) great wars dad and 2) grill dad. Should this type of dad appeal to you, you can start now by talking exclusively about heat pumps.”
The replies were inundated with other Climate Dads who “felt seen” by the post.
“This is what we all talk about,” Olivier told Bloomberg, explaining that when he installed solar panels on his house, “it was like the only thing I talked about for three months.”
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