And the realizations that would change my perspective forever

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

When I was born in 1991, the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere was 356 ppm. This year I turned 30 and the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere now stands at about 416 ppm.

For the majority of my 30 years on earth, those numbers were meaningless…


A vision of a sustainable future told through a compelling story is far more powerful than scientific facts and figures

Photo by Kevin Erdvig on Unsplash

Crafting a vision for the future

Imagine it’s the year 2050 and we’ve successfully been able to hold global warming below the 2°C threshold (and ideally 1.5°C) the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientists have been warning us about.

What does that future world look like and feel like when you imagine it?

Are we…


People should be protesting in the streets every time there is an environmental catastrophe like the oil spill in Southern California

Cleaning up an oil spill off Galveston Island, Texas. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Yet another oil spill

As a kid, one of my favorite things to do besides hiking and camping was hanging out at the beach — boogie boarding, building sandcastles with my brother, and laying in the warm sand of Southern California beaches.

I’ve always had an affinity for the beach. To this day, there’s…


And giving minimalism a much-needed makeover

Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

We are all addicts. To varying degrees.

Not in the drug and alcohol sense, but in terms of consumerism.

The perpetual desire to buy more and more to fill our lives. All the while, our lives become more empty.

The magic of marketing and advertising tells us that what we’re…


An interview with the City of San Rafael’s Sustainability Program Manager

The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. Photo by Jim Harris on Unsplash

Federal legislation such as the infrastructure bill and reconciliation bill making their way through Congress currently tend to get most of the mainstream news coverage when it comes to climate action. What tends to get very little coverage, if any, are the significant actions cities in the U.S., and all…


Labels are simply a distraction that keep us from implementing the solutions the majority agree on

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Capitalism vs. Socialism

Our society has a strange obsession with trying to label and categorize everything and everyone. Perhaps, it’s because it makes it simpler to talk about things or others, but by doing so we overgeneralize and overlook the vast complexity of our world.

Nowhere is this more evident than with the…


Don’t follow the road well-traveled — carve your own.

Photo by Bogdan Kozlovskyi on Unsplash

Following the Playbook

I followed the American playbook for most of my life until I realized the power of throwing it away.

The playbook that says get a good education so you can get a good job that pays well so you can live a good life — and some might add —…


It’s a slippery slope to losing hope

Photo by Stormseeker on Unsplash

In 2018, I thought humanity was doomed.

Doomed as in we would eventually succumb to being wiped out by the forces of climate change and there was nothing we could do to stop the trajectory we were on.

In other words, I had become a climate doomer.

Fast forward to…


Almost no debate is black and white — bitcoin’s energy consumption is no different

Photo by Brian Wangenheim on Unsplash

The recent hot debate over bitcoin is its energy consumption. In this case, the debate is between the environmentalists and bitcoiners (i.e., those who own and believe strongly in bitcoin as an important technological innovation).

And as is the case in many debates, either side is largely refusing to hear…


What kind of advanced species destroys its own home?

Photo by Ingo Stiller on Unsplash

The (un)wiseness of our actions

Homo sapiens means “wise man”, but how wise are we really?

Sure, we discovered fire, designed the wheel, split the atom, sequenced our own genome, and landed on the Moon.

But we also lost half our wilderness, destabilized our climate, and are accelerating the sixth mass extinction. …

Sean Youra

Former engineer now focused on building a better future for all | Founder and editor-in-chief of Climate Conscious

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