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Natural Awakenings Indianapolis

Climate Action Resources in Indiana

by Daniel Poynter, of

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the largest assembly of scientists in human history. According to their now famous 2018 report, the world has ten years to cut our carbon emissions in half. The longer we wait the more painful it will be.

We Hoosiers have a special responsibility. Half of the US’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions come from ten states, and Indiana is one of them. The following are organizations and individuals leading the way in climate action in Indiana.

Organizations — A non-profit statewide network, and our mission is to ensure everyone in Indiana achieves carbon neutrality as soon as possible. Carbon neutral means that you sequester the same amount of GHG emissions as you emit. For example, if you fly to Miami you might plant a certain number of trees. The IPCC says the world must be carbon neutral by 2050. Any individuals or organizations that claim to be leaders will be carbon neutral much sooner than that. This includes every kind of organization -- families, small businesses, churches, sports teams, events, and more.

At, households and businesses can measure their carbon footprint, learn how to reduce it, and cancel out the remainder with carbon offsets. Then they can put up a yard sign or window decal saying they are carbon neutral to encourage others to follow suit. We’re creating a social movement where people feel traction and momentum. We also facilitate chapters at academic institutions throughout the state. — A local chapter of Project Drawdown, which is a list of 100 climate solutions ranked by efficacy. It tells us where to invest our limited resources to have the biggest impact. For example, recycling gets a lot of media attention, but it’s pretty far down on the list as a climate solution. Much more impactful solutions include reducing food waste and enjoying a plant rich diet. Indiana Drawdown has many resources available like interviews with climate solutionists throughout the state.

Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL) — Advocates what Elon Musk calls the most effective policy solution— a fee on any carbon pulled out of the Earth like oil, coal, natural gas. The money collected would be distributed back to Americans equally. This would incentivize the economy to leave carbon in the ground as well as create innovations to shift dependence away from fossil fuels in supply chains. The price of some goods and services, like gasoline, will rise, but a majority of people will get more money than they spend. Contact Mark Clayton: [email protected].

Extinction Rebellion (XR) — XR may be our last hope. They advocate non-violent direct action to force elites in capital cities around the world to come to the negotiating table. They are done writing polite letters to the editor, and many involved with XR are willing to put their physical bodies on the line in the form of jail time. Their peaceful, but confrontational, strategies are modeled after successful social movements of the past, from Gandhi to Martin Luther King Jr. They seek to change the “Overton window” of what society sees as normal, and they understand, based on Dr. Erica Chenoweth, that the climate movement needs less than 3.5% of the population involved to shift the entire society. In Bloomington: [email protected]. In Indianapolis: [email protected].

Sunrise Movement — Moved climate up the list of priorities in the Democratic party. Championing a Green New Deal: [email protected].

Earth Charter Indiana (ECI) — Shines at engaging young people in the climate movement. For example, they’ve helped them pass climate resolutions in cities throughout Indiana. See the excellent short documentary Little Warriors on Amazon. Contact: [email protected]

Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute (ERI) — Once a city passes a climate resolution, Climate Action Resources in Indiana by Daniel Poynter, of community spotlight April/May 2020 13 then what? ERI can help them measure their carbon footprint. In addition, they also help Indiana communities adapt to the changes which are certainly coming — more dangerously high heat days and flooding. Contact: [email protected].

East Side Creation Care Network — Faith communities on the eastside of Indianapolis working to become more sustainable. Contact: [email protected]

Academic Organizations

Carbon Neutral DePauw — A student chapter of Carbon Neutral Indiana. [email protected]

Carbon Neutral Indiana University — Steven Rigg: [email protected]

Carbon Neutral Purdue University — Mason Merkel: [email protected] and Lucas Bleyle: [email protected]

Carbon Neutral Franklin — Professor George Phillips: [email protected]

Carbon Neutral Butler — Jacob Gambino: [email protected]

Ball State University — BSU will be carbon neutral by 2030. Professor Bob Koestler: [email protected]


Bloomington — Lauren Travis: [email protected]

Goshen — Paul Steury: [email protected]

Valparaiso — Kathy Sipple: [email protected]

Specific Climate Solutions

Solar energy — Anne Hedin, Indiana Solar for All: [email protected] and Phil Teague, Rectify Solar: [email protected]

Geothermal energy — Shawn Naylor: [email protected]

Refrigerant management — Greg Kempf: [email protected]


Plant rich diets — Katelin Rupp: [email protected]

Reducing food waste -,, and the Indiana Food Scrap Initiative

Sustainable events — Julia Spangler: [email protected]

Forests — Rae Schnapp: [email protected]

Buildings — Daniel Overbey: [email protected]

Urban regenerative agriculture — David Ranalli: [email protected]

Innovative turf grass — Mow it once a month instead of weekly. Sequesters 7x the carbon. Joel Grant: [email protected]

Continual Education

My Climate Journey (MCJ) — Podcast and Slack channel on climate solutions.

Daniel Poynter started Before turning to climate action full-time, he was an executive coach for social entrepreneurs worldwide. He maintains this practice on the side. Learn more at and
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