Underrated Skills You Can Learn To Contribute To A Greener Planet

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4 min readJul 24, 2023


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There is no way around it; if we do not address our fossil fuel dependence and end the fossil fuel industry, our Spaceship Earth will collapse. Oil corporations knew for half a century that they were irreversibly destroying our life support systems. They are so obscenely wealthy and influential that governments still finance and subsidise them, and they keep getting away with stealing the future from us. But that is because they have insidiously infiltrated policymaking via their powerful lobby. The people sponsored by the fossil fuel industry won’t make decisions that aren’t in their favour. We need new people and a new system.

The system that leads us to the brink of climate collapse won’t somehow magically solve the problems it has created. We need a complete overhaul, a 180-degree turn; we need real systemic change.

Meanwhile, we are told to recycle, use paper straws, and do other meaningless, micro-consumer bollocks. It’s almost like the fossil fuel industry and big polluters wanted to deflect the blame. (Spoiler: That’s precisely what happened.)

We live on a spaceship planet because, just like spaceships, we live in a closed, interdependent, fragile (eco)system. Most people forget that our planetary life support systems work much like the human body. It can take years and decades of abuse showing minimal symptoms, but there is a critical threshold, after which the entire system threatens to collapse. That’s what we are seeing with overlapping extreme weather events today. We are reaching planetary tipping points much faster than climate models have shown us.

But how do we spring clean the planet, toss out the fossil fuel industry with its enablers, and effectively end modern wage slavery, inequality and climate injustice?

How do we prevent the death and displacement of billions of people affected by the most severe effects of climate change? Two words: systemic change.

We are now at 1.1 degrees Celsius warming, and the effects are already cascading and spiralling exponentially. How we minimise the impact will have no single good answer, there are no cookie-cutter solutions.

But I know for sure that individuals will create new systems we can rely on in the future. And those individuals will need specific skills in the fight. So here are some things to inspire you, some things you can learn to participate in the revolution.

Skills for the plant people

We need more individuals who understand local, healthy ecosystems, and plants, and who can cultivate gardens. If you love plants, you can learn about the following:

  • Gardening
  • Permaculture
  • Endemic, native plant cultivation
  • Pollinator gardens
  • Biodiversity
  • Regenerative agriculture
  • Non-toxic “pest-control”
  • Hydroponics, closed loops
  • Guerilla gardening
  • Urban gardening

Be it a herb garden on your windowsill, hydroponics on your balcony, a veggie garden in your backyard, or full-on permaculture on your land: we need all the plant people.


Every crisis is a crisis of imagination at its core. We need people who can help us imagine new ways of building our society, new ways of governance, and a world beyond exploitative capitalism.

The world has changed, but our stories have not. — Do we have a crisis of imagination?

To tell new stories, learn:

  • Writing
  • Film making, video creation
  • Storytelling in different ways
  • Public speaking
  • Photography
  • Art

Learn any art form to express your imagination, any art form to fit your vision, your ideas. Tell stories about the planet, and create new myths. We are future ancestors, we create our myths.

We are future ancestors, we create our myths.

Interpersonal skills

As we build a more gentle future where everyone is free, there is no misogyny, racism or speciesism; we need more humans to build bridges and create communities. Here is what you can do and things you can learn:

  • Cultural immersion, cultural awareness
  • Language learning, slow, respectful travel
  • Empathy, compassion
  • History
  • Empowering child rearing, leadership, and organisations
  • Cooperation
  • Going beyond tolerance, shifting to acceptance

You can think of ideas in more than a single grammatical system if you speak more languages. It expands your worldview immensely and makes you more open. Empathy and empowering leadership will be more valuable in the upcoming decades.

We need people who can think in different systems and understand multiple cultures. Getting to know more cultures on a deeper level, deepens your cultural sensitivity, and diversity is critical in building resilient systems. Instead of narrow and linear, we need broad and circular.


Extreme weather events will increase, which means floods, drought, wildfires, and extreme high temperatures. We need skills to adapt.

  • Learn about passive cooling and heating in residential areas (active cooling like AC heats the city)
  • Water purification, water capture
  • First aid
  • How to be prepared for emergencies
  • Swimming, rescue
  • Wildfire prevention
  • Retrofitting buildings

Sadly, anyone living in coastal areas, drought-prone areas, vulnerable ecosystems, and even those who live in relatively stable climates will experience extreme weather events. Prepare and do everything you can to prevent catastrophes.

You can learn all the above skills without going to university for them. There are excellent online resources and books where you can jumpstart your learning.

The planet needs people who care and people who educate themselves. The planet needs you.

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Solarpunk, ecological economist🪐 Rethinking culture, future, equality, science, climate 🌍 Big Picture& Brand Naming📧 For projects: ono@onoceans.com