Simon Rook, chair of Climate Reality Project’s DFW chapter, has been a member of CRP since 2020 and joined the chapter’s leadership team within months of joining. He’s a North Texas native who works as a freelance researcher in Dallas. A former U.S. Marine (2006-10), Simon has an M.S. in applied psychology, and is “perpetually curious about human nature.”
We had a few questions about what brought him to this work, how it affects his non-climate work (and vice versa), and how he stays positive despite not-always-positive climate news.
How and when did you become a climate activist?
Technically I did it twice. In 2007 I came back to the U.S. after being deployed overseas in the U.S. Marine Corps. It was the first time I had lived any place dramatically different from the United States, and I started watching a lot of documentaries about sustainability and the effects of globalization. In 2018 I saw a documentary about sustainability and food scarcity; that launched me into vegetarianism and several years of learning how to minimize my personal carbon footprint.
Years later I took a course on environmental science and learned about the Climate Reality Project. I thought it would be empowering to take the training, but was never able to make my calendar sync up with their trainings - until the Global Leadership Corps training of 2020. Upon connecting with the DFW chapter I learned that the chapter had been influential in many local greening projects. It was inspiring to work with so many motivated experts, and every day I am impressed by the work our chapter has accomplished.
What do you do when you’re not doing climate work and how do you bring those skills to your climate work?
I think the influence is the other way around; my climate activism tends to saturate all of my other activities in some way. For example, I enjoy gardening. After several years of tending plants and learning about ecology, I began transforming my garden into a native permaforest.
As another example I really enjoy weight lifting, and was a power lifter for several years. I am not the type to buy the plastic-wrapped, heavily processed "foods" and "supplements" so popular in the fitness community (because Capitalism), so I periodically dedicate a lot of time to researching sustainable recipes that balance the macronutrients.
My other hobbies include hiking, talking to my dogs like they're humans, cooking, and reading. A lot of my time goes to remodeling my house (it's very old by American standards - nearly 100 years). Every time something breaks or wears out, I consider the environmental impact of repairing or replacing that thing. All things being equal, I would rather fix something than replace it; I would rather use green energy than fossil fuel.
Particularly when most of the climate-related news is bleak, where do you find optimism and the will to stay engaged?
I try to connect with other members of the environmental community, or spend some time in nature with my dogs. I think it is important to appreciate and spend time in the natural world (enjoy what we're trying to preserve), and to remember that I'm not isolated and fighting for a green world alone. I think the strength of the chapter is that we have so many members willing to help each other and give their time to building a greener, healthier world.
Amy Hunt is a Dallas Climate Reality Project leader. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any participant views or opinions expressed in the Blog section of this website are solely those of the author and do not represent those of The Climate Reality Project. The Climate Reality Project and the DFW chapter welcome all points of view and opinions, but reserve the right to remove posts and comments that violate our community ground rules or contain non-evidence-based claims.