Annie Lowery has a new article in The Atlantic, “All That Performative Environmentalism Adds Up,” in which she considers the ways in which actions by individuals and households can play important roles in promoting effective policy actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

What communities do, laws reflect—this is another reason to act on climate change, and urgently. “We’re part of a society, where people interact with companies, companies interact with the government, and people interact with the government. And in all of these cases, the interactions go both ways,” Jonathan Gilligan, a physicist and a climate-change researcher at Vanderbilt University, told me. “Each part influences another.” Many climate activists believe that changing social norms around carbon-intensive behaviors makes the likelihood of dramatic climate-change legislation in the future more likely, not less.