Two years ago, Adam Nashban’s climate anxiety hit a point where something had to give.

He’d been working in politics, helping elected officials strategize and fundraise at “any level from dogcatcher up to presidential candidates, or even their donor class,” including executives and business owners, as well as people running political action committees.

Nashban, who lives in Oregon, hit this turning point in his climate journey not long after a deadly heatwave in the Pacific Northwest, with temperatures well over 100 degrees F—in the 40-50 range Celsius—that scorched crops, forests, and infrastructure. (An attribution study at the time found the record heat was “virtually impossible without human-caused climate change.”)

The need for climate action had already been on Nashban’s mind for years. “I grew up going to a summer camp in Northern Minnesota, and the first thing they talked about was our natural surroundings, the environment, the Earth that we live in—the fact that we don’t own it, that we’re borrowing it from our children, and we inherited it from our ancestors. And it’s up to us to make sure that we’re stewards and that we’re taking care of it,” he says. “What ultimately motivated me to get into politics back in the early aughts was the idea that I wanted more folks legislating on pro-environment legislation. And climate change very quickly came into it.”

But by 2022, Nashban says he needed to get away from politics, where he didn’t feel he was having the impact he wanted. “I made a decision that ‘I need to work on climate. I need to put what I’m worried about for not only myself and the folks around us and what we love, but also—I have a three-year-old son—and what his future is going to look like, and the futures of other kids that didn’t get to have the childhood that I got to have.’”

So late that year, he signed up for a kind of “climate boot camp” in the form of’s 12-week online fellowship, Learning for Action. It wound up being a formative step toward, as Nashban puts it, putting his climate anxiety to work.

Translating anxiety into action

Working through the program, one thing Nashban found eye-opening is an effort called the Science Based Targets initiative, which works with organizations to quantify and ultimately shrink their climate impact. Being conversant in that language now helps Nashban use his strategic skills to advocate for climate action in a way that gains traction in corporate contexts—bringing regulatory obligations, publicity, and bottom-line results into the discussion.

These days, he works as a program manager for the Breaking Barriers Collaborative to help organizations that have a fleet of vehicles—three or more, he says—take steps toward decarbonization. In other words, he helps them map out a process to transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles.

This means tackling questions like: “What’s going to be needed to get that done? What infrastructure, what are the incentives, what are the grants? What’s the change management? How do we need to convince the stakeholders that this is another place that we need to go?” 

Here, it’s worth an aside to note that electric vehicles are a “bright spot” in the needed transition away from fossil fuels, according to the World Resources Institute’s State of Climate Action 2023 report, emitting appreciably less than internal combustion engines even when charged by dirty grids. Nashban says it doesn’t hurt that the “total cost of ownership” is significantly less with EVs, because they require less maintenance and aren’t subject to the volatility of gas prices.

Working with organizations like Boeing, Skanska, and various Washington state agencies, and alongside people from fleet managers to VPs of sustainability, Nashban can speak the language not just of caring about the climate at the heart level, but identifying the value of electrification to an organization’s pocketbook.

Branching out, with support

Since graduating from’s program in March 2023, Nashban says he’s started exercising a few other muscles in the climate space as well.

“Since I’m a consultant, I wear a couple hats. I also work with a group called Oregon Business for Climate, which is a business alliance working to make sure Oregon is passing and protecting great climate legislation,” Nashban says. “I also do some coaching with a CEO who’s looking to expand her business into more climate action.”

He says the Learning for Action course did a lot to set him up for this: “100 percent, I can’t speak enough about it because it gave me so many more tools in my tool belt to be able to take my climate anxiety and communicate why I’m anxious about it, but also what we can do about it. really helped me hone my message around this.”

One other thing that helped: community. Nashban is still in touch with others from his cohort. "That's one of the gems of the course," he says. He met others who were eager to learn, had similar stories, and "came in because they're like, 'I can't not work on climate anymore.'"

In the year since, that "support network" has been there through his career transition. "Being able to share that story and the pain points and successes with other folks that I've met has been invaluable."

Learning for Action

Since 2020,’s Learning for Action program has helped thousands of people learn about climate change and what we can do about it. Like Adam Nashban, many came into the program ready to channel their climate anxiety for good—and now work on climate action. Find out more about our 12-week online climate fellowship. Financial aid available.