Climate Change is a hot topic nowadays.
This past weekend in Washington, D.C., during record-breaking temperature, tens of thousands marched at the People’s Climate March. On April 22, Earth Day, the March for Science also took place in Washington, D.C. to defend the role science plays in health, the economy and governments. Both had parallel marches in cities around the world.
People are standing up to fight for what many say is the biggest issue of our lifetime.
When I was director of a local non-profit, I contributed to a monthly newsletter and the one topic that generated the most response from readers was climate change. It was controversial then and even more so now.
Climate change is a global issue.
On 12 December 2015, the United States entered the Paris Agreement (the UN’s COP 21 Climate Conference). This agreement was adopted by consensus and was opened for signature on 22 April 2016 (Earth Day) at a ceremony in New York.
Signed by representatives in 195 countries in accordance with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the agreement helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provides strategies for mitigation, adaptation and financing new solutions starting in the year 2020.
Barely one year later this groundbreaking international agreement is in jeopardy.
So why are we marching when Climate Change could be an issue we all get behind irrespective of politics, nationality, or income.
It’s partly because our newly elected politicians and their appointments are serious climate deniers. They use many arguments (too many for a short blog) that refute climate change. Most often they say that the science isn’t accurate or that our responding to climate change is incompatible with today’s economic system.
But this is flat out wrong. Scientists almost unanimously (97%) agree that humans are causing global warming and (one example only) the fastest growing economic sectors for job creation are solar and wind.
So what’s to be done to address this complex issue that has at stake the state of our economy, energy supply, land use, agriculture, water management and of course, the future of climate itself both domestically and abroad.
With appropriate actions by governments, communities, individuals, and businesses, we can reduce greenhouse gas and their associated risks.
First, for those who know it is real, we need to continue to exercise our voice. We need to stay engaged. Participate.
Second, we need leadership. Encourage our local elected officials to support smart energy policies, investment in alternative energy and strong environmental legislation.
Third, we all need to make changes. A few simple suggestions (there are many solutions) to reduce our individual carbon footprint include:
· Buy clean energy for your home or business
· Reduce, reuse and recycle almost everything
· Use water efficiently
· Green your business
I believe climate change is real and how we address it today will shape our future. Ignoring this issue is irresponsible for our future generations. We need a strategy (collectively) and then make changes in our daily lives, businesses and communities. Innovation, leadership, creativity are necessary.
Let’s not let this opportunity slip away. Let’s keep marching until our voices become action.