Guest Opinion: Dealing with climate change realities
Our lives may seem normal and full of the “same-old, same-old” realities, but on many levels we are confronted daily with new realities due to the climatic changes of the planet.
This is an issue that not only concerns each of us as individuals, but also our friends and loved ones and the future of our children. In fact, it concerns everyone living on this planet and affects the very viability of the human race.
The question is, “How should we respond to these changes…this new reality?”
One response is provided by a growing organization called The Climate Reality Project. Founded and chaired by Nobel Laureate and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, the project is dedicated to catalyzing a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every level of society.
The key initiatives are:
The climate reality leadership corps, now internationally numbering over 20,000
U.S. campaigns for popular support of a Clean Power Plan and vital pro-climate policies.
A 100% Committed to the transition to 100% renewable electricity.
A Climate Speakers Network.
This project is a unifying, community-based effort for finding solutions to the unavoidable changes in our lives and the planet due to environmental changes.
It is hard to escape the new realities we are facing connected with the changing climatic conditions the earth is experiencing. We have massive fires, most notably in California. We have abnormal rainfalls and flooding. We have drought. We have extremely strong storms and other weather events. We begin to think twice before we swim in a lake or walk in the woods because of more threats from bacteria and fungi or insects and ticks. And what we are experiencing here is small relative to the even greater threats others across the globe are experiencing, with sea-levels rising and arable land disappearing.
Life is no longer the old normal that we had lived with for decades with some variation but with a basic predictability. This is not the time to stop and argue about who, if anyone, is at fault as though placing blame will be helpful. It is more like the large house we all live in and have lived in for decades, and even centuries, is suddenly beginning to crumble before our eyes. Even if we are not yet in the rooms that are most-affected we can clearly see that we are all in for inevitable destruction unless we find ways to change the very foundations of that house.
This is not something we can negotiate away; it is nature, the very planet, responding to changing conditions in its attempt to balance itself once again.
We know that the earth has been through any number of climatic adjustments, always finding a new balance and equilibrium for its survival. Species have come and gone in that process, and most adjustments occurred long before the human species arrived on the scene. If we do not find a way to regain the balance necessary for human survival on this planet, the planet will simply shrug us off, as it has done with other species that could no longer find ways to survive.
The planet will go on just fine without us (some would say, perhaps better).
But we, as American citizens and as part of the human race, are up to any challenge we are confronted with. We simply roll up our sleeves and deal with it with unified energy and creativity. Differences become unimportant as we realize that we are all in this together and together we can meet the current challenges.
This is a time to show our willingness to be part of those solutions and join an international community of action to provide a sustainable future for humankind. This is a time to commit as individuals, as businesses, as organizations and as governments to face these issues and find real solutions, together.
Bob Passi, Baxter, is a Climate Reality Project representative