Posts filed under ‘Climate’

How to Help My Daughter Face Climate Change With an Open Heart

Illustration by Enkhbayar Munkh-Erdene

In his new book Being the Change, climate scientist Peter Kalmus shows why, on the cusp of climate catastrophe, we are neither choiceless nor powerless.

What happens to a child’s psyche, I asked myself, as she gradually absorbs the knowledge that our planet is warming at a terrifying rate and to an unimaginably dangerous degree, then quietly observes the adults in her life, particularly those most responsible for caring for and protecting her, doing the very things that are causing the emergency? What happens as she observes the mundane spectrum of everyday life in the United States amid climate chaos: as dad pulls the car up to the pump, as mom comes home from the airport after a business trip, as the family sits down to another meat and factory farm-based dinner, iPhones at the ready and the thermostat cranked to 70?

READ: How to Help My Daughter Face Climate Change With an Open Heart by Chris Moore-Backman at Yes! Magazine.

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December 11, 2017 at 11:53 am Leave a comment

How to transform apocalypse fatigue into action on global warming

 

Link to Stoknes’ full TEDGlobal talk HERE>>

The biggest obstacle to dealing with climate disruptions lies between your ears, says psychologist and economist Per Espen Stoknes. He’s spent years studying the defenses we use to avoid thinking about the demise of our planet — and figuring out a new way of talking about global warming that keeps us from shutting down. Step away from the doomsday narratives and learn how to make caring for the earth feel personable, do-able and empowering with this fun, informative talk.

November 22, 2017 at 10:19 am Leave a comment

Catholic church to make record divestment from fossil fuels

More than 40 Catholic institutions are to announce the largest ever faith-based divestment from fossil fuels, on the anniversary of the death of St Francis of Assisi.

The sum involved has not been disclosed but the volume of divesting groups is four times higher than a previous church record, and adds to a global divestment movement, led by investors worth $5.5tn.

Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate chief who helped negotiate the Paris climate agreement, hailed Tuesday’s move as “a further sign we are on the way to achieving our collective mission”.

She said: “I hope we will see more leaders like these 40 Catholic institutions commit, because while this decision makes smart financial sense, acting collectively to deliver a better future for everybody is also our moral imperative.”

Read Catholic church to make record divestment from fossil fuels by Arthur Nelsen at The Guardian.

October 4, 2017 at 10:07 am Leave a comment

‘Where’s that money going to come from’: Insurers, government back away from disaster relief

With the federal government looking to play a smaller role in covering the costs of natural disasters, and private insurers declaring some homes built in some high-risk areas are uninsurable, the question of who will pay for storm damage is becoming a more pressing issue.

In the U.S., which continues to be pounded by powerful hurricanes and storms, the government will be spending billions on recovery. In Texas alone, the government has estimated the financial toll of the floods caused by Hurricane Harvey could be between $150 billion and $180 billion.

But with bigger and more intense storms hammering Canada because of climate change, it too faces increasing financial pressures. Provinces that in the past relied on Ottawa to cover those costs may find it more challenging to receive disaster assistance.

Read ‘Where’s that money going to come from’: Insurers, government back away from disaster relief by Mark Gollom at CBC News.

September 11, 2017 at 11:46 am Leave a comment

We’re Teaching Kids the Wrong Ways to Fight Climate Change

Illustration courtesy of Seth Wynes and Kimberly Nicholas, 2017, Environmental Research Letters

When Seth Wynes was teaching high school science in Canada, there was one question his students asked him that he had trouble answering: What can I do to stop climate change? The existence of climate change was an unpleasant surprise for many of them—they had grown up hearing adults talk about things like peak oil in doom-laden tones, so the news that humans would trash the atmosphere before they even reached peak oil filled them with alarm. They wanted to do something.

Then Wynes began comparing their resesarch to climate-related documents aimed at teenagers and adults in the three most high-emitting countries on the list: Canada, Australia, and the United States. He wanted to know—were the actions on his list the same as the actions these documents recommended?

They were not, as Wynes and Nicholas reveal in a paper that was published this week in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The most high-impact actions on his list, like living without a car, avoiding transatlantic flights, and eating a plant-based diet were often ignored entirely in educational climate change materials, which favored less-effective actions like recycling and using more energy-efficient lightbulbs.

Read the full article We’re Teaching Kids the Wrong Ways to Fight Climate Change by Heather Smith at Sierra Club.

August 9, 2017 at 10:37 am Leave a comment

Central Canada pounded by ‘severe hardships’ as flooding continues

 A new report shows high water levels and floods are still pounding Central Canada and causing “severe hardships” to residents and business owners, almost three months after a joint Canada-United States body warned of “major coastal flooding.”

Water is rushing into Lake Ontario at “close to record-high values for this time of year,” the board has said, complicating an effort it began in June to drain the lake at “unprecedented” rates.

The extended period of high water is in line with warnings from both politicians and Canadian scientists, who have anticipated that climate change will increase the “frequency and severity of extreme weather events” such as floods, heat waves and droughts.

Read the full article Central Canada pounded by ‘severe hardships’ as flooding continues by Carl Meyer at the National Observer.

August 7, 2017 at 10:50 am Leave a comment

The best way to reduce your personal carbon emissions: don’t be rich

carbon inequality

One of the perennial debates around global warming has to do with the role of individual choices. What responsibilities do individuals have to fight climate change? Are people who advocate for political action on climate change hypocrites if they drive to work, fly to climate conferences, or have three children?

Discussing the role of individual choices in climate change without discussing income inequality is a mug’s game. It smears the responsibility evenly over everyone, when the responsibility ought to be concentrated where the emissions are concentrated: among the wealthy. And the only way to get at the individual consumptive choices of the wealthy, in any meaningful way, is through policy.

So if you’re rich, quit flying so much. But if you’re not, the best thing you can do to reduce carbon emissions is to get involved in politics and policymaking. That’s the only frame for climate mitigation that makes sense.

Read the full article: The best way to reduce your personal carbon emissions: don’t be rich by Dave Roberts at Vox.

July 17, 2017 at 10:51 am Leave a comment

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