Much of the climate discussion in recent months has been stimulated by the release of several key reports on the state of climate change: the IPCC special report, the 4th National Climate Assessment and the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP24.
How should we respond to these reports?
The Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions – a collaborative initiative of Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia; Goshen (Indiana) College; and Mennonite Central Committee – asked 10 people in the Mennonite community to respond to the following questions:
–What do these reports mean for your field, and how are people in your field responding to them?
–From the perspective of your field, how do you personally respond to these reports?
Click a photo below to read full responses from these 10 people:
“I personally am optimistic about the health community’s ability to use these reports to shift public and political discourse on environmentally sustainable actions.”
“My hope is that many people in the US who used to deny that the climate change was not real will believe the facts of these reports and start acting to reduce the carbon emission. I think this report needs to be disseminated widely and there should be an action plan in place to address the issues of the environment and climate change raised by this report.”
“The reports are both dire in the possible consequences of our carbon profligacy yet with a sliver of hope that we can avoid the most catastrophic outcomes if we make major changes now.”
“The IPCC report told me that the scale of this crisis is such that doing my small work on my 22 acres is not enough–we need more and more farmers taking risks to shift production systems into ones that sequester carbon while feeding communities.”
“I suspect that many immigrants share my tension in a tangible dread for the harm of foreign lands and people to which we have a connection as well as a sense of responsibility for mitigating the North American contribution to this injury.”
“As a 20-year veteran of the energy industry, I can offer a rational and calming thought. We have the technology and the wherewithal to convert the biggest climate-change culprit, energy, to a family-safe, smoke-free life.”
“When scientists report that we have until 2030 to drastically cut global emissions, my perspective on the passage of time shifts even further. I am compelled to think differently about what comes next. What will I do with the next eleven years of my life? How will I navigate my nascent adulthood in a world of uncertainty and change?”
“These recent climate reports are not surprising to ecological economists, who have been sounding the alarm for several decades, but this perspective is still working its way into the disciplinary mainstream.”
“Ambitious policy changes will only be possible when members of Congress feel enough pressure from their constituents to make climate change a priority and to take bold action to address the suffering of current and future generations.”
“These reports are consistent with the trajectory of what is increasingly understood by the many climate scientists who work hard in their disciplines to critically analyze the data – that climate change is real, is caused by humans, and is serious.”
–Doug Graber Neufeld