Today, I woke up at 8:00 am to read about the 2021 UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report being released: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/; https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/09/climate/climate-change-report-ipcc-un.html. The 14,000 studies behind it yielded a consensus on what many of us in the climate arena expected – we are basically locked in at 1.5 degrees Celsius more warming. We are easily in range of +2 degrees warming (roughly 560 ppm of CO2), even 3 degrees, unless we act now. The IPCC report provides 2050 as the end range within which we must quit burning of fossil fuels, but really, do we want to wait to put our efforts in near that date, when 4 degrees warming is possible if we don’t change our ways? And after that, feedback loops become more and more likely? [Edited: Already, the 1.07 degrees Celsius warming we’ve created is causing massive, global suffering of humans and wildlife. And some places, like Australia, are already averaging 1.4 degrees.]
We need to act within 10 years to actually stop the increase, then work another 10 years to extract those 10 years of increase, then work another 10 years to draw down what we’ve put in the atmosphere already up till now. Unlikely, but needed if we want species like elephants and flying foxes to survive, and if we want humans to not suffer from severe weather and sea level rise.
There will be many articles about the IPCC’s report’s impact.
But this article is about how to use today, the day of the release of the Report, to help steer people towards awareness and action. Awareness of the life-threatening nature of climate change is key, but once people are aware, it becomes critical to immediately let them know they can do
something many things, which is what Climate Steps and a number of other organizations are all about.
So today is about communicating 1) your concern about the IPCC Report’s warnings, 2) your concern about how your friends and family may be affected by the climate crisis – make it personal, and then 3) directing people to action.
Communicating your Concern about the Report
First, share online or via another means substantive sources of information: The IPCC Report https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/, the New York Times article https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/09/climate/climate-change-report-ipcc-un.html, or other.
How to talk about it:
- Read it first. Know the facts.
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intergovernmental_Panel_on_Climate_Change (explain who the IPCC is.)
- Have some visuals…. http://www.climate-lab-book.ac.uk/files/2021/01/spiral_2020_large.gif – good dynamic overview of global temperature change.
- Connect on a shared value: https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/katharine-hayhoe-reveals-surprising-ways-talk-about-climate-change.
How to blast:
- Online: FB, Instagram, a blog post, Twitter, even emails….
- Change your profile pic to the EU Climate Pact blue, or another frame. Show there is a tribe in this.
- Change your cover photo to your region, using www.showyourstripes.info.
- Share with all of your social media and other groups your concern about this…
- Even print a copy of the key findings, to share with someone who may not read it online.
- Call at least one person today and talk about the report, and climate action.
- Call your representatives(s)(plural) about they need to read the report.
- Wear your climate colors (https://www.zazzle.com/store/climate_visuals). See pic below.
- Post on your neighborhood listserv about what the report and climate change mean for your neighborhood.
- Put a sign in your front yard! Or chalk your sidewalk.
Include Your Concern for Others
State your concern for others, and talk to people specifically using regional tools like these:
- https://interactive-atlas.ipcc.ch/regional-information (Not suited for a lay audience, shows predictions);
- https://showyourstripes.info/ (Good for a lay audience, but does not show the future),
- https://crt-climate-explorer.nemac.org/. (For the U.S. only, but useful for a lay audience, with some exploring.)
- https://www.climatecentral.org/. For the U.S. only.
Think more than sea level rise, or heat, or flooding – there’s drought. There are changing climatic patterns that will change how and where food will be grown. There will be the need for more air-conditioning. Species moving or dying, and that includes more invasive species. Etc… The climate touches everything on this earth – so find something that folks are passionate about, especially for your one-on-one conversations, and connect.
How to Take Action:
- Invite them to an online climate ACTION organization. Climate Steps (www.climatesteps.org; www.fb.com/ClimateSteps), EarthHero.org (a climate action app), Friends of the Earth, https://friendsoftheearth.uk/about/climate-action-groups, Climate Reality Project, https://www.climaterealityproject.org/, Chispa, https://www.lcv.org/chispa, and more.
- Research and provide to specific people, tagged by name, organizations in their region they can volunteer for.
- Highlight upcoming events where they can learn more.
- Organize your own event! A climate discussion bbq, a tour of green systems within the city, etc…
Then take a quiet, personal action for yourself as well. Something physical to mentally decrease your anxiety. Keep yourself strong for other actions you can take down the road.