Climate change. It's here. It's real. It's changing the world as we know it. We need bold, cooperative, empathetic and strategic action to mitigate and adapt to global climate change.
As defined in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), "Mitigation is a human intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases. Adaptation needs arise when the anticipated risks or experienced impacts of climate change require action to ensure the safety of populations and the security of assets, including ecosystems and their services."
IPCC data show us the sources of heat-trapping gases from human activities; these emissions are overwhelmingly associated with activities of upper-mid income and high income populations around the world, including in the United States.
A sweeping 2017 study by Wynes and Nicholas reviewed the documented climate impact of a wide range of individual behaviors. They found that, in our region, individuals can most dramatically reduce their contribution to greenhouse gas emissions by: having one fewer child, living car-free, avoiding air travel, buying green energy, and eating a plant-based diet.
The 2014 National Climate Assessment, developed by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, is available through a great interactive website. The report highlights research-based climate impacts that we are already experiencing in the U.S. on a number of areas: extreme weather, human health, infrastructure, water supply, agriculture, indigenous peoples, oceans, ecosystems and biodiversity.
It's time to have this conversation. Just like the solutions must come from each and every one of us, the Climate Change and You series depends on YOU. Organize an event, create, discuss, question, share, and of course, act. Contact Director of Sustainability Yancey Fouché to have your effort be promoted as part of the series. #SustainableDavidson