Climate change is upon us. Winter without snow? We know what that feels like now. The hottest August ever recorded? Just happened. Wildfires are bigger than ever, and in California, fire season lasts all year. Droughts, dust, fire, and deluge are becoming part of our new normal.
Scientists have studied the effect of increased carbon in the air for over 100 years. It’s a matter of physics and chemistry. The amount of carbon recorded in the atmosphere every month now exceeds 400 parts per million. Scientists tell us that any amount over 350 ppm is not conducive to life and civilization as we know it. We already see more extreme weather events, ocean warming and acidification, and record-breaking temperatures. To prevent climate chaos, we must promote low-carbon economies with renewable energies like solar, wind, water, geothermal, and others.
At the UN Climate Summit 2014 in NYC, over 125 world leaders will discuss a more coordinated response to this global crisis. The World Meterological Organization (WMO) will display imaginary Weather Reports for the Future, depicting likely local impacts of global climate change. According to the WMO, average global temperatures in the year 2050 could rise more than 4°C (7.2°F) if greenhouse gas emissions are not stemmed. Are you ready for a new normal of unbearable heat waves, mega-droughts, massive flooding, super storms, dying coral reefs, less diverse marine life, and the drowning of coasts and islands due to rising sea-levels?
Climate change is a disturbing subject, but it should not be a controversial one. The science is in. We may disagree about how to transition from a fossil fuel economy or which solutions to prioritize, but we must heed scientific warnings about dangerous tipping points. We can and should make changes in our personal lives, choosing sustainable practices such as reducing, reusing, and recycling and making voluntary simplicity a way of life. We must also support social, economic, and political changes to address the costs of climate crisis now and in the future. In the end, it will take everyone to change everything. First, we must sound the alarm!
On September 21st, the historic People’s Climate March (PCM) in New York City aims to do just that. Just before 1pm, participants will pause in silence to reflect for a few minutes on the consequences of climate chaos to those on the frontlines, including indigenous communities and farmers, coastal and island people, desert to forest dwellers, and all those who suffer environmental injustice. At 1pm local time, everyone will sound the alarm, banging pots and pans, blowing whistles, pounding drums, and making as much noise as possible. What a magical way to raise awareness and transform consciousness, sending sound waves of emotional energy and intention rippling around the planet! Take some time to reflect on these messages from the PCM marching blocs: It takes everyone to change everything; The debate is over; We know who is responsible; We have solutions; We can build the future; Honor those on the front lines of crisis, the forefront of change. Remember, we are the clue!