It is one thing to be alarmed about Climate Change, but what does one do with all that alarm? As we gain a deeper understanding of how absolutely dire the climate crisis has become, it is essential to see that many people are working overtime to develop creative, clever, and substantial responses to Global Warming. In this issue of Prescott’s Climate Links, we focus on solutions including one you can do on your very own.
Three Climate Solution Stories
Hacking the Climate: The Search for Solutions to the World’s Greatest Challenge by John Harte at Grist.
(excerpt) Today, around the world, governments as well as everyday people are taking steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the primary drivers of climate disruption. They’re finding the results of these actions go far beyond curbing global warming: They are also creating jobs, enhancing water quality, increasing crop yields, reducing waste, and improving health. These are the co-benefits of combatting climate change.
The public needs to know about these co-benefits. And so, with considerable input from journalism faculty at UC Berkeley, I led a follow-up graduate-level course, entitled “Early Solutions: Stories from the frontlines of the battle against climate change,” focused on the co-benefits of taking steps to deal with climate change.
The result is five stories, each exploring the various ways individuals and communities throughout the world are addressing climate change and, in return, enjoying the many co-benefits of their actions.
Whenever I hear about seed banks, like the powerful story of the seed bank during the Siege of Leningrad or the Svaldard Global Seed Vault in Norway, I am almost moved to tears. Storing seed for me evokes both belief in the future and the foreboding that things can go terribly wrong. Similarly the following story Prescott shared with me caused me to tear up because of the challenges faced by these farmers and the hopeful strategy to survive.
Indigenous Seed Savers Gather in the Andes, Agree to Fight Climate Change with Biodiversity by Erin Sagen for Yes! Magazine
(excerpt) They came from as far as Bhutan and China, and from as near as the mountain itself. They discovered that their cultures were more similar than they had expected, and that one concern had been troubling all of them: Climate change was making it harder to grow food on the mountains that had sustained them for centuries. They were meeting to do something about it.
During a series of talks held between April 26 and May 2, the farmers forged a unique partnership entailing the exchange of indigenous crop varieties and farming methods, which they hope will protect agricultural biodiversity in the face of climate change. The exchange will begin with potatoes—a sturdy crop that thrives in the mountains of China, Bhutan, and Peru—and will enable the farmers to experiment together from a distance, so they can find the hardiest, most resilient varieties.
Read more here.
Finally a story that hits too close to home. I was a vegan for nearly 10 years, but since moving down to from Hartford, CT to Central Pennsylvania to be with the man I love, I have seen a expansion of my diet (and my waist). My husband, the fabulous writer, Glen Retief, is the slippery slope of omnivore living. We sit down to eat–I with my brown rice and veggies, he with a platter of animal products–when suddenly in his seductive South African accent he coos, You have to try to amazing cheese, and as I open my mouth to decline, he pops the hunk of cheese (or smoked trout or grilled lamb) in my mouth. Now that we have access to high quality, locally raised eggs and animals, I have feel off the vegan wagon.
Our diets do make a difference. A vegetable-based diet usually improves one’s health, contributes to a more peaceful world (with less killer of animals and maiming of meat packing industry workers), and aids the environment. These arguments still move me, and I am not completely happy with my current diet. To make me look at the issue deeper, here come Avatar director, James Cameron and his wife Amis, with a campaign to decrease animal products in our diets.
James Cameron and wife to launch campaign advocating sustainable plant-only based diet by Jo Confino for the Guardian.
The couple initially quit eating meat and dairy for health reasons and Amis Cameron points to studies coming out of China from doctors and scientists that she says shows a strong connection between the consumption of animal products and major health problems such as heart disease and cancer.
As they delved further into the subject, they recognised that the meat and dairy industry is also the elephant in the room when it comes to climate change.
Amis Cameron says momentum is starting to build around highlighting the issue and says she is heartened by recent studies in the UK showing the importance of reducing meat consumption. Last week the journal Climatic Change published a major study in the UK which found the dietary greenhouse gas emissions of meat eaters were more than twice as high as for vegans.
Read more here