“What can we do to make a difference?” The Thinker
The questions come after talks, on twitter, in the days’ incoming tide of email—sometimes even in old-fashioned letters that arrive in envelopes. The most common one by far is also the simplest: What can I do? I bet I’ve been asked it 10,000 times by now and—like a climate scientist predicting the temperature—I’m pretty sure I’m erring on the low side.
It’s the right question or almost: It implies an eagerness to act and action is what we need. But my answer to it has changed over the years, as the science of global warming has shifted. I find, in fact, that I’m now saying almost the opposite of what I said three decades ago.
was fairly self-obsessed (perhaps age appropriately). And it looked like we had some time: No climate scientist in the late 1980s thought that by 2016 we’d already be seeing massive Arctic ice melt. So it made sense for everyone to think about the changes they could make in their own lives that, over time, would add up to significant change. In The End of Nature, I described how my wife and I had tried to “prune and snip our desires,” how instead of taking long vacation trips by car we rode our bikes in the road, how we grew more of our own food, how we “tried not to think about how much we’d like a baby.”
Some of these changes we’ve maintained—we still ride our bikes, and I haven’t been on a vacation in a very long time. Some we modified—thank God we decided to have a child, who turned out to be the joy of our life. And some I’ve abandoned: I’ve spent much of the last decade in frenetic travel, much of it on airplanes. That’s because, over time, it became clear to me that there’s a problem with the question “What can I do.”
Cathy Newman’s full interview with Philosopher Noam Chomsky. From Trump and Clinton, to climate change, Brexit and TPP, America’s foremost intellectuals presents his views on who rules the world today.
Solar power is changing lives in Bangladesh and has helped the South Asian country leapfrog into an era of using renewable energy to light up homes – and quickly going a step further. Clusters of solar panels in remote islands like Monpura and villages such as Saidpur are helping small business owners and farmers access affordable and reliable electricity to improve productivity and climb the rungs of economic
Join World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim on a visit to the Bangladesh countryside and learn how solar power units and inexpensive “mini-grids” are changing lives, allowing users to study at night, charge phones and expand employment opportunities.
With renewable energy #ItsPossible to #EndPoverty and fight climate change.
What does a climate-smart farm look like? Farmers in Kenya are cultivating farms that earn higher incomes and produce more nutritious food– showing that climate-smart agriculture can help smallholders prosper in the face of climate change.
Abstract: Prophecy has two duties: it must imagine the future and it must offer a choice, the warning contingent on human moral agency. In this world, and at this time, the duty of prophecy is not theoretical, for humanity faces a stark reality, one that is already beginning to unfold. Climate change threatens the world of stability that undergirds all institutions, all texts, and all practices.
While a drastically changed climate is a new challenge in science and policy, the drama of drought and refugees is not a new problem in religious texts or traditions. The biblical account of creation sends humans into a chancy world; the famines that drive the biblical narrative send populations sweeping across the Middle East, in a land promised, but fragile. As our world begins to shift under the burden of a dramatically warming climate, it is the duty of prophecy – to imagine and to warn – that animates both science and theology.
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
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