Column: We should all be striking for the climate

For the Valley News
Published: 12/5/2019 10:10:24 PM
Modified: 12/5/2019 10:10:13 PM

Claremont

Human communities around the Earth will be striking again on Friday to bring attention to the climate crisis and to speak up for their communities and the nonhuman communities of Earth on which life depends.

I recently heard someone describe a climate strike as a one-off, static event that didn’t do much to make a difference. I would be of that mind if I hadn’t seen the pots getting stirred in local municipalities after the last climate strike in Claremont on Sept. 20.

From that strike, a survey of the activities that strikers participated in was created and sent to eight local municipalities, along with a chapter from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s sixth assessment report titled “The Impacts of 1.5°C of Global Warming on Natural and Human Systems.”

The survey found that, of the 50 or so people who participated in Claremont, 25 responded to the Global Climate Strike survey.

Of those, 23 indicated that they felt “extreme concern for the climate crisis,” 24 indicated that “the climate crisis should be declared an emergency,” 24 indicated that our communities should “create a special task force to develop community options to address it,” 24 indicated that we should “create educational programs to build awareness and skills to address the climate crisis in the community,” and 23 indicated that we should “create educational programs to build awareness and skills to address the climate crisis in the schools.”

There were a couple of other engagement activities that yielded interesting results as well, but the most compelling information sent to municipal leaders was contained in the IPCC report (which can be found, along with many other reports, at www.ipcc.ch). According to this report, Earth’s ecosystems are now engulfed in cataclysmic changes due in large part to human-caused global warming that threatens all life on this planet.

Natural and human ecosystems are intertwined and are drastically at risk. The warming climate is driving destabilizing weather patterns that are intensifying and becoming more frequent — floods, wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, vector-borne diseases, mass migrations, mass extinctions of species, loss of biodiversity, infrastructure loss, economic loss, increased negative impacts on physical and mental health, hunger, war and more.

In an article titled “An Ecological Reformation” in the November 2019 edition of Green Energy Times, solar farmer and author Roy Morrison writes, “A global ecological reformation means a top to bottom restructuring in pursuit of sustainability not only of energy, but also industry, agriculture, forestry, fishing and aquaculture.”

So, if a strike raises the awareness of government officials, whether they be local, county, state, or national leaders, it’s a very valuable tool. If it doesn’t ...

Climate strike events are scheduled for Manchester and Concord on Friday. Shouldn’t all our communities be striking to bring attention to, and immediate action on, the climate crisis?

Rebecca MacKenzie, of Claremont, is a member of the Action Collaborative for Transformational Spirit Now (ACTS Now), a book and action group that meets in Claremont. For an abridged copy of the Global Climate Strike-Claremont report, email acts.now.8888@gmail.com.




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