Climate (of) Change

October 28, 2009 Leave a comment

It has been quite a week or so on the climate action/activism/advocacy front.  From the 350.org global day of action to the Bioneers conferences happening around the country, to some interesting personal conversations I’ve had with staff members of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and Conservation International (CI), to ongoing preparations for the upcoming UN Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagan, it seems clear that momentum is gathering towards taking serious and significant steps to help mitigate and adapt to changes in our global climate that have already begun.

A few highlights:

  • The International Day of Climate Action on October 24th resulted in 5200 different events in 181 countries including a march of 20,000 students in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, underscoring the fact that the world’s poorest nations are at tremendous risk from the effects of climate change.
  • At the Bioneers by the Bay conference in New Bedford, MA, keynote speaker Will Allen rocked the house with the incredible story of Growing Power, an organization he started in Milwaukee, WI to “grow food, grow minds, and grow community.”  The result is a robust movement that he is spreading to places such as Cabrini-Green in Chicago and Nairobi, Kenya, involving young people in producing locally/sustainably-grown healthy food year round.  Will and others, including fellow keynote Woody Tasch of Slow Money, are helping urban agriculture and the local food movement thrive!
  • Both UCS and CI staff indicate the shift away from campaigns intended to convince people about the realities of climate change and towards finding practical solutions (including advances in alternative energy production and energy conservation as well as mandates for forest protection and reforestation, all which could significantly reduce carbon emissions with the right public push and political will – check out this link for more information).
  • From many quarters I am hearing that  IISC and our network of capacity builders have much to bring to the movement, namely helping to cultivate the  mindsets, collaborative/adaptive skills, agreements, and connections to undergird and advance technical solutions to the climate crisis.

What about you?  What stories of hope and action do you have to share about what may be humanity’s greatest challenge?

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  • Gibran says:

    Curtis – as you may know the global 350.org demonstrations were the largest DISTRIBUTED and relatively self-organized demonstrations ever! This links so much to our inquiry around Twitter in yesterday’s post. What is amazing to me is not only that this mobilization is happening but how! In the past, I participated in a lot of conversations that expressed concern about having too many dispersed efforts, but it seems like today we are turning that into a strength. Your blog on a thousand flowers points us in that direction.

    Often times at the end of a great convening or training, when there are powerful connections but a serious challenge to actually following up on all of them, I make it a point to remind those special people that we are in fact part of this same conspiracy of love!

  • Curtis Ogden says:

    I wonder, Gibran, at what point is a movement too decentralized or distributed? Is this possible? When is it time to focus one’s attention on a few of those flowers, to nurture them?

  • Curtis Ogden says:

    Just read this blog post from Lester Brown, author of Plan B. Offers a lot of hope on the climate front, specifically around the reduction of emissions in the U.S. – http://sustainablog.org/2009/10/28/us-headed-for-massive-decline-in-carbon-emissions-2/

  • Curtis says:

    It’s all about future generations . . . http://www.350.org/about/blogs/350cute

  • Gibran says:

    Curtis – about your question, I don’t think anytime soon. Individuals and groups of individuals benefit from such focus, but right now there is to much left over from the bias towards uniformity, it’s time to experiment and to connect experiments…

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