Climate Solutions Last Longer than the News Cycle

By Rebecca Rehr

Our attention spans have become more and more fleeting, and in the 18 months of sheltering in place and working from home, time has become warped for many of us. This may make it harder to truly discern the urgency we are facing when it comes to implementing equitable climate solutions. This summer, in just the last couple of weeks, stifling heat in the west has killed hundreds of people, and an underwater gas line ruptured and lit the ocean on fire. I have heard gun safety advocates say, “You see events on the news, but you don’t expect something like this to happen to you. Until it does.” I fear we are in the same cycle with climate change now. But everyone will experience – is experiencing – the impacts of climate change. So, what are we waiting for? 

Have we so quickly been desensitized to news like this? Are we in denial? Is it too overwhelming to think about all we have to do? Or is it that you feel alone in your climate concern?

The time is now to invest in our communities and build equitable, sustainable climate solutions. Solutions that have benefits that will last decades longer than our attention spans. We know what we need to do, and we need to build the drumbeat to make it happen: 

  1. Cut carbon emissions in half each decade going forward
  2. Restore thriving nature, in part to remove carbon from the atmosphere, and 
  3. Prioritize environmental justice. Climate solutions must build equity, and can actively work against systems of oppression and racism

The MomentUs statement and commitment centers Ambition, Restoration, and Justice in all climate solutions. Join today, and take part in our summer campaign, which includes exciting actions we can take as decision-makers head home from DC during August recess. 

Rebecca Rehr at the Climate Strike in DC, September 2019

If you’re wondering where or how to start now, we just released a series of action sheets to help. They are each two pages. The front includes “What You Need to Know” and the back includes “What You Need to Do.”

  1. Climate Solutions for Your Home and Neighborhood
  2. Climate Solutions for Your Workplace
  3. Climate Solutions for Your Community
  4. Climate Solutions Advocacy with Policy Makers 

For any story that makes the news, there are hundreds that do not, and people suffer longer than the news cycle. Some residents were permanently displaced from their homes in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and children’s anxiety is increasing in a changing climate. We can shift the narrative; we can make sure that when there’s news on climate, it’s good news. Let’s commit to climate action in our homes, workplaces, communities, and in our vocal and ambitious advocacy with policymakers. 

Rebecca Rehr, MPH, is the Director of Climate for Health.

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