When Climate Central asked climate experts why they had hope for the climate, most of them pointed to the United Nations' Paris agreement that occurred this year. If nothing else, the recently signed climate accord signals that a majority of the world's countries are interested in working collaboratively to address a global problem. The accord will also help to address global health problems caused by climate change, and it is galvanizing the health industry. Clearly, while the effects of the climate accord can not yet be seen, it's a heartening sign to many of us.
There are, however, other reasons to feel hopeful. On a more tangible note, prices for solar and wind energy are at an all time low. Producing or purchasing renewable energy has become a popular way to save money and address clean energy goals. And, as Marshall Shepherd, director of atmospheric sciences at the University of Georgia says in the article below, "I am encouraged that the notion that climate change is a political issue is starting to erode. Key conservatives, major corporations, the military and faith communities recognize the challenges and opportunities." This is precisely why Climate for Health partners with a variety of leaders and organizations with diverse backgrounds. To us, it's not about who you are, it's about feeling compelled to act. To know that there are so many health professionals willing to involve yourselves in this movement for climate solutions, is reason enough to have hope.
By Brian Kahn I December 24, 2015
There’s no getting around the fact that climate change is a bummer. The planet is warming, ice is melting, oceans are acidifying and, well, you get the point.
While the bad news is important — it lets us know what we’re getting into with this whole climate change thing — it’s also worth remembering there’s reason for hope.
This year the world finally came together in Paris where a landmark climate pact was agreed to to try to put a cap on greenhouse gas emissions, and there are some fascinating innovations that could speed the world’s efforts to curb climate change. We asked climate experts for their top reason for climate hope in 2015 and what to look forward to in 2016. Below are their answers, edited slightly for clarity or length.
What's the biggest reason to be hopeful about the climate at the end of 2015?
David Titley, director of Penn State’s Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk: Paris, of course, but more substantively for the U.S. domestic movement is the sense more and more different groups are seeing climate change as an issue within their domain: big business, insurance and finance, multiple major religions, the divestment movement, health, national security, movies, and the media, as well as the traditional science and environmental communities. Ultimately, we have to have enough people care enough to get Congress to engage constructively and move both policies and money to transition our energy systems to non-carbon based forms as quickly as possible. Huge task, but if we’re focused we can do this.
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