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    September 03, 2021 | 10:49 AM

    The World Is On Fire. Do Something About It

    Our climate is changing. Inequality is growing. And we have to act now.

    The recent IPCC report makes this case clearer now than ever: if we don’t come together as a global community to quickly achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, we are committing to a dangerous climate future with increases in extreme heat and droughts, shifting precipitation patterns, intense hurricanes and cyclones, and potentially irreversible changes to biodiversity and ecosystems all around the world.

    We’re seeing it play out in real time – in the US, where Hurricane Ida devastated the Gulf Coast; in Madagascar, where a historic drought has left millions without enough to eat; in the Amazon, Siberia, Greece, and the western US, where devastating wildfires continue to destroy community after community; and of course, we saw it in the floods that killed hundreds across Europe earlier this summer.

    The good news is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel – if we work hard enough to achieve it. Because human-created climate change can be human-solved climate change – and we have the tool in our hands right now to do it.

    To end this crisis and achieve a better, just, and more-sustainable future for the planet, we must come together and through grassroots advocacy, create the change we need to see. It starts now at Climate Reality’s upcoming virtual global training.

    Bring your courage, commitment, and passion. Leave with the knowledge and tools to shape public opinion, inspire action in your community, and lead the global fight for solutions.

    Read on to discover some of what the incredible group of renowned experts, scientists, Indigenous, youth, and BIPOC leaders, and long-time climate activists we’ve assembled for the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Virtual Global Training will be discussing during the October event.

    Public Health Impacts

    For this training, our focus will be on one of the most profound impacts of the climate crisis today – because the simple truth is this: Climate change will continue to exacerbate existing threats to health and give rise to new ones.

    According to the World Health Organization, “Climate change is impacting human lives and health in a variety of ways. It threatens the essential ingredients of good health – clean air, safe drinking water, nutritious food supply, and safe shelter – and has the potential to undermine decades of progress in global health.

    Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress alone. The direct damage costs to health is estimated to be between USD $2-4 billion per year by 2030.”

    The climate crisis threatens to touch almost every aspect of our health, from the food we eat and the water we drink to diseases spreading faster and further than ever before.

    Right now, a climate tragedy is unfolding in Madagascar, off the coast of Africa, as the country endures its worst drought in four decades. Time magazine’s headline on the crisis gets right to the quick, reading, “Climate, Not Conflict. Madagascar's Famine is the First in Modern History to be Solely Caused by Global Warming.”

    The result: 1.14 million food insecure people – and tens of thousands already experiencing famine.

    Rising global temperatures themselves also drive dire health outcomes. Beyond the tragic fatalities that can result directly, extreme weather events driven by rising temperatures and hotter-than-ever seas can damage infrastructure, jeopardizing access to lifesaving care for extended periods of time, and compromise water quality and food supplies.

    Parts of Louisiana in the US, including all of New Orleans, saw this (again) just this week, as Hurricane Ida rapidly intensified into a Category 4 monster that brought dangerous 150 mph winds, feet of rain, and major storm surge that left over a million people without power.

    Learn more about the climate crisis’ impact on public health with the resources below:

    Global Climate Justice

    No conversation about the climate crisis is complete without considering how it disproportionately affects some communities more than others.

    Low-income households and Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities around the world are more likely than more-affluent and whiter communities to live in proximity to polluting industries like oil refineries and pipeline infrastructure, leading to greater exposure to pollution from burning fossil fuels and chemicals leaching into the water table. And because of discriminatory policies and poor city planning, these same communities are often hit first and worst by climate-exacerbated events like extreme drought, major floods, wildfires, and urban heat islands.

    Elsewhere, drought is driving farmers to the brink – forcing some to leave their homes entirely in pursuit of the basics to sustain life: food, water, shelter.

    All while many never even know it’s happening.

    But you know better.

    Every person in every community has a right to breathe clean air, live free from the threat of toxic pollution, access healthy food, and be part of the prosperous clean energy economy of tomorrow.

    So how do we get there?

    We prioritize justice in the transition to a clean energy economy. That means centering the communities bearing the brunt of the impacts of climate change.

    To start, countries that bear the greatest responsibility for the climate crisis – like many of the G20 nations responsible for around 80% of global warming emissions – must contribute their fair share not only to reducing their own emissions but to supporting mitigation and adaptation strategies in climate-vulnerable countries with knowledge, resources, and funding. This also requires wealthy nations to support communities in the transition away from fossil fuels to ensure that they are not left behind in the transition.

    During the virtual global training, we will discuss the opportunity presented by the upcoming COP26 conference in Scotland to put real pressure on world leaders and demand progress in emissions reductions – and to insist that they happen the right way.

    Grassroots Advocacy

    The last few years have tested the strength of the climate movement.

    A global pandemic — one made worse by climate change — has killed over 4 million people across the globe and left millions more unemployed and wondering where the money for the rent or the electric bill or the groceries is coming from.

    Young people, with their futures on the line, are walking out of classrooms and into the streets, decrying the lack of action from their leaders.

    There’s no doubt we are in the throes of an especially challenging moment. But we also have too much important work to do – in communities just like yours – to solve this crisis. And in the climate movement, grassroots action has always been the driving force for change.

    That’s why we’re offering skill-building sessions in effective organizing and speaking with decision-makers. If our trained Leaders’ past successes are any indication, we’re onto something:

    In the US, young, BIPOC activists, and their allies have campaigned and protested the expansion of fossil fuel pipelines, recently leading to the shutdown of several major pipelines. Our organizers have seen petrochemical plants be denied permits thanks to their work. In Japan, trained advocates worked to block the expansion of new coal fired power plants, leading to the cancellation of one of the largest plants and avoiding 12 million tons of CO2 emissions annually.

    And that’s just the start.

    We find ourselves in a unique moment of possibility, one where we have the chance to think big and act boldly. But it’s not going to happen on its own. The future of the planet, quite literally, rests on our shared success in communities big and small all around the world.

    Climate Solutions

    More and more, communities aren’t waiting for governments to lead on climate – they’re taking the planet’s fate in their own hands and taking action themselves. And in addition to advocating for the modern technological advancements that are bringing affordable renewable energy like wind and solar to more and more families every day, they are taking the lead on natural climate solutions, like reforestation and changes to agriculture.

    Alongside a just transition to clean energy, natural climate solutions – practices that restore, enhance, or protect ecosystems that provide mitigation and or adaptation benefits – also have an important role to play. In Belize, as just one example, the restoration of degraded mangrove ecosystems is helping to sequester carbon while providing enhanced resilience to coastal storms.

    And in the agriculture sector, practices that promote soil health – and in turn, carbon sequestration – are among the most promising natural climate solutions. Farmers are using a variety of techniques, including planting cover crops, minimizing soil disturbance through no-till farming, planting a diversity of crops, and managing nutrient inputs, to promote healthy soil bacteria and improve the ability of crops to keep carbon where it belongs – in the ground.

    During the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Virtual Global Training, you’ll learn from Indigenous leaders whose communities have managed and stewarded natural areas successfully for thousands of years how we can together harness the incredible potential of natural climate solutions in our fight to halt rising temperatures.

    What You Can Do Now

    From October 16-24, make a difference and join the Climate Reality Leadership Corps by attending our online global training. Gain the tools, knowledge, and network to help stop global warming and build a more just world for all.

    This free online training is led by former US Vice President Al Gore and features an all-star lineup of leading scientists, activists, content creators, and innovators, and comes at a critical moment for our planet. Together, the continuing pandemic, growing inequality, and the deepening climate crisis threaten not just our world today, but the future we hand to our children.

    This is our moment to change that. We may not get another. It’s time to stand up and make good on our promises to each other, our communities, and our planet.

    Be part of something big – register now and #LeadOnClimate at this vital hour.

    Before You Go

    At Climate Reality, we work hard to create high-quality educational content like blogs, e-books, videos, and more to empower people all over the world to fight for climate solutions and stand together to drive the change we need. We are a nonprofit organization that believes there is hope in unity, and that together, we can build a safe, sustainable future.

    But we can't do it without your help.

    If you enjoyed what you’ve just read and would like to see more, please consider making a generous gift to support our ongoing work to fight climate denial and support solutions.

    The Climate Reality Project