Let’s Talk Climate Change
Today, I’m doing something different on the blog. I’m stepping out of my usual travel and food realm to consider something far more important in the grand scheme of things. Let’s talk climate change. I’m learning a lot about it by studying up on The Nature Conservancy (TNC).
This subject is one that needs to be well-thought and carefully handled as it affects our future in every single way. Being a new grandparent, I don’t want Scarlett (my granddaughter) to worry about air quality and the environment. I should hope that by that time she is an adult (she is only 4 months old), our country has gotten better at raising awareness on conserving, reducing, and awareness on key items such as recycling, climate change, and water quality.
For now, I’m downloading a copy of Let’s Talk Climate eBook (guide) published by The Nature Conservancy (TNC). I challenge you to do the same! Have conversations with friends and family to learn new things you might not have considered when it comes to the environment or share information you have that they may not be aware of. The dinner table is a great place to start the chat. If you have children, you may be surprised at how much they already know from school. Kids are not only sponges, absorbing everything you say, but also smart. They may have ideas that will change the world someday.
Armed with science, we can find the hope needed to overcome even the greatest challenges and build a stronger future. -Hugh Possingham (Chief Scientist, The Nature Conservancy)
Let’s Start Talking Over Dinner
Climate change was our family dinner discussion topic tonight with my husband, our 23 year-old daughter, and my 77 year-old father. I will say they were quite surprised when I broached the subject, since we typically talk about our day and such. We talked about protecting and restoring forests, wetlands, grasslands (which is where our food is grown). Being an avid fan and traveler of the Midwest region of the country, I am fascinated by how the land, air, and water are of utmost importance to the Midwesterners (not to say that all farmers are Midwestern, but you get my drift) because for many, their livelihood depends on it. I’m drawn to the towns that serve food sourced from within 25-50 miles.
The thing that struck me during our conversation wasn’t how to fix these things or what problems we are faced with, but what exactly is climate change? You don’t have to be a biochemist, scientist, congressman, or farmer to understand or know what climate change is, but how the message is conveyed, say via the news and in newspapers, makes it all seem way too far off from our own lives to really dig deeper, or even care for that matter.
Climate change basically relates to managing and keeping the world the way we found it or better. We do that by using renewable energy, replanting forests, keeping mangroves/reefs/water systems clean and rehabilitated after natural disasters, and treating the Earth as the precious gift it is. How do we learn from each other to make our own environment a little better, how we use our resources and how we handle them, and how we make better practices to our own daily life to ensure the same quality of life for our children and their children? Climate change isn’t complicated, but I, and those I talked to, were under the influence that it was something so much more than it is. I have to admit that when we started talking about climate change, the first things that came to the table were ice caps melting in Alaska. I don’t think that this is far off from how many people think when they hear “climate change”. Besides the temperatures changing by just a slight degree over a span of years, there is so much more relevance to the subject that ties in to our own lives.
Perhaps advertisers, government agencies, and organizations could do a better job of using the term in a manner that we understand that makes it more relatable to our own lives and backyards than we realized. And, maybe when discussing these issues (and there are many since I live in Florida and we have water issues plus our share of natural disasters), we add the climate change tagline to the subject (reefs, clean water, red tide, hurricanes, mangroves, etc.) so that it feels approachable and relatable.
Two Relatable Situations
I recently returned from a visit to the Dry Tortugas National Park. It is the most remote national park in the country and in my opinion, the most fascinating. Here, I snorkeled with my daughter along the reef, which is the third greatest reef system in the world. I read that The Nature Conservancy is working to help restore healthy coral reefs along this unique reef track that runs all the way up to Fort Lauderdale. That makes my heart smile and makes me proud to know that this organization is putting forth efforts into saving something so near and dear to my heart and my home, especially after the horrific Red Tide setback we encountered along our shores late last year. Did I associate that with climate change? Probably not, until reading my Let’s Talk Climate guide.
We live part-time in the mountains of Boquete, Panama. Our home is at 3,500 ft. elevation and the town has over 100 different microclimates. We are afforded double rainbows in the months of February and March—it is sheer bliss. I often think about climate change when realizing the different environments in which we live. At my South Florida Vero Beach home, the majority of people take care of their property, recycle their waste, are careful when using harsh chemicals, and dispose of waste properly. In Boquete, the air is incredibly clean but there is major trash and rubbish thrown carelessly on the streets, virtually no recycling, and little education or control on how dangerous chemicals and products are used or disposed of. How can a paradise so lovely be so in danger of becoming a wasteland of litter and damaging waste? It begins with a lack of education and ends with knowing what to do to alter the process. Do you have any tips on how to share the information or educate the people in Boquete about climate change?
Education is Key
I urge you to download the Let’s Talk Climate guide, enter your name and email, and read the tips suggested by this trusted organization to get the conversation started today. Education is key to getting much needed issues addressed and fixed. Help encourage hands-on conservation in every state and around the world, making a tangible difference to protect our precious planet.
Are you up for the challenge?