Can Climate Change Bridge a Racial Divide?

There was a measure of success in the efforts to avoid the rapid effects of climate change recently.  Almost 200 nations agreed to abide by a new set of fossil fuel usage standards in order to reduce temperatures by a minimum of 2 degrees Celsius over the next five years.  Many of the richer nations had to sacrifice to achieve these goals.  I have watched with trepidation the damage that we are already doing to the polar ice caps.  If climate change is not evident elsewhere, then I have already lived through the hottest July on record.  also, December is bringing in balmy temperatures close to 70 degrees on a regular basis.

The deal on Climate Change will be a crowning achievement of the Obama Administration.  Many Republicans have decried his efforts because it supposedly hurts big businesses.  Some have even questioned the scientific basis for global warming.  For those citizens who lived through Hurricane Sandy the reality of global warming was horrendous and costly.  Some of that damage has still not been repaired.  The owners of ski resorts in the Poconos and other winter resort areas are crying the blues over the inability to even manufacture snow.  It is almost unbelievable that this issue would have political implications.  Such is the world that we live in here in the U.S.  I haven't watched the political debates so I do not know if the candidates have even discussed this issue.

I recently attended a discussion sponsored by Penn Environment.  It was located at Front & Chestnut and was a discussion surrounding the challenges faced by beer makers in this time of climate change.  hops are going to be harder to grow based on the need for fresh water.  Warming temperatures are putting stress on the soil in the need for greater harvests.  It seems like a stretch to feel sorry for beer makers but they are entrepeneurs and help the economy.  I met Emily Kennedy there and had a great conversation.  I will try to put some volunteer hours into this project of educating people about climate change.  It is very important that we educate people about the need to prevent increased global warming.

Image result for global warming images

One of the presenters at the event was from the Sierra Club.  When I think of the Sierra Club, I think of affluent people who have discretionary income.  The speaker was also Director of Diversity for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  It might be a challenge being a white woman in charge of diversity to engender support fro other races.  I will reach out to her to try to set up a meeting in Point Breeze in early 2016.  We need to educate minorities about decreasing fossil duel usage and being aware of other ways to assist with reducing climate change.  The speaker did mention Van Jones and efforts made by the NAACP to educate people in Pittsburgh.  She gets points for mentioning Superfund and the challenges that were faced by Chester, PA when faced with trash to steam as an income producing viability.

Christmas Eve is slated to reach the mid sixties.  I remember growing up attaching a special significance to a 'white Christmas.'  I never knew what it was like to celebrate Christmas in a warm climate.  I will find out this year.  We need solar power and other alternative methods to decrease the use of fossil fuels.  Will people of color be involved in these discussion?  We need to save coastal cities from the rise in sea levels.  We need to educate poorer countries on limiting deforestation.  If I see more glaciers melting, I will cry.  I will do my part in the upcoming months to make this an issue on the level with Black Lives Matter and police shootings.  My kids and grandchild are depending on me.

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