By Maurice Carter, Sustainable Newton President
For anyone paying even the slightest attention to climate news, these are difficult days not to run screaming from the building. Then again, this summer, outside is no place to be.
From unprecedented dual hurricanes Laura and Marco striking the US gulf coast last month to the scorching heat and raging wildfires now impacting California and Oregon, we're inundated with news about extreme weather caused by Climate Change.
Throw in Siberian temperatures topping 100 degrees Fahrenheit and collapsing arctic ice shelves in Canada, and it's a little hard to remain hopeful.
OK, nearly impossible. But, still, hope is not lost.
Because I manage social media for Sustainable Newton, I know even our most ardent supporters -- true believers in human-caused global warming -- grow weary of bad news about the climate crisis. What you like, love, and share are stories about positive actions. Renewable energy from solar and wind, electric vehicles, locally grown food, regenerative agriculture, tree preservation, cleaner air... These are the things you respond to. And, though climate news is bad these days, the future for climate solutions gets better all the time. The trick is feeling enough urgency to bring that future faster, while not letting despair stop us for giving it all we've got.
The next few months are going to be a great time for sharing positive stories that energize and mobilize us around solutions.
‘2040’, a Story of Hope
Starting Saturday, we have our virtual screening of the film 2040 available September 12-19. We hope you'll watch this inspiring, hopeful, loving film with your family on our dime by registering here. Then, join us for a virtual panel discussion on September 17 to explore practical next steps to build a better climate future for our children.
What Fuels You? An Electric Road Trip
Duluth, Minnesota-based filmmaker Erika Gilsdorf is embarking this fall on a year-long adventure traversing America in her electric vehicle towing the "tiny house" she'll be calling home. It's a journey to find the best stories of people putting passion into action to conserve our natural world and promote more sustainable living. But, before Erika hits the road, she'll be chatting with Sustainable Newton in a virtual interview about her journey that will include a visit to Newton County and the Southeast next spring. If we're lucky, she'll share some glimpses of her custom-built home on wheels and tell us where she's headed first.
24 Hours of Reality Distilled into One Virtual Happy Hour
When fellow board members Melissa Hage, Sara Vinson, Theodosia Wade, and I attended Climate Reality Leadership Corps training in March of 2019, we committed to share what we learned in our community. It's something we do year-round through this organization and our personal networks. But, we also join climate leaders around the globe annually to present "24 Hours of Reality." (Last year, Sara presented the climate reality story for a well-attended event at the Newton County Library in Covington.)
This year, the coronavirus pandemic requires we go online instead. So, Melissa, Theodosia, and I will be looking for you to join us on Saturday, October 10, for our "virtual happy hour."
As I stated up top, the climate news is not so great these days. The crisis is real. But, reality is more than just the situation we're in. It's also the solutions we have available and the people working hard to change the trajectory.
At our training, we listened as former US Vice President Al Gore talked for 2-1/2 hours about the globally devastating impacts of climate change. The first part was downright alarming -- even depressing -- but he also took us through the good news. We experienced the urgent need to act, but we learned about the positive technology developments that have far outpaced expectations.
Our October talk will be (THANKFULLY) much shorter. Just as Vice President Gore did, we'll answer three questions: Must we change? Can we change? Will we change? (SPOILER ALERT: Yes! Yes!!, and Yes!!!) I promise an hour that ends happily.
We'd love to pour you a glass of wine, too, for happy hour. But this time, in a virtual setting, it's BYOB. We do owe you one, though!
We've got many other informative and inspiring events planned and in the works for coming months, including another film and panel discussion about plastic pollution and a film about regenerative agriculture . So, check our calendar often for updates.