If you’ve read* or heard anything about the report just released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, you are quite likely super bummed, angry, and or vacillating between “Why bother taking action?” versus “I am going to do everything in my power to help curb climate change.”
While we’ve long known we must take action to reduce greenhouse gases, this report drives home the need for unprecedented action ASAP, as summed up by this editorial:
If we keep burning coal and petroleum to power our society, we’re cooked—and a lot faster than we thought. The United Nations scientific panel on climate change issued a terrifying new warning on Monday that continued emissions of greenhouse gases from power plants and vehicles will bring dire and irreversible changes by 2040, years earlier than previously forecast. The cost will be measured in trillions of dollars and in sweeping societal and environmental damage, including mass die-off of coral reefs and animal species, flooded coastlines, intensified droughts, food shortages, mass migrations and deeper poverty.
The worst impacts can be avoided only by a “far-reaching and unprecedented” transformation of the global energy system, including virtually eliminating the use of coal as a source of electricity, the panel warned.
While headlines about the IPCC report note the need to virtually eliminate coal, these efforts will be of little benefit if we just replace coal with fracked gas; which, when you take leaking methane into account, fracked gas is just as bad for the climate as coal.
The report underlines the necessity for each of us to really support and watch out for one another. (If you haven’t done so yet, please do read page two of our current newsletter on this topic.) Let’s help each other stay informed, hopeful, and motivated to take action ourselves. Let’s demand action by businesses, industry, and government. Let’s double down on our support of gatherings, programs, policies, and bills that help fossil fuel workers transition into the low-carbon economy.
Let’s allow one another space to grieve and to take days off from action (especially outdoors!), so that we can come back refreshed to carry on. Let’s inform one another of the best means to take action from the personal to the governmental.
And by all means, vote! If you are not registered, West Virginia’s deadline for registering to vote in the November 6 election is October 16. Check your registration status in West Virginia by clicking here.
By taking on fossil fuel corporations’ extraction, infrastructure and waste disposal practices, as well as their influence over the state’s politicians, OVEC’s long-term campaigns have zeroed in on climate change, right here in West Virginia, one of the “ground zeros” of climate change.
This latest IPCC report underscores just how insane it is for businesses and governments to be proposing a petrochemical onslaught for our region. Campaigning to stop this monstrosity means campaigning to curb climate change. Please do join our efforts in this or our other programs: volunteer time (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details on ways you can get involved) and/or donate (use the button below) to support our work.
Here are some regional upcoming events and actions that offer an opportunity to engage with other folks who are alarmed about latest climate news and exploring ways to support one another and the future of life on our planet.
October 12: WV Premier of UNFRACTURED @ 7p.m. @ Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 520 Kanawha Blvd W, Charleston, WV, 25302.
Join West Virginia Interfaith Power and Light (WVIPL) and OVEC for our October Second-Friday Film Night featuring the environmental justice documentary, UNFRACTURED.
This film is currently on the international film festival circuit, and we’ve been granted rights to screen its West Virginia premier!
The film screening is free, and we will provide snacks. Come on out and bring a friend.
Check our online calendar often for updates.
*If you are a reader (and hopefully a subscriber—support this paper and it’s award-winning coverage of local environmental news!) of the Charleston-Gazette Mail, you couldn’t help but know the report had been released, as it was, appropriately, a front-page story. Apparently this was not the case for many newspapers.