Reflections: Outcomes of the December climate talks – COP24 (and a personal appeal)

Every year, nearly all of the globe’s nations convene at the Conference of the Parties (COP) to discuss how they’re going to tackle climate change. The main goal of the 24th Session held recently in Katowice, Poland, was to agree on how the terms of the Paris Agreement would be operationalized. There’s still work to be done, but some important steps were made in the global effort to avoid catastrophic consequences of climate change. Relevant to our work at The Rockies Institute (TRI) is that the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples’ Platform became fully functional and the Government Canada announced that it will create a UNFCCC Indigenous Peoples Focal Point to promote global Indigenous knowledge on climate change. These actions create a pathway for TRI to communicate outcomes of work and learn from others who are braiding scientific and Indigenous knowledge related to climate adaptation.

The climate change story is not about “environmentalists” versus “anyone who cares about the economy;” it is economists, physicists, biologists and other Earth scientists, physicians, bankers, insurers… who understand climate change… all telling us that we need to collectively work together to avoid catastrophic consequences – like extinction and a complete system and financial crash. Those are not words to be taken lightly.  These people don’t have an agenda to harm you. They’re agenda is to save you. They’re not personally benefiting from your belief or disbelief. Listening to those who are sounding the alarm is probably a good idea at this stage.

Quite simply, too many people have been living glutinously for too long, and now we have consequences to address.
We are smoking, drinking and eating our planet to death. It is now time to take responsibility for our health and the health of all that sustains us. Most of us want a healthy and prosperous life for ourselves and our future kin, but just aren’t sure what that looks like in the context of climate change. It isn’t easy to know what to do when innovations are just starting to emerge and when there remains so much politicking around climate change.

Just transitions need to be better defined and new energy sources realized. I believe that the majority of humans would gladly live less glutinous and stewards of the water, air, and land – if it didn’t mean compromising their well-being. I also believe that the more people understand about climate circumstances, the better decisions they will make – which is why I’m so committed to sharing knowledge and engaging in honest dialogue – without blame and shame. We’re in this together.

I am a co-founder of one of few organizations dedicated to climate change education and research. We’ve been doing some great work since becoming a charitable three years ago, but during that time Co2 emissions have risen, governments have been only marginally effective, and disasters have only gotten worse.

We need to quadruple our delivery of resilience building projects and knowledge sharing capabilities, and, to do that we need serious investment. The kind of investment that matches the seriousness of the challenge we’re trying to address. 

I did some math when trying to determine what a reasonable goal would be for our year-end campaign. I figured out that if everyone in our network donated $25 – we’d meet our goal of raising $10,000 Canadian. Even though this is only a fraction of what is required for the work we need to do, it would send strong message of support when we appeal to foundations, governments, and others who have greater capacity; the kind of capacity that would enable The Rockies Institute to excel adaptation programming and, in our efforts, to minimize suffering by building our resilience to disasters like wildfires.

Thank you for taking time to read this personal appeal and for considering our “cause” which really, is everyone’s cause.
Please also help spread the word; the more people who show their support of our work, the stronger our position is to larger funders.

A warm (but not too warm!) holiday to you 😉

Laura

 

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