As much as we talk about the weather, how often do we talk about the climate?
Delaware Interfaith Power & Light, in partnership with Energize Delaware, is launching a new initiative to create more of those opportunities, which we are calling CLIMATE CONVERSATIONS.
In living rooms and classrooms, boardrooms and libraries, community centers and fellowship halls, anywhere people congregate, we will be creating opportunities to openly and respectfully discuss issues related to climate change and share ideas and resources for creating a healthier planet.
= Raise public visibility and individual concern
= Encourage open and respectful dialogue among diverse audiences
= Explore ways of talking about climate change and related issues that are less divisive and political and more unifying and practical
= Identify areas of shared concern
= Create and identify images and messaging to inspire deeper understandings, broader visions, bolder actions, and renewed hope
= Provide resources to support these actions
Support and inspire ongoing conversations and active engagement
This idea was inspired, in large part, by an event we held at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Wilmington. A group of 80 seniors, students and community leaders came together for roundtable discussions to share their responses to climate-related questions submitted by the students. Beyond the specific content of the conversations, there were two compelling takeaways: the warmly animated interactions between the participants and their wish for more such opportunities.
Committed to making that happen, we are enlisting partners, identifying venues, and exploring a variety of facilitation models, discussion guides, and resources.
We are pursing collaborations with schools and universities, not only to engage the younger generation, but also to solicit their help in summarizing the input from these conversations and translating it into recommendations for effective communication and meaningful action.
Raising awareness, sharing resources, building community, inspiring action. What are you doing today? Let’s have a conversation!
There is an agreement among over 97% of peer-reviewed climate scientists that the planet is warming, due largely to human activity, with emissions of greenhouse gases at their highest levels in recorded history. Recent reports from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and National Climate Assessment have provided compelling evidence and alarming projections requiring bold, creative and collaborative actions.
Every day brings new images of melting ice caps, retreating shorelines, extreme weather events, raging wildfires, bleaching of coral reefs, species extinction, uncontrolled spread of disease, food and water shortages, and growing numbers of refugees. All too often, those suffering the greatest effects of these impacts are those least responsible for causing them.
We can see effects right here in Delaware - eroded beaches, flooded neighborhoods, damaged farmlands, worsening coastal flooding and increased salt levels in critical estuaries and aquifers. We are having more extreme heat days, our growing season is being affected, as are migratory patterns of the birds and waterfowl that delight and sustain us, attracting tourists from around the world.
These are threats to our quality of life, to the resources and experiences we want for our children. Pursuing common ground on common concerns can lead to broader visions, practical solutions and renewed hope.