Climate Change…It’s Us: Part II

A panel discussion of various local environmental organizations followed the keynote speech. I was happily surprised to find out that Chicago Public Radio’s (WBEZ) Jerome McDonnell, host of Worldview, was the panel’s moderator.

The panel included representatives from the Northwest Cook County Chapter of the Sierra Club; Barrington, Ill.-based Citizens for Conservation, whose mission is “‘Saving Living Space Through Living Things’ through protection, restoration and stewardship of land, conservation of natural resources and education”; the Illinois Solar Energy Association; Citizens’ Climate Lobby; the Harper College (Palatine, Ill.) Green Committee; and Blacks in Green, which is based in the West Woodlawn neighborhood of Chicago whose vision is for “self-sustaining black communities everywhere, and world peace through home economies.”

The representatives were hopeful for future, but cited more needs to be done because there are still many climate change doubters out there – even though there is scientific evidence that global warming truly does exist.

But, it was nice to see this concern for the environment ran the gamut – from a grassroots organization focusing on the restoration of the land to a local chapter of a national organization.

Following the panel discussion were breakout groups, where we, as participants, were given the opportunity to network and exchange ideas according to specific topics. We gathered at various tables – I met otheb08f8ad9f57b133ee76c7b373efc3d29r like-minded individuals at the Climate Refuge table, where we discussed the ramifications the changing climate has on people and how global warming has created Climate Refuges due to these natural disasters — we all agreed there must be plans in place to prepare for these increasing incidences. Then, I met other individuals at the Arts and the Environment table where we discussed how we can incorporate the arts into raising an awareness about global warming by flash mobs/artwork and other ideas — many times art isn’t seen as “in your face” and people are more willing to discuss the issue if told through art.

All in all, this was a very thought-provoking and worthwhile conference where I was happy to be among others who were concerned about the Earth’s future, but were also hopeful. I plan on attending this conference next year. But, in the meantime, I hope to continue learning about this issue and utilizing my communications skills to raise awareness. If interested I would like to connect with you and possibly use my written communications skills in a green way. Please visit my Web site at or send me an email at

Climate Change…It’s Us: Part I

I recently attended Climate Change: Connections for Action at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Palatine, Ill. and was pleasantly surprised by how many people showed up — it was great seeing other like-minded individuals. It’s nice to know I’m not the only liberal, tree-hugging liberal in the conservative Northwest Suburbs of Chicago!

Dan Hunthsha, Climate Reality Leader at The Climate Reality Project kicked off the conference with an eye-opening, but a bit worrisome presentation about climate change beginning the conference stating, “Climate change is real — it’s definately us, but there is hope.”

The one statistic that really stood out for me is that five percent of all carbon comes from lawn mowers! I was stunned by that statistic.

Hunthsha shared scientific data clearly proving that we are the culprits of Global Warming – it’s no longer something that we can shy away from – especially after the worst winter the United States has faced in over 30 years. Those of us who live in the hardest hit areas of the country affected by this winter have experienced Climate Change

According to Climate Reality, “Our planet is heating up, and carbon pollution is to blame. Ninety million tons of carbon pollution enters our atmosphere every day. Nine of the ten hottest years on record were in the past twelve years.”

Evidence of Climate Change can be seen over the entire world – from Superstorm Sandy to extreme pollution in China to extreme rain and flooding this winter throughout Europe and, in 2013 the hottest summer on record in Australia. In fact it was so hot in Australia that meterologists had to add a new color to the weather map defining the extreme temperatures.

After the introductory presentation, the conference got local with representatives from various regional and state green organizations including the chapter of a national location. I will discuss this panel discussion and more of the day’s activities in part two of this blog.

But, I leave you with this question…What is your impact on the Earth? And…what can you do to lessen this impact?