I went to a meeting this evening of the LCAT- Local Climate Action Team. I was grateful to see over twenty people in attendance, but I found it incredulous to find out that (only) 18% of the American population is ‘ALARMED’ about climate change. Going around the room, we introduced ourselves and told why we were there. For me, my personal concern for fighting hunger has made me keenly aware that our current globalized food system is being affected by both Peak Oil as well as climate change. (Thanks Rev. John Shuck for linking and sharing this guide from your blog) For others that were present, their faith and their feeling that they should be involved in ‘Creation Care’ brought them there. Still others were scientists and researchers that have studied hard data and know the issues. Last but not least were the activists that have long seen “the writing on the wall”.
The speaker for the meeting was Dr. Tony Delucia, a public health expert that explained to us exactly how climate change is affecting our collective health. His computerized research data shows that, beginning in about 2020, rising temperatures and CO2 levels will cause an additional 18,000 heat related deaths each year! Climate change is relevant to all of us, unless perhaps, you’re already 90 years old. That said, the elderly are among those that will be hardest hit by heat waves-and of course, the droughts that often accompany them. (That’s where the food system gets involved too, and my personal concerns as well.)
Everyone present was interested in a better quality of life, and we plan to advocate for a cleaner, cooler future by working with the network of energy distributors throughout Tennessee to reduce our dependency on dirty coal by encouraging energy efficiency. We’re not just talking about changing our light bulbs here. We’re talking about smart meters, renewable power, monetary incentives for customers to purchase Energy Star appliances, bulk light bulb purchases, energy-efficient measures and other new programs. A sheet was passed around for each of us to check off ways we might like to help in this effort, and there really was something for everyone. I decided to be a blogger and letter writer, attend regular climate vigils, be a phone bank volunteer and serve as a musician when appropriate-maybe I’ll even write a song! How can you help? In the interest of promoting a deep understanding of the issues we face, please consider passing this post along to someone you care about, or leave your comments below so we can all be part of the discussion of how we can effectively create a better quality of life.
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