Over twenty-eight years have passed since James Hansen’s historic Congressional testimony about anthropogenic global warming. Scientists knew about global warming before then, and further research has greatly improved our understanding of it. But Hansen’s testimony is a clearly identifiable moment in history when both the government and the general public of the United States were informed by the scientific community about the emerging climate crisis.
For the past twenty-eight years, many individuals, groups, and public institutions have sought to take action on this climate crisis. An amazing amount of groundbreaking scientific research has been conducted so that we might better understand climate science in general and global warming in particular. Various social, economic, political, and technical solutions have been proposed. Some of these are being implemented. Others have been attempted but failed or were defeated. Others still have not yet been attempted at all, or have been implemented on too small of a scale to make a difference in global emissions. The end result is that in spite of our best efforts to date, our greenhouse gas emissions are still increasing. Even if all nations meet their Paris Climate Accord pledges, the world will still significantly overshoot the two degrees Celsius goal.
In other words, time’s up!
Only swift and dramatic action can change our course in time to avert the worst of this global catastrophe. How can we mobilize such action before it’s too late? Read more ›
For the past five years, my work at Gaia House Interfaith Center has played a defining role in my life. I’ve been involved at the center in various ways since my freshman year at SIU. At the start of Fall Semester 2011, I joined the staff as a co-director. After several shifts in our budget and staff structure, I eventually became full director and our only paid staff.
As of December 31 of this year, I am stepping down from my position as Director of Gaia House. Since this is major news both for me and for Gaia House, I’ve decided to make a public post about it. Read more ›
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We’ve run out of time to solve the climate crisis. We have to take decisive action right now. We all need to form broad-based climate action teams in our local communities. These teams need to coordinate a rapid but just transition to a zero emissions society. They need to resist new and existing fossil fuels infrastructure. They need to develop effective communications strategies to counteract fossil fossil industry propaganda and mobilize sustained campaigns of mass climate action. We need to organize these teams right now, and they must be relentless, effective, and successful in pursuing their objectives. Otherwise, we’ll go far beyond the two degree Celsius threshold and into unthinkably catastrophic warming within the lifetimes of children and young adults alive today.
I’ll post a more detailed message about this soon. In the meantime, start organizing in your local community today. If you don’t know how, talk to your friends and ask for help. You’ll figure it out together.
Here in Carbondale, Southern Illinois, there are two meetings this weekend that would be good opportunities to talk about this. The first is an Antifascist Coalition meeting on Saturday, November 19 at 1 PM at Gaia House. The other is a Resist the End of the World meeting on Sunday, November 20 at 6 PM at Flyover Infoshop.
No matter where you live or what meetings you attend, talk to your family, friends, coworkers, and acquaintances about the climate crisis. Decisive action is needed immediately to prevent catastrophic global warming, and our economic and political institutions aren’t doing enough to respond to this life-or-death crisis. We have to do it ourselves. And we can’t do it alone, so we have to start talking to other people in our community about how we can work together to make this transition away from fossil fuels. Let’s do this.