One could say…
2020 has been a disruptive year.
It goes beyond physical distancing, hand sanitizing, toilet paper hoarding, and looking like we are all going to rob the grocery store.
This year has been revealing and magnifying.
Revealing attitudes that the status quo could no longer protect.
And magnifying tragedies that many knew existed but no longer could ignore.
Although the multitude of social inequities falls into that description, so does the environmental crisis. We must not forget – what houses us all, and without a healthy ecosystem — we have nowhere to call home.
[Excerpt is taken from a presentation and moderation for a district conference of service clubs- Oct 2020]
On January 1, 2016, the United National launched 2030 Sustainable Development Goals — Otherwise known as the World’s To-Do List.
Are you familiar with the Sustainable development goals?
Citizens all over the world had a voice. The goals and targets will stimulate action in five critical areas: people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership.
The world’s to-do list has 17 goals and 169 associated targets. For the first time in HISTORY, world leaders pledged a common ACTION across a broad and universal policy agenda. I know it may NOT feel like Governments are working toward common goals… but we have the TO DO LIST to prove it.
Everyone (governments, civil society, citizens, institutions, businesses — small and large) EVERYONE…. has a role and opportunity in turning the tide on the critical issues of our time.
These goals are in three distinct buckets:
society, economic, and environmental.
More than half of the goals will only be achieved if we aggressively drive toward a carbon-neutral environment.
As the Chinese proverb says: The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is NOW!
Over the summer, we learned that 2020 is on course to be the warmest year on record.
- Due to the warm temperatures, the Arctic is starting to transition to a new climate. There is a concern that it could be ice-free in the summer of 2035; some predictions are 2030! The refuge for walruses, seals, polar bears will be gone, and the Inuit food sources will start to deplete.
- In August, California had the largest blaze in history – burning more than 471,000 acres. It was so bad that even the big smoke, Toronto, had an additional milky haze.
- Five of the most massive fires in California history have been in 2020. One started with fireworks from someone’s backyard.
- In July, a ship hit a reef near Mauritius’s coast, and a spilled 1,000 tonnes of oil near a marine habitat damaging the fragile coastal ecosystem.
Perhaps the only thing more tragic than our planet’s damage is the inequitable impact it is having. Developed nations are the key culprits to producing greenhouse gases and developing countries, particularly countries in Africa, are most vulnerable to climate change despite contributing the least to the problem.
The higher temperatures are:
- scorching plants
- powering cyclones
- inducing draughts
- fostering floods
- stimulating storms
- catapulting crop failure
….leaving the poor questioning their food source.
Based on the recent Throne Speech, the government has four key priorities. Embedded in one of those priorities is climate change; however, also in the speech, it says: “the course of events will determine what needs to be done when.”
With the need to focus on health, economic recovery, inclusion… where does the climate crisis—and it is a CRISIS —fit in? And WHEN will it be the priority?
Be it spills, blazes, melts, or warming, the health of our environment is in our power.
Many catastrophes are called Natural Disasters. However, many should be referred to as HUMAN DISASTERS.
Our choices impact our environment.
Our actions often trigger a disaster or aggravate it — making the devastation much more tragic. Our ecosystem is being affected by our decisions.
It may feel that we don’t have the power to turn the tide of so many destructive choices. But it takes one: one person, one decision, one consistent conscious-contribution™. With action, we can create a positive ripple effect.
The time is NOW.
You can contribute passively or actively. (Contribution Continuum from the book, Make your contribution count for you me we. Autor Suzanne F. Stevens)
- From donating to protect the planet
- To volunteer for beach clean-ups
- To promoting and educating on conscious consumerism
- To embedding in your decisions environmental considerations
- To completely committing to the environmental activities for all your social events.
Before the pandemic, there was a commitment to 2030 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS. Many focused on preserving and reversing the damage done to our planet. The world’s priorities have shifted. But it doesn’t mean EACH ONE OF US can’t be conscious of our environmental choices every single day.
Our three panelists will share strategies on HOW you and your club can start taking sustainable environment ACTION.
In our micro-movements, to our macro decisions – we can turn the tide on greenhouse gasses and MAKE OUR CONTRIBUTIONS COUNT. The time is now, and the opportunity is yours!