Letter: Catastrophic climate disruption | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Catastrophic climate disruption

I’m scared. The confluence of red suns at sunrise and sunset and unhealthy air alerts in our relatively remote mountain town (from wildfires on the West Coast); I-70 traffic on Lincoln Avenue due to the closure of Glenwood Canyon from mudslides caused by wildfires last summer; and the just-released Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that confirms that the Earth’s climate is getting worse more rapidly than predicted and the window to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels is quickly closing.

It’s alarming that life as we know it can change so quickly. Unfortunately, I don’t think many of us have a clue the huge ways in which our environment is going to change as the Earth warms. There’s a good summary of the situation present and future in Popular Science. It’s kind of hard to keep track of all that’s going on already. Add COVID-19 to the list above, since scientists tell us that catastrophic climate disruption is one of the factors in the development of pandemics, now and in the future.

A not unexpected reaction in the face of such overwhelming circumstances is to fall into hopelessness and helplessness. My sense of panic pushed me to look for information on the most effective organizations working on climate change. Although I’ve donated to many such organizations over the years, I wanted to know who’s doing the most effective work.

I found three well-researched and carefully substantiated articles online based on the work of Founders Pledge and Giving Green, both groups that research the most effective charities. I found Medium.com/nonprofit-chronicles/which-are-the-most-effective-climate-change-nonprofits-d1083f0a2f02 in the Nonprofit Chronicles and Vox.com/future-perfect/2019/12/2/20976180/climate-change-best-charities-effective-philanthropy in Vox.

The Vox article also highlights other things that we can do as individuals to work against catastrophic climate disruption, like consume less, reduce energy use, reduce how much stuff you buy and reduce how much meat you consume. Also in Vox, I found Vox.com/future-perfect/21574164/best-climate-change-charities-biden-policy.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

The biggest changes need to take place at the governmental level. You can write, email or Tweet — your preference — President Biden, Gov. Polis, Sens. Bennet and Hickenlooper, and, sure, give Rep. Boebert a try — or anyone else you can think of. Do it weekly or whenever you’re seized by a moment of despair about the climate disaster.

Catastrophic climate disruption is the most urgent, life-altering, civilization-impacting issue that humankind has ever dealt with. We must act with an awareness of what our fossil-fuel-dependent lifestyles are doing to the Earth.

Diane Brower

Steamboat Springs

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