#1100 – Dick Bernard: Global Climate Change

Whatever your particular opinion about the issue of Climate Change, I’d urge you to take the 2 minutes and 20 seconds necessary to watch this video, prepared by the Fellows in the 2015-2016 Hubert M. Humphrey Fellowship Program (The International Fulbright Program of the U.S. Department of State).
This video is brand new, and it would be good to see it given a broad viewership.
Last night myself and others were privileged to hear J. Drake Hamilton of the Minnesota Group Fresh Energy talk about Climate Change, and the recently concluded Paris talks which she attended in its entirety. Her at-the time reports can be viewed here.
Prior to the Paris conclave, in August, Ms Hamilton was honored to be one of a dozen leaders invited to a briefing by President Obama relating to his administration plans on the issue of Climate Change.
(click to enlarge)

J. Drake-Hamilton (in red) at the White House, August, 2015.  From the booklet Global Warming 101 produced by Fresh Energy.

J. Drake-Hamilton (in red) at the White House, August, 2015. From the booklet Global Warming 101 produced by Fresh Energy.

Following Ms Hamilton’s remarks, three Humphrey Fellows responded from their own perspectives. Ahmed Tholal (Maldives); Abosede Oyeleye (Nigeria) and Hamze Haidar Ahmad (Lebanon), representing the views of MENA (Middle East North Africa).
All gave riveting presentations. In particular, I was gripped by Mr. Tholal’s comments, including a very powerful poem. His country, the Maldives, may become the first country in the world to be extinguished by the impact of human caused global warming.
I think I can fairly say that the cumulative impact of the two powerful hours on me was to reinforce my deep concerns about this very real crisis, but I left the meeting hopeful….
The Paris talks and resulting accords were substantive and the worlds power actors from all sectors are getting on board. Action is long overdue, but climate change will not be ignored.
We all had opportunity to take a booklet prepared by Fresh Energy entitled Global Warming 101. A pdf copy of the eight page booklet is available here. The data is clearly presented. On page three of the booklet, it was said that 2014 was first on the list of “The World’s 15 Hottest Years on Record”. Of course, within the last few days, it has been announced that 2015 has replaced 2014 as the hottest year on record….
What can the ordinary citizen do? There is a tendency to be defeatist, as I overheard two airplane friends talking as we deplaning in San Francisco in mid-December: “we’ve really had nice weather in Minneapolis” one said; this led to worried comments about global warming from both; but the conclusion was troubling “I just don’t think there’s anything we can do about it. It’s too late.”
This is a bit like saying one has been inflicted with a serious disease, but there’s no point in changing behavior, seeking treatment, or otherwise attempting to cure the ailment.
In this case, survival of life on the planet is at risk.
If, collectively, we adopt a defeatist attitude, we are certainly inviting the worst outcome.
Climate change is not a leaders problem (though who who we choose to lead us makes a huge difference), nor Fresh Energy’s, nor Hamilton’s or the three outstanding representatives of their countries.
This is our problem for us to deal with individually wherever we are, and do whatever we can do (which is far more than we probably think.

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