By Kathy Wagner
If I’m more behind schedule than usual, and I owe you a call or a text, please forgive me. Since early last week, when I first saw the IPCC 2022 report on climate change, I’ve been reading (or skimming) coverage by various sources ranging from The New York Times to Science Moms. What caught my eye initially and sparked my rage and despair was a quote by António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary General, who referred to the report as “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed leadership.”
Reading the news reports, I’ve alternated between feelings of fear and hopelessness, outrage, and anger and frustration. Fear and hopelessness because the issue is so overwhelming and the problem so immediate and so huge; outrage because we’ve gotten to this point and we haven’t done nearly enough as individuals or as a society to figure this out and fix it; and anger and frustration because we’ve known about this, in some fashion, since the early 19th century! In 1824, scientist Joseph Fourier postulated that something in our atmosphere must be keeping the earth warm, given our planet’s distance from the sun. Why weren’t we freezing? Something must be protecting us, Fourier surmised. And in 1856 scientist and women’s rights advocate Eunice Foote discovered just what was keeping us warm—a “blanket” that trapped infrared radiation. (https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/)
My outrage was fueled by Mr. Gueterres’ comments and also those from Susan Otieno, Executive Director of ActionAid Kenya. “The findings of the IPCC report sound like a nightmare, but they are a daily reality for families across Kenya and the global South.“ How much outrage and fury will it take until we come together, as a global society, on solutions—before it truly is too late?
We’ve pulled some reports and commentary in the links below, along with some tools and resources on climate education. Please note that we haven’t fully vetted each site but hope that you might find something useful and/or thought-provoking. Click on each title to link to the resource.
- “Climate Change Is Harming the Planet Faster Than We Can Adapt, U.N. Warns”
- “UN climate report urges world to adapt now, or suffer later”
- “‘Delay means death’: New climate report issues stark warnings”
For tools you can use:
- “Four Ways to Help” by Science Moms offers a series of brief videos and a downloadable tool kit that might be helpful to explain climate science to kids ages pre-school through high school. It’s easy viewing and reading as it outlines the basics of climate change, but light on hard science and real consumer actions everyone can take.
- “Climate Change and Wildlife”
- “Take Action in Your Home, School, or Community”
- “Climate Change Education”
- “Climate Change: Take Action Now!”
- “Actions You Can Take to Tackle Climate Change”
- “Resources on Climate Change”
- “16 Ways to Take Action on Climate”