Climate Change, Real and Upon Us

Reposted from February 2, 2014 (almost 10 years ago)

In June I started a new job, as a librarian for the Environmental Protection Agency. I work for the Ecosystems Research Division lab in Athens, supporting scientific research that rivals Icarus’ flight to the sun – nanomaterials, metagenomics, carbon sequestration. Newly appointed EPA director Gina McCarthy has made clear that, moving forward, the primary focus of research in the organization will be to address climate change – prevention, mitigation, and adaptation.

Bill McKibben, in his seminal book Eaarth, writes, “Global warming is no longer a philosophical threat, no longer a future threat, no longer a threat at all. It’s our reality. We’ve changed the planet, changed it in large and fundamental ways.”

A 2009 OXFAM report, “Suffering the Science,” illustrates that climate change is already and most profoundly affecting those who did the least to contribute to the problem. Think lost family crops in sub-Saharan Africa, flooding in Bangladesh.

The causes are far-reaching and systemic. Even if all of America was to stop emitting carbon into the atmosphere tomorrow, what control do we have over China? I am reminded of a scene in the movie “Sex, Lies and Videotape” in which Andie MacDowell’s character melts into a panic attack: “What are we going to do with all the garbage?!”

But faith begins small, like a mustard seed, to quote the Bible (Matthew 17:20). What can we do? The first step is to educate ourselves and to be willing to correct the ill-informed opinions we encounter with scientific fact. Here are some good places to start:

Eaarth (2010) by Bill McKibben; The End of Nature (1989) by Bill McKibben, both available from Gwinnett County Public Library.

~Lorena Griffin

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One Response to Climate Change, Real and Upon Us

  1. katrina yurko says:

    I appreciate the in depth science perspective on our current crisis. I watch many programs on Curiosity and Wondrium streaming platforms. I try my best to stay informed and to keep the panic at bay. It is rough to face the totality of this devastation and still remain emotionally and intellectually stable because the knowledge is not enough to curtail the economic/political forces that are pushing our humanity to the edge. I applaud you Lorena, for stepping up to the research level at the EPA and handling the information in professional and scientific ways that best support those that have power and presence in the government.
    But allow me, at least, to water the mustard seed. The drought is here.

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