In my passionate quest to create and implement solutions to help combat climate change, my creativity can be activated by just about any object, place or thing. It may be a photograph, a conversation, an article or even a book. But on this one particular day when I saw this photograph, I was moved by its essence. The great power of symbolism that exude from the photo was inviting. The art was captivating with a hint of spirituality that captured purpose in action. A mountain of different messages began to flood my thought process. What I saw was a metaphoric portrayal of humanity's ingenious divinely engaged with Mother Earth, and it was beautiful. But I also began to reflect on the disharmony and challenges we face with the global warming crisis, and how the disharmony is affecting the beauty we see and the resources it provides. Here are three questions that I began to reflect on:
- What are we doing about the climate crisis? Climate change is affecting every continent, country and nation. It is disheartening to see it disrupt economies costing us billions to repair communities devastated by extreme weather that has been exaggerated due to the global warming crisis. What are we going to do today to protect our tomorrow? These are the questions that not only governments must solve, but also the small business, the corporations and each and every individual. We have all contributed in some capacity to the climate crisis, therefore we all must take part in the solution process. This is a global challenge that does not respect national borders. Carbon emissions dispersed anywhere affects people everywhere. The bridge in the photograph so represents what we must do and that is to come together. The second question I asked was:
- Are we building green infrastructure? According to www.americanrivers.org green infrastructure is an approach to water management that protects, resources or mimics the natural water cycle. Green infrastructure is effective, economical and enhances community safety and quality of life. It means planting trees and restoring wetlands, rather than building a costly new water treatment plant. It means choosing water efficiency instead of building a new water supply dam. Green infrastructure incorporates both the natural environment and engineered systems to provide clean water, conserve ecosystem values and functions and provide a wide array of benefits to people and wildlife. I'm an advocate of planting trees. Trees are the number one sequestrian of carbon from the atmosphere. They are the lungs of the earth. We must create sustainable solutions to reduce the deforestation problem as this contributes to climate change. The third question I asked was:
- Do we really understand the magnitude of the climate crisis, and are we doing all that we can to protect the future of the next generation? In the middle of the two acreages of forests in the photograph above lies a creek or a river that runs through it. Water represents life. I began to reflect on how both the ecosystem as well as humanity needs water and all of the earths resources to survive. The climate crisis will most likely affect the millennial generation the most. I am the mother of three millennial age sons, and it devastates me that our generation is handing these catastrophic conditions to the next. We have the power to turn the situation around before it is too late. If enough political will is generated to combat the crisis, there is potential for this to be one of the greatest sources of innovation and social transition of our time. So how can these conditions be countered? They can be countered by implementing new technologies, production systems and conservation measures. What are some of the projects that can be implemented to see change take place? According to Are you a Millennial? Congratulations! Climate Change Will Cost Your Generation $8.8 Trillion climate change will be extremely costly, but there are some solutions that can address the crisis. If we continue build energy-efficient housing and retrofitting commercial buildings, and simultaneously curbing commercial and industrial energy consumption; shifting to renewables as the basis of the electrical grid, mainly through solar and wind poser; and revamp the transportation infrastructure to rely on "electricity powered vehicles, expand electrified commuter rail, electrified ports, and expand rail shipping including regional rail electrification, we are well on the way to satisfying solutions.
In order for these solutions and others to come to fruition as the bridge so vividly expresses, continents, countries, cities, governments, corporations and citizens must come together. Political and corporate divisions will only expedite the global warming crisis leading to even more destruction. Now is the time to come together. It is time we implement solutions for our children and their children. Mother Earth was given as a gift to mankind. Climate change is our responsibility.