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BIG ARTS Talking Points to address individual action on climate change

By BIG ARTS - | Feb 24, 2021

PHOTO PROVIDED Katherine Hayhoe

Climate change — sometimes referred to as global warming — has gone from a speculative concern to a widely-accepted scientific fact. Governments from the national to the local level are trying to anticipate the impact that climate change will have on our way of life, from sea level rise to mass human migration. But though the problem is global, solutions often begin with small personal choices. What can we as individuals do to make a difference?

The BIG ARTS Talking Points series will provide some answers on March 4 at 4 p.m., when renowned climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe will present a virtual discussion of current climate science and what we as individuals can do.

Hayhoe is an accomplished atmospheric scientist who studies climate change and why it matters to us here and now. She directs the Climate Center at Texas Tech University and has a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science from the University of Illinois; has received the American Geophysical Union’s Climate Communication Prize and the Sierra Club’s Distinguished Service Award; and has been named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People. She hosts the PBS digital series Global Weirding and serves on advisory committees for the Smithsonian Natural History Museum and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“We know the future is uncertain,” Hayhoe said, “but we also know that we can’t use past climate to predict the future anymore. Thanks to centuries’ worth of carbon dioxide emissions from human activities, the symptoms are not just limited to increases in mean temperature; they also include more frequent heavy precipitation extremes, rising sea level, stronger hurricanes, and more intense and more frequent heat waves.”

We all know that individual activity is part of the climate problem. Most of the electricity we use daily is generated by fossil-based fuels. The food we eat is the product of agricultural methods that contribute to global temperature increases. One of the few benefits of the COVID pandemic has been to dramatically illustrate how large-scale changes in human activity can have a major positive impact on the environment. How can we best become part of the climate solution?

Hayhoe observed that “as the scientific evidence builds, so does the opposition to solutions: they’re impractical, or they’ll harm people, or they’re even too late, some argue. Why is climate change such a difficult problem to solve, and what can we do about it?”

Join Hayhoe as she untangles the complex science behind global warming and highlights the positive impact we can have on this profound human global challenge. Her presentation will be live-streamed and questions may be submitted by text during the session.

Tickets can be purchased at BIGARTS.org or by calling 239-395-0900.