An exclusive peek at a draft report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) given over to Agence-France Presse paints a gloomy picture of the century to come. The most terrifying part of the report focuses specifically on laying out the potential for feedback loops, and what that could mean for humanity and the Earth's ecology as a whole if we continue on our current path for even a few more decades.
In short, the picture looks pretty bleak. With most scientists agreeing 1.5 degrees Celsius as veritably "baked in," we're likely to see stronger and more frequent climate-related catastrophes in the coming decades. Everything from droughts to typhoons and increased flooding should be expected throughout the remainder of this century regardless if we manage to get a grip on our carbon addiction. The report makes it clear that we're currently on track for much more than that.
Well, that was a bummer.
It sure was. Frankly, most climate and ecology news these days is a bummer. We're sailing head long into trying days, but that doesn't mean we're without hope.
Or without weapons.
Climate change is, if nothing else, a tremendous opportunity to take action in your own backyard. Planetary problems may require planetary solutions, but where the rubber hits the road is always with people like you and me. Just people, doing the right thing where they can, when they can. And all those people doing the right thing starts to add up.
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A regenerative future.
So, what is the right thing, then? For starters, we need to be thinking in regenerative terms moving forward. It's no longer sufficient to just find sustainable ways of continuing business as usual. We need to start finding ways to actively leave things better than we found them. That is at the heart of the regenerative agriculture movement, which currently encompasses everything from silvopasture and agroforestry to fully off-grid permaculture homesteads. It's still a very small percentage of the over-all food production mix, but regenerative agriculture has shown promise in every arena in which its been applied so far. Not only for higher yields but also lower carbon footprint and water usage, healthier livestock, and happier farmers.
Where do you fit in?
The best news in all this doom and gloom is that climate change and ecological destruction are such far-reaching, massive issues that, no matter where your interests lie, there's almost certainly a place for you. Here at Roots Down we believe that the climate crisis can be averted and mitigated through productive use of public urban land. With so much of our cities devoted to cement, buildings, or yards (none of which are even sustainable, let alone regenerative), there is literally millions of acres of opportunity to grow a less carbon-intensive, and more ecologically-integrated food system, all while better managing our watersheds, fighting climate change, and growing green jobs.
But, if you're not that interested in food or urban land use, there is still plenty of places to get plugged into your local community. Working to divert food waste to those in need like the folks Goodr. Participate in little trash pick up campaigns. Heck, run for local office, any office will do, because climate and ecology touches everything. Even the most mundane officeholder has an opportunity to make a difference.
So, while we acknowledge the truth of the IPCC's continually dire findings, we also want to point out that they are projections, not predictions. There is still time to change the direction of humanity, and that change starts with you and your neighbors.