Climate Action Shoreline: Thinking about our world community

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Sea anemones. Photo uncredited 
By Diane Lobaugh

I love writing articles on climate action. I missed last month because of a back injury from a bad fall at home, which thankfully is healing.

I could not have faced my last month without the love and support of my community of neighbors, friends, and family. As my daughter was leaving for college last month, I told her that I wanted her to notice and remember to build community all the time, everywhere she can. 

Community is wonderful for block parties, celebrations, visits, daily hellos... and when things get tough due to accidents, illness, or struggles. The offers of help, meals, kind words, trips to the market really make a difference.

Photo uncredited
Now turning my attention to our world community: I have been reading reports about the flooding in Nigeria, the loss of life, damage to homes, farms and the infrastructure of communities, the disease, drinking water and food insecurity. 

There are different causes of the flooding, which are hard to understand from my corner of the world but are related to racism and exploitation. There is increased rainfall due to global warming, and there could be even more flooding throughout November. 

I recently heard a report of issues faced in Togo, such as food insecurity and a very high infant mortality. 

According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Africa is one of the most vulnerable regions in the world, facing food insecurity due to drought. And now in parts of Nigeria due to flooding.

It is hard to keep learning about the struggles facing so many people due to climate change. Or learning that we are not on track to make needed reductions in global emissions, which will lead to more devastation.

Autumn leaves. Photo by Diane Lobaugh
Rather than going numb or staying unaware, we can take turns listening to each other, so we can keep thinking and feeling. Sometimes we can just cry and let our hearts break. We can keep connecting and being kind to each other and the earth. And all of us can and must take on the challenge of eliminating fossil fuels.

I also look for ways to share the privilege and resources that I have. I was honored and humbled to have an opportunity while attending a recent climate conference.

At the conference (on Zoom) a team of participants were set up in pairs, those with and without stable internet connections, which in this case were folks in several countries in Africa. I was paired with a young woman who was leading part of the conference. 

I learned that she and I would stay in touch on a phone app right before each meeting, and if her internet was unstable, I would help her hear the conference and speak via Zoom and the phone app. 

There were about 20 other pairs also working together to have all voices heard. We in the globally dominant and industrialized nations have so much to learn from people that are causing the least damage to the environment, and yet are facing the worst effects of climate change.

Rainforest photo by Diane Lobaugh
The United Nations' COP 27, or "Conference of the Parties", will be meeting in Egypt 11/6-11/18. 

This is a climate conference attended by countries and world leaders that signed on to the UN's climate agreement in 1992, and the Paris Agreement in 2015. 

These UN summits on climate are held yearly for governments to agree to steps to limit global temperature rise to below 1.5C. 

Besides the government meetings, there is a platform for grassroots activists (youth, scholars, civil and indigenous societies, etc.) to meet with global leaders and decision-makers and each other. 

Watch for reports of this important conference: UN COP27.

As the earth is generous with rain here in the Northwest this season, I hope we can be generous with each other, next door and across the world.

Past Shoreline Area News articles based on the pamphlet from Climate Action Shoreline:


Anonymous,  November 1, 2022 at 1:18 PM  

Thank you, Diane, for your deeply thoughtful, caring post. How can we connect with this climate community? I need hope as more trees fall in Shoreline to development.

Anonymous,  November 2, 2022 at 7:23 AM  

Thank you Diane. Yes, how can we connect with your effort?

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