Learn how NM, others can make a difference - Albuquerque Journal

Learn how NM, others can make a difference

We’re suffering through the hottest summer ever recorded. If the heat were rising only in New Mexico, it would be merely an uncomfortable inconvenience. But as the blazing headlines from around the world tell us, we’re at the cutting edge of a decades-long trend of global warming and climate disruption.

What we’re seeing is no less than a mounting and dangerous threat to the earth’s ecological balance and to our own very survival.

Can any of us make a difference? The upcoming NEW MEXICO RISING Climate Conference & Film Festival will offer answers. Films and lectures will document threats to New Mexico’s environment and climate, while also illustrating the significant impact individuals are making in resisting environmental degradation.

How bad is it, really? Consider the facts:

• July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded. Permafrost in Siberia and elsewhere is melting, releasing vast amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere.

• On Aug. 15, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released a statement that began: “Much of the planet sweltered in unprecedented heat in July, as temperatures soared to new heights in the hottest month ever recorded. The record warmth also shrank Arctic and Antarctic sea ice to historic lows.”

• Rising ocean levels continue to rise, imperiling low-lying cities. In Miami, for example, it’s common for downtown streets to be awash with seawater even on clear, sunny days. Pacific atolls are disappearing under ocean swells.

• Rains and flooding have devastated large tracts of the Mississippi watershed across the Midwest and South this year, significantly damaging agricultural production.

• Thousands of plant and animal species across the globe near extinction with the climate induced-loss of their natural habitats.

• Meanwhile, the Trump Administration continues to deny climate science and encourages “business as usual” in the pursuit of corporate profits. His administration has encouraged the American fossil fuel industry to accelerate efforts to extract and burn coal, oil and natural gas, adding to atmospheric CO2 levels.

The NEW MEXICO RISING Climate Conference & Film Festival will offer inspiring accounts of how individual citizens have stepped up to fight for change:

• Dr. David Gutzler, UNM Professor of Climatology, will speak about the global impacts of climate change.

• Biologist Dr. Sandra Steingraber, distinguished scholar at Ithaca College, will tell her story and show the documentary of her successful fight to ban fracking in the state of New York.

• Albuquerque First Lady Elizabeth J. Kistin Keller and City Sustainability Officer Kelsey Rader will address what the city of Albuquerque is doing to combat climate disruption and to promote sustainable practices.

• Maya van Rossum, director of the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, will explain the potential for adopting a “Green Amendment” to the New Mexico Constitution to secure our right to a healthy environment.

• Attendees will discover initiatives to save our soils, transition to clean energy and protect our public lands, while also gaining insight into ancient Native American wisdom in living in sustainable balance with nature.

• The event will feature “Making a Difference” breakout groups to develop personal action plans to address the climate disruption crisis.

The stakes are too high. The problem’s too big to ignore.

Join us and let’s work together for change.

Home » Opinion » Guest Columns » Learn how NM, others can make a difference


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