We are defined by our response to climate change

September 25, 2007 at 1:49 am | Posted in Climate action, Climate change | 7 Comments

“I am convinced that climate change, and what we do about it, will define us, our era, and ultimately the global legacy we leave for future generations,” Ban told more than 80 national leaders in the domed General Assembly chamber.

UN HQ NY High-Level Event “The Future in our Hands ~ Addressing the Leadership Challenge of Climate Change” 24 September 2007

“We hold the future in our hands,” he said. “Together, we must ensure that our grandchildren will not have to ask why we failed to do the right thing and let them suffer the consequences.”

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is right. We each need our own defining moment, and I like this description of one:

“The key element here is that it is always something that goes against the grain of your life, something that you’ve never really experienced before, that opens your eyes to new possibilities – and life is never the same after that,” Professor Furedi said (listen: “Sometimes very minor personal events sneak up on you“)

Read more in U.N. chief calls for action on global warming by …

7 Comments »

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  1. Ah leadership at last?

  2. I wonder if most environmentalists have been that way their whole lives, or if they changed—and if they did, was it suddenly or gradually?

  3. What’s an ‘environmentalist’?!

  4. en·vi·ron·men·tal·ist
    1 : an advocate of environmentalism
    2 : one concerned about environmental quality especially of the human environment with respect to the control of pollution

  5. […] is an environmentalist?! September 29, 2007 at 2:37 am | In Environment | I posed your question, phrased in a different way, to a few friends (young and old) […]

  6. Darmok I think your 2 points are fine but my question is trying to tease out the idea that really there is no such thing as an environmentalist. Or there are too many ideas out there as to what an ‘environmentalist’ might be.

    I think everyone is an environmentalist if it is taken to mean that they care about their surroundings. That’s at it’s most basic. There are plenty of other issues to get into if people want to take it further and many do but, most people understand the former because it’s a part of their basic survival instincts, self esteem even.

    To get back to your original question;
    ‘I wonder if most environmentalists have been that way their whole lives, or if they changed—and if they did, was it suddenly or gradually?’

    I’d say it a gradual journey unless one’s parents and these days , schooling taught them about the important of the environment.

  7. I think everyone is an environmentalist if it is taken to mean that they care about their surroundings. That’s at it’s most basic.

    The trouble is that nowadays our surroundings are defined as our homes—those are the surroundings we control and can easily spend money improving.
    .
    Women understand that we are defined by our looks and our homes: that is how other women judge us, like it or not. It is different for men😉
    .
    So, to get back to the key phrase, it would help if more people could grasp Ban’s idea in the title (my paraphrase of Ban Ki-Moon’s lead quote):

    We are defined by our response to climate change

    and recognise that we need images to help people picture what responding looks like, and more appealing visual aids to encourage people to act out of hope for a better future, rather than giving up in despair.


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