Thursday, October 22, 2015

Let’s Talk Story - Be a Witness to Climate Change

By Robert Westover

On our way into work this morning my husband, Tom, was reading an article in The Atlantic about Microsoft founder Bill Gate’s perspective on climate change when Tom abruptly turned to me and said: I hear so much about the science of climate change but I rarely hear people tell how it has affected them...on an individual level. I want to hear about their personal experiences.

Tom enjoying New Zealand's great outdoors
I was astounded that I hadn’t thought to promote this type of anecdotal climate change awareness on a more focused level in the ten years I’ve been writing about global warming. (Full disclosure: for many years I’ve been a “true believer” in the effects of climate change, as a man-made phenomenon. Tom has always been a keen observer and skeptic of political/environmental trends but he now agrees wholeheartedly with me that climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing mankind and we need to do something about it.)

Well, I got to work—immediately (as in today).  And here's the start.

I’ve launched a Facebook page called Witness to Climate Change to capture in one location as many personal storied of how climate change has affected You and Me—all of us on an individual level. This is how the story needs to be told. This is how people learn. Anecdotes of this-is-what-happened-to-me have guided humanity for millennia and I now feel this should be the focus of a worldwide climate change awareness campaign I’m calling (like the Facebook handle) Witness to Climate Change.  

Shortly after meeting Prince Charles
 (I'm snapping a picture in the background)
Back a few years ago, I had the opportunity to meet one of the great climate change spokespersons (if you will) in the world. I shook hands with Prince Charles and told him I worked on climate change issues to which he responded, “But is anyone listening?" to which I replied, "We're making progress. They will listen..."

I hope the Witness to Climate Change grassroots awareness campaign is an answer so that many more will start “listening”.

Please go to the new Witness to Climate Change Facebook page and share your own experiences of what you've seen, lived or how you’ve been affected by climate change. I’ll choose stories to be promoted on this blog and my Twitter site @MrClimateChange.

Let’s fight Climate Change one story at a time!


Robert Westover said...

Tom and my "Witness to Climate Change" Facebook page has garnered over 1000 likes in less than a week! We're still working on making it a more interactive awareness campaign but we're off to a great start! Please post your own experiences on the page:
There is no doubt in my mind that climate change has been induced by gas/pollutants (i.e. carbon dioxide and methane emissions) WE have thrown into our plant’s atmosphere since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution.
The Witness to Climate Change awareness campaign has been launched to allow folks to share their personal experience of how global warming has affected their lives. It is not a forum for debating whether or not one believes climate change is a man-made or a natural cycle of the earth.

For those (I feel uninformed) persons who are in denial about man’s impact on global warming I say your arguments are about as persuasive as the Tobacco Industry’s attempts in the mid Twentieth Century to convince consumers that lung cancer wasn’t related to the use of their product.

As the moderator of this Facebook page, I will simply delete all climate change deniers’ comments/posts. Please spread your mistruths in some other forum that will welcome you.

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