Regeneration – Agency

Note: This article is not original work. It is modelled after content in Regeneration – Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation by Paul Hawkin. Some phrases are drawn directly. Others are my variation to deliver the messages in short digestible bites. This book is a remarkable document and I encourage you to get your own copy.

Hawkin uses the term “Agency” in a way unfamiliar to me; it is an action or intervention to produce a particular effect. That certainly fits with the focus of his book which is teaching me so much. Reminder; Regeneration is about ending the climate crisis in one generation.

From when climate change caught my attention, it has been on understanding it from a perspective of scientific evidence. Hawkin has changed my perspective; it is far more important to appreciate what changes loam on the horizon to our way of life. Without intervention, they are all bad with the possibility of the extinction of humanity.

  • Increased global temperatures will result in more droughts especially in the tropics and rainforests will become fire prone savanas.
  • Rising ocean temperatures will change circulation and disrupt traditionally stable weather patterns with a direct impact on agriculture.
  • There will be more frequent forest fires leading to an increase in the number of pests and trigger the collapse of northern forests.
  • Ocean heating will result in more acid oceans and the death of every coral reef.
  • The Thwaites Glacier in Antartica is melting several times faster that before climate change and will result in a three-foot rise in the oceans world wide.
  • The northern permafrost is melting and releasing massive amounts of ancient stored carbon dioxide and methane.

Life as we know it will change. It is difficult to say the impact on families, cities, economics, companies, food, politics, and children but it is easy to appreciate it won’t be for the better.

With that said, there is still time for us to change the future and that is where Hawkin takes us and what I plan to share with you through this series. Through Regeneration we can rescue ourselves and future generations. It is not too late but we are clearly at a tipping point where non-action cannot be one of our options.

Hawkin points out that climate prediction obscures the small changes that lead people to become actively involved in activities that address climate change rather than passivity and fear. These are the kind of actions that slow, forestall, and transform the climate crisis. This is an important good start and I hope more people will buy into how important it is that we need everyone on the face of our blue dot actively engaged as an agent of change. It will take hundreds of millions of individuals realizing they have agency, that they can take action, and that collectively we can prevent runaway global warming.

We stand at the abyss of a climate emergency without question but there is another remarkable threshold emerging from the chaos. The rate of understanding and awakening about climate change is increasing exponentially, even skyrocketing.

There is much more I can add to this article about agency. To put it simply; no one is coming to help. There is no brain trust that is going to work out the problems while we ponder and wait. We have to take on this challenge collectively to ensure the survival of humanity.

As the weather becomes even more disruptive, and awareness and concern increase, the movement to reverse the climate crisis will likely become the largest movement in the history of humankind.

In Canada, the most active environment agency is the David Suzuki Foundation. In the Summer 2021 edition of Finding Solutions, there was an article titled “Ten Reasons to Have Climate Hope.” The vibe is positive and consistent with the messaging in Regeneration. It seemed to me it was worthwhile to replicate it in this blog post as the last message.

Canada’s progress on climate change continues to be dangerously slow. We don’t have an ambitious target. Canada is the only G7 country whose emissions are accelerating. We continue to invest in oil and gas infrastructure.

BUT there are good reasons to hope Canada CAN on track to do its fair share to prevent climate catastrophe:

  1. The cost of renewable energy is plummeting and available to more people. Solar power is now the cheapest source of electricity in history.
  2. People in Canada are speaking up. A vast majority are concerned and want action.
  3. The international youth led climate movement is not backing down. Canada’s young leaders are innovating ways to fight for their futures.
  4. The Supreme Court affirmed that climate change is an emergency.
  5. Indigenous communities are leading on the transition to renewables in creative, culturally appropriate ways and on the protection of traditional territories from fossil fuel expansion.
  6. Canada strengthened and funded its climate plan. It makes polluters pay, supports clean tech development, and brings in cleaner transportation and fuel standards.
  7. Cities and towns are leading the way by encouraging building retrofits and eneergy efficiency, enabling electric vehicle charging and active transportation and introducing road pricing and carbon budgets.
  8. The U.S. is normalizing bold action. Goals and policies once seen as radical are part of the current administration’s commitments.
  9. Climate action creates milllions of jobs. For every job lost is fossil fuels over the past six years, the Canadian economy created 42 new ones.
  10. Climate action is addressing systemic causes and interconnected injustices. Historically marginalized people contribute the least to the problem but suffer the most.

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