Young Scientists: Hope from Climate Summit

“The world needs your voice. Use it.”

 

As a middle-aged scientist who wishes our society would make decisions based on reality, I get diNick & Kate from pdf 150 pctscouraged watching middle-aged politicians play power games while we keep burning coal and oil, pumping heat-trapping carbon into the atmosphere, and hurting our children. Sometimes, the only hope I can see is that younger people do seem to get the need to stop abusing our planet.

Two weeks ago, with my San Diego 350 colleagues Bonnie and Janina, I got to meet some young scientists who really do give me hope. As of my last post, these Scripps Oceanography and University of California scientists were headed to the world climate summit in Warsaw to make the politicians there a little less ignorant of what climate change is doing to our oceans.

They aimed high. At the conference, they gave two formal presentations, spoke with delegates from 70% of the countries represented and brought their messagOSIP & Figueres from pdf 150 pcte to top policy makers including the executive secretary of the United Nations body that governs the yearly climate negotiations.

Now, they’ve brought the climate summit back to San Diego, with a series of video and text blogs that you ought to see. My favorite is “COP 19: Who Cares?” a 5-minute video exploring whether summit delegates care about the oceans. The screen shots at the beginning and end of this post may give you a feeling for how lively and humanly engaged that video is. Their other postings offer interviews with climate protesters on the streets of Warsaw, testimony from summit delegates and ordinary Poles who care about climate, tutorials on how sea life is harmed by little-recognized changes in the ocean’s acidity and oxygen content, and eyewitness assessments of what really happened at the climate talks.

In spite of the dismal results of the climate negotiations, these young scientists came back inspired and determined to keep educating policy makers about the need to include the oceans in climate policy decisions. You can hear that determination in biological oceanographer Natalya Gallo’s blog post, “You Can Have an Impact – Scientists Informing Policy.”

Check them out: Ocean Scientists for Informed Policy. Their energy, hope and competence will give you strength to fight for our climate and our children.

OSIP photo spread from pdf 90pct

Photographs and video screen shots by permission of Ocean Scientists for Informed Policy. Blog post researched by Bill Avrin, Bonnie Funk and Janina Moretti.

Creative Commons License This text by William F. Avrin is used here by permission of the author, and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

 

About Bill Avrin

As a physicist, but not a climatologist, Bill Avrin has spent nearly twenty years looking at how citizens who aren't climate scientists can understand what science is telling us about climate change. Bill has written and spoken on climate change for PV Magazine, Vision Magazine, the website Understanding Climate Change, California State University, Fresno, the Salk Institute's Art and Science Forum, and numerous civic groups.

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