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Rising to the Occasion (with a little help from our friends)

by Kristin Beck, Chair Kentucky IPL Board

It’s undeniable. Our climate is changing. We can see it happening in real time. Although we’ve long understood the problem, the stories of fires and droughts and extreme heat waves on the news every day are heartbreaking. Rather than despair, I’ve decided I need to up my climate action skills. Maybe you feel the same. Below are a few resources that might help.

Learn and Share. Because you’re here, I know you understand that climate change is a crisis we need to address. And you know the first step to fighting climate change is to talk about it. But it can be difficult for those of us who aren’t scientists to explain the science and to respond to the objections climate deniers often raise. Luckily, atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe can help us do it. Dr. Hayhoe created Global Weirding in collaboration with KTTZ Texas Tech Public Media and PBS. This series of videos takes on a variety of climate topics in a fun, easy-to-understand format. These clips are a great way to brush up on your own climate knowledge and an easy way to share information with others.

Make the Case for Local Action. You’ve got opinions. Right now, you could probably list a dozen or more actions that would help reduce carbon emissions. Some of them are probably things any of us could do on our own. Other things, though, we need to do together. Do you think your community needs better public transportation? More bike-friendly streets? Should state and local government buildings be powered by renewable energy? Make your case and make your voice heard. The Louisville Free Public Library is hosting “Op Eds on Tour: How to Submit a Guest Column to the Courier-Journal.” Click here to learn about the next session, August 20 at the St. Matthews branch. Or visit the library’s Events page for future sessions.

Go Statewide. It’s important to advocate for the environment at all levels of government. Don’t forget about your Kentucky State Senator and Representative. Decisions made at the state level can have an enormous impact. Save this number in your contact list now so it will be handy when you need it: 1-800-372-7181. It’s the Legislative Message Line, a quick, easy way to tell your legislators what matters to you.

Bring it Back to Your Faith Community. Many religious communities have published statements on Climate Change and the importance of Creation Care. Interfaith Power & Light has compiled links to a number of them. Consider using these statements to start a conversation in your own faith community.

Your Turn. What resources have helped you in the fight against climate change? It can be anything from a podcast that informed you to a poem that inspired you. A book you’d recommend. An insightful article. A prayer that sustains you. Share them in the comments!

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