By Anthony Cortese, President, Second Nature
The last few months of 2011 were full of important sustainability news and events relevant to Second Nature’s work and the ACUPCC.
The ACUPCC Regional Collaborative Symposium, hosted by Bunker Hill Community College in November, was a big hit with very positive feedback from the evaluations from the participants. One of the highlights was a panel of presidents including Paul Ferguson (University of Maine System), Mary Fifield (Bunker Hill Community College), Gloria Larson (Bentley College) and Jonathan Lash (Hampshire College). A summary of the symposium by Sarah Brylinsky, Program Associate at Second Nature can be found here.
Furthermore, Second Nature released a white paper on the role of higher education in addressing adaptation, or ‘climate preparedness’ to unavoidable climate disruption which will occur because of our inability to cap and reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the last 20 years. It was developed under the guidance of Professor Jim Buizer (University of Arizona, IPCC member and Second Nature Board Member) with some of the best adaptation experts in the country.
Despite what the public is hearing about climate change and the dismal international results at the Conference of the Parties in Durban, South Africa in December the science is saying that the problem is growing at an unprecedented and scary rate and the tipping points are appearing much sooner and are much more worrisome than when the IPCC came out with its big report in 2007. The impacts, already being felt around the world and in the US, will be greatest on the poorest people and people of color. The important report released by the International Energy Agency in November underscores the urgency of the challenge – 5 years to make significant changes to reduce emissions.
Although initiatives like the ACUPCC are growing in recognition and success, national and international progress has fallen short. This short video says it all. Anjali Appadurai, a student at the College of the Atlantic in Maine, addressed the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa the conference on behalf of youth delegates. Her words spark the powerful feelings of impatience felt by the youth of the world, and those in developing countries who are in desperate need of funding for adaptation against the already damaging impacts of climate change.