Originally published in the Common Interests Newsletter - March 2022
The new IPCC report was recently released and, as expected, it Is dire. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres described it as ‘an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership’. Climate impacts are forcing tens of millions more people into extreme poverty. Damage to people, the nature we rely on to survive, political stability, and our economies is already massive and set to accelerate without far faster action. The toll on us is real.
The call to action is clear: we must accelerate change to the status quo while also investing in adapting to the changes we are too late to do anything about.
Common Earthers understand the urgency and the immensity of the task that we are faced with but have also been given the gifts of agency, resiliency, and community.
Here are some of the ways we are currently see these showing up:
The War in Ukraine
We are all deeply saddened and concerned with what is currently happening in Ukraine. As many aspects of the Russian invasion are being discussed, one that caught our attention was how this can positively influence what is happening with the climate.
Arnie Enz, (Pod 6) shared this video with us by educator and systems thinker Nate Hagens’ on What War in Ukraine means for Energy and Money. He has quite an interesting perspective.
In this article by Bruno Giussani, Global Curator of TED, addresses why the war in Ukraine is also a make-or-break moment for climate change.
And in the incredible examples here, we are being amazed daily by the creativity, grit and resilience on display by people around the world and particularly by the people of Ukraine who are illustrating what we humans are capable of.
Pritzker Architecture Prize awarded to Francis Kéré’s sustainable work
We know that our buildings and infrastructure are a part of the problem so it is wonderful to see people approaching this in innovative and sustainable ways.
“I am hoping to change the paradigm, push people to dream and undergo risk. It is not because you are rich that you should waste material. It is not because you are poor that you should not try to create quality. Everyone deserves quality, everyone deserves luxury, and everyone deserves comfort. We are interlinked and concerns in climate, democracy and scarcity are concerns for us all.”
These are the words of Burkina Faso-born, Germany-based architect Diébédo Francis Kéré, who received the 2022 Pritzker Architecture Prize. The prize is considered to be one of the most important in Architecture, honoring living professionals for their significant achievements.
Serpentine Pavilion, England
Photo courtesy of Iwan Baan
Francis Kéré's photo by Lars Borges
Lycée Schorge Secondary School,
Photo courtesy of Francis Kéré
You can read the full announcement and learn more about his inspiring work here.
The Power of Community
Here is a brief excerpt of what the course is about...
“We begin by framing our collective crises through the lens of relationship. We want to ask: how have our ways of relating created destruction? Where have we been separated from reality, each other, and our more-than-human kin? Why does the "crisis of relationship" matter? We will focus on the loss of belonging which resides at the core of many of the crises we face. We want to understand why belonging is integral to life, the ways we relate, and how we flourish as human (and more-than human) beings. We will explore how kinship as a form of relationship and belonging is crucial during these times of unravelling.”
A Jolt of Hope
Another little jolt of hope submitted by Jo Nelson of Pod 11: