Everyone is encouraged to attend this virtual event, to find their niche in the upside of taking action on climate change. This event, held virtually this Saturday, August 28, 1-3:30 p.m., aims to accentuate bold action on climate change—action that leads to improved safety and security for current and future generations, better public health, conservation of nature and biodiversity, and business and job growth. There’s now no doubt that human activities have unnaturally disrupted our world’s natural climate systems, causing problems that will only get worse if we don’t act boldly. Global temperatures are rising and will continue to rise, leading to sea level rise, extreme weather, and shifts in habitats and growing seasons.
The good news is, we have the solutions. Our outdated laws, energy and economy can and must be adapted to reduce the harm and disruption that they cause to humans, animals and natural systems. People have the power to change the outdated and harmful institutions and to build out clean energy and ecosystems that reduce pollution, create jobs and economic systems that equitably benefit workers, and allow all to lead purposeful, healthy lives.
More information about the event agenda, speakers, and network partners is available at the Resilience Fair website: http://resiliencefairs.com/. This free event is for anyone in the Carbondale and surrounding communities interested in community sustainability and resilience. Everyone is welcome to join us and participate in discussions of our community’s future. Registration for attending is at the website address above or directly at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYvdeyorD8sHN1k6wm2o_vH16Hl3Heg_CO2. This event is the first in a series in Carbondale and other locations across southern Illinois and is aimed at helping our community members navigate these challenging times.
The key to meeting these challenges is our working together to accomplish goals we all can agree on, such as better health, conservation of nature and more and better jobs. The old ways that are causing harm need to be stopped, their workers and communities supported, and the new ways built out and celebrated. Thus the first hour of this event, 1 to 2 pm, will focus on education: on the impacts of climate change and on new models, such as worker-owned cooperative business models, that will help our community bring about positive change for our community and for the natural environment we are part of and depend on. During this first hour, speakers include:
- Dr. Justin Schoof, Director of the SIU School of Earth Systems and Sustainability, and Professor of Geography and Environmental Resources. He will discuss climate change impacts for southern Illinois, and the recently released IPCC Sixth Assessment Report on climate science.
- Sean Park, Program Manager of the Value-added Sustainable Development Center at the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs. He provides technical assistance and training on business plan development and business start-up to cooperatives and other rural businesses in all sectors. He will discuss worker cooperatives and the opportunities for local worker-owned business models.
- Gary Willams, Carbondale’s City Manager, and Saxon Metzger, Carbondale Sustainability Commission member, will update the community on the City’s initiatives for advancing Carbondale’s sustainability and on progress made thus far by the Commission on a draft of the Sustainability Action Plan.
Hour 2 of this event, 2 to 3 pm, will be devoted to a community conversation on concerns those attending have about issues their neighborhoods face and on their ideas for bringing about positive change that will make their neighborhoods more resilient. This conversation, focusing on priorities for community resilience, will be guided to bring out ideas that can be integrated into the five areas of the Sustainability Action Plan. Community members are encouraged to attend in order to add their voices to this community conversation and to the Sustainability Action Plan.
A number of groups are already at work on innovative community projects that will make Carbondale more resilient. To promote awareness of this work and promote networking across shared interests, from 3-3:30, during the “celebration” part of the event, several organizations will share their stories about local resilience, information about their resources, including funding available, and how to get involved. Several organizations locally and regionally already provide resources and will be at the event for networking and sharing:
- City of Carbondale Sustainability Commission
- Southern Illinois Cooperative Business Fund
- The Climate Economy Education Inc
- SENSE (Students Embracing Nature, Sustainability, and Environmentalism)
- Shawnee Group Sierra Club
- The Women’s Center
- Illinois Initiative
- Peace Coalition of Southern Illinois
- United Nations Association of the USA – Southern Illinois Chapter
- Southern Illinois Collaborative Kitchen
- Buffalo Bluffs Hemp Farm
- ShopSouthernIllinois.com Local Business Directory and Pollinator
- University of Illinois Center for Urban Resilience and Environmental Sustainability (CURES)
- SIU Green Roof Team
- Just Transition Fund
- Solarize Southern Illinois
- Food Works
- USDA – Emergency Rural Health Care Grants
- Southern Illinois Food Pantry Network – Supporting Food Security in Southern Illinois Mini-Grants
The upside of taking bold climate action is immeasurable in terms of better public and environmental health, jobs and sustainable economic growth. We have the technology and all the models and information we need; what we need most is for every person, every member of every community, to be taking action. Attend the resilience fair and find your niche. Contact information:
- Get more information about the August 28 event in Carbondale, as well as other events coming up across southern Illinois this fall at the Resilience Fairs website: http://resiliencefairs.com/.
- To get more information about the City of Carbondale Sustainability Commission’s Climate Action Plan, contact Jane Cogie, 618-713-7024 or email@example.com.
- To get help organizing a resilience fair in your community, contact Amy McMorrow Hunter, firstname.lastname@example.org, 618-713-2896.