Using Climate Change as an Opportunity (Ed B. - Nov '19)

Published in the Stevens County Times

Climate change is A) the end of the world (or at least of many species including humanity)! B) fake news, one of the greatest hoaxes ever! C) an opportunity to do better (?!). If we align with A, we may find that we spend a good deal of time gasping and lamenting that we have not as a society been able to make significant changes in order to slow or reduce the impacts of climate change. Those of us drawn to B are constantly on guard, grasping for some way to argue that climate scientists have it all wrong. If we stop to consider C, we might find that yes, climate change presents massive challenges, but that there are also opportunities that come with climate change. For example, more extreme weather (droughts, wildfires) in California (challenge) means that there is more need for fresh produce (fruits, nuts, vegetables) to be grown elsewhere (opportunity). People driven from their far-away homes by climate change-fueled droughts and sea level rise (challenge) are revitalizing many Minnesota communities (both challenge and opportunity). Switching from fossil fuel-based energy sources (challenge) requires development of even more locally-generated renewable energy (opportunity) as well as continued improvement of our electrical grid and associated services; both of which require a skilled, tech-savvy labor force willing to work and live outside metropolitan areas (both challenge and opportunity). Yes, there are vast challenges associated with climate change, but we can also choose to view these as opportunities and take appropriate action to change both ourselves and our communities for the better.

Ed Brands

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Yes! I definitely want to see more emphasis on opportunity. I find the positive vibe of opportunity more encouraging and motivating to make changes. Negative, the end is nigh, articles are quite demoralizing, add to inertia and lead to inaction.

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