INSIDE THE GREENHOUSE | Re-telling climate change stories

Inside the Greenhouse Newsletter Issue #16

Read on for some samplings of our current activities and ongoing commitments

We hope you’re all doing as well as you can in this difficult and pressurized pandemic times. Our heart goes out to everyone, especially those directly impacted: the global COVID-19 pandemic has changed all of our lives. This current COVID-19 crisis has shown how fragile we are – as individuals, communities, countries and global systems – to major shocks. Over the past months we have been learning many painful and important lessons.

While we necessarily partake in urgent behavior changes needed to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus, we’re solemnly aware that climate change too remains pressing and urgent. While it may feel difficult to confront the climate crisis as we face this current COVID-19 crisis, there are critical reasons to continue to confront both. Among them, we see:

  • the intertwined benefits of early action 
  • connected and renewed respect as well as humility for humans’ role in a changing environment 
  • interrelated and renewed value for evidence
  • an appreciation for what communities and governments in coordination can accomplish
  • a heightened awareness of the how coronavirus and climate change have differentially heavier impacts on vulnerable and disadvantages communities

Frankly, this has been an extended period of accelerated learning and intense behavior change. We have all experienced a lot since our last newsletter update in December.

While those who are not essential workers adhere to stay at home order, we note that the International Energy Agency (IEA) announced recently that the latest decreases in emissions related to COVID-19 reverberation have been the largest in the past decade. The IEA also projected that emissions were forecasted to drop by 8% in 2020, a drop six times greater than the drop in 2009 associated with the Great Recession. That said, in the words of IEA executive director Fatih Birol, “this historic decline in emissions is happening for all the wrong reasons. People are dying and countries are suffering enormous economic trauma right now. The only way to sustainably reduce emissions is not through painful lockdowns, but by putting the right energy and climate policies in place”.

So we at Inside the Greenhouse (ITG) resolutely carry on with our work to meet people where they are and ‘re-tell climate change stories’ from a range of perspectives in order to help make sense of 21st century climate challenges and to inspire great climate engagement and action.

Despite current conditions, below you’ll find updates regarding our ongoing research, teaching and engagement over these first months of the year.