Credit: red-feniks

Credit: red-feniks

Our recent series of three conversations on climate change concluded May 29 with a discussion in which panelists agreed that the biggest barrier to lowering U.S. carbon emissions is the lack of perceived urgency among the public and unhelpful political rhetoric. Education and finding ways to engage in productive conversation about climate change is essential, but it’s unclear how to do so effectively, they agreed.

Panelist Sam Pearsall is so concerned about climate change and the changes he is already seeing in North Carolina with sea-level rise and in plant and wildlife communities that he retired as the Environmental Defense Fund’s  Southeastern regional manager for land, water and wildlife to devote himself full time to speaking out on climate change. 

Steve Kalland, executive director of the North Carolina Solar Center, said that solar power technology has become feasible on a much larger scale than ever before. He mentioned a recent visit to Kannapolis to see Shoe Show’s 23-acre rooftop solar panel array, which generates 5 megawatts of power.

Fr. Jacek Orzechowski, OFM, discussed the moral implications of climate change and its impact on the world’s poorest people, who are most vulnerable to drought, famine and sea-level rise.

Food security is one aspect of climate change that is particularly concerning, said Carl Sigel, chair of the steering committee of NC Interfaith Power & Light. Individuals can contribute to reducing the impact of climate change and ensure that more food is available to the poor through practices like eating everything you buy, eating lower on the food chain (more vegetables, less meat) and eating locally grown foods.

For more resources related to faith, science and climate change, please visit our website at http://bit.ly/climate_sfa. Resources include tips on Earth-friendly eating, recommended books on climate change and what you can do to lower your carbon footprint.