Most Eugeneans know that climate change is happening, but acting on that knowledge is a little trickier. On Feb. 10, the Climate Change Mitigation and Preparation meeting at Cozmic will feature a series of short talks followed by roundtable discussions that focus primarily on action.
“The truth is that educating is huge, but people are dying for action,” says Pam Driscoll, a facilitator and speaker for the meeting. “We have all the information. Now we need to act on it.”
Driscoll says her inspiration for the meeting came after she attended the Climate Reality Leadership Corps training in San Francisco. She and hundreds of attendees from 58 other countries learned climate change communication techniques, including how to do Al Gore-style PowerPoint presentations. On her return to Oregon, Driscoll realized that the problem in Eugene is not a lack of awareness about climate change, but a shortage of tangible action.
“Everyone’s frustrated with talking about it,” Driscoll says. “Let’s not debate it anymore. Let’s talk about mitigating and preparing for it.”
For the Feb. 10 event, Driscoll scheduled 11 local speakers, including Matt McRae, a climate and energy analyst for the city of Eugene, and Megan Kemple of the Willamette Farm and Food Coalition. Topics will include climate change resistance, land use, food security and coal trains, among others. Each talk will last about 15 minutes, affording time after the talks for the audience to split off into groups in a roundtable format. The speakers will offer sign-up sheets for those wanting to become more involved.
For Driscoll, it’s a unique opportunity to encourage both small and large-scale change. She says now is the time for citizens to push lawmakers into responding to climate change, before it’s too late.
The meeting is free and open to the public, with the talks starting at 1 pm at Cozmic, 199 W. 8th Ave. For more information see the Facebook page at http://wkly.ws/1f7