CARE, Germanwatch, ActionAid and WWF recently released a report called “Into Unknown Territory: The limits to adaptation and reality of loss and damage from climate impacts,” which warns against irreparable damage from climate change for ecosystems and vulnerable countries. One of the report’s primary findings is that decision-makers need to focus their approaches towards “addressing vulnerabilities and building resilience and adaptive capacity, especially of the poorest and most vulnerable people.”
We’re sharing the report, in part, because it validates what COTAP does. COTAP is a grassroots movement of individuals in developed countries who are addressing their personal contribution to global warming – the CO2 emissions from their daily activities – by supporting projects which create wages for the world’s poorest communities.
But the other more important reason we’re sharing it on the COTAP blog is because this report’s release breaks out of all the noise and clutter about climate change with a poignant angle. That angle is that humankind’s ability, with all its resources and know-how, to ultimately adapt to climate change is an untested assumption.
It gave me a flashback to a panel about “Climategate” I attended at UC Berkeley in January 2010. Bill Collins, Department Head of Climate Science at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, noted that humans are “playing against the house” of Mother Nature and that most climate change models exclude what he refers to as “bumps in the night.” It’s a fascinating discussion in general, and you can watch the whole thing here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itE2NiZZH_k. Dr. Collins’ above-mentioned comments start around the 46:30 mark .
At COTAP, we already accept that global warming is going to be a significant challenge, and many noble NGO’s like 350.org are already doing a great job working that aspect of the issue. COTAP chooses to complement and expand upon their narrative by focusing on the positive human impacts made possible through the instrument and system of carbon offsets.
So, if we had to pick a Neil Young song as our theme, it wouldn’t be “The Needle and The Damage Done,” it would be something more empowering and positive, like “Walk With Me.”