Climate Action Now! (CAN!) Team Report to the Membership 2020-2021
Team Organizers: Brian Vandenberg, Matthew Hile, Rachel Jones, Bob Pickard, Cathy Pickard
Mission: To inform members and friends about problems and solutions relating to climate change and to inspire and support each other to take meaningful, concrete actions to address the climate crisis.
In 2020, the Society’s One Book selection was “Falter”, by Bill McKibben, which largely focused on the threats to humanity and earth’s other inhabitants from climate change. In response to the question, “So what do we do now?”, that arose at every discussion and Platform address on the subject, the CAN! Team was formed. (This team, of course, follows the good work of the Earth Ethics team and earlier environmentally-focused groups.) We have met, via ZOOM, since November 2020, on one Sunday morning each month at 9:30 AM. Our format features a presentation by an expert, followed by a Q & A session and, most importantly, concrete recommendations for follow-up action. A record of our 6 meetings thus far is posted on the Ethical Society website blog (https://ethicalstl.org/tag/can/) and includes all recommended action items plus resources for further investigation and research. This record is a valuable library that members can easily access and share with others who might be inspired to take action.
Our program topics and speakers:
- “Solar Power”, with Eric Schneider of StraightUp Solar
- “The Climate Casino: Financial Incentives to Lower CO2 Emissions”, with Jim Rhodes
- “Stick a Fork in Food Waste”, with Maggie McCoy of Earthways Center of Missouri Botanical Garden
- “Why Population Dynamics Matter to Climate Change”, with Hannah Evans of Population Connection
- “Plant a Tree; it Matters”, with Meridith Perkins of Forest ReLeaf of Missouri
- “How Low Can you Go? Track Your Personal Climate Impact with Carbon Calculators”, with Michelle Elmore
- Climate Justice presented in conjunction with the End Racism team
- Native Garden Tour, featuring Cathy and Bob Pickard’s native garden
So far, our members and friends have changed individual aspects of their personal behavior to lessen their environmental impact, donated money to selected environmental organizations, and communicated concerns to political representatives. We’ve even learned that two separate homeowners decided to install solar panels on their homes after attending a CAN! program on the subject. We are hopeful that many of these actions will have a ripple effect, promoting conversations with neighbors, co-workers, family and friends, growing awareness of the climate crisis, and encouraging more commitment to solution-oriented behavior.
These materials have been prepared by the Society’s CAN! (Climate Action Now!) team. This post and its links do not express or imply an endorsement by the Ethical Society of St. Louis or its leadership.