We are always grateful for spring. The beauty of the season is restorative, reminding us of the natural rhythms of the world around us. But if we look closely, those rhythms are changing. Winters are shorter, and plants seduced by the early warmth are harmed when they flower too early. These days, spring is often much wetter or drier than in the past, and storms that normally come with the summer heat are shocking us with an early arrival.
We shouldn’t be surprised. We have released almost 2.5 trillion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution began, and that is impacting our natural systems. Our actions are directly responsible for the changing world around us.
We also shouldn’t be complacent. It’s too easy to shirk from this challenge by saying “other countries aren’t doing their part” or “the problem is too big for individuals to impact.”
If we, as a country and as individuals, don’t step up to meet this challenge, the natural patterns will change even more, and our children will inherit a very different world than the one given to us. We don’t have the time or the luxury to wait for others to address it. It’s up to us.
That’s why I’m so proud of our expanding C-Change Conversations family – the groups around the country who are raising their voices with ours and working to continue to educate their communities in a non-partisan way that brings people together.
Our presentations are working. Our audience members understand the science and the gravity of the challenge and are being inspired to raise their voices and take action.
For them, and all of you who cheer us on and raise your voice, we are immensely grateful.
Founder and President
Primer Audience Sets New Record
Nearly 1,000 students, parents, and faculty – C-Change’s largest audience ever – attended a Primer presentation delivered via Zoom by Dallas Hetherington in January. Not only were the numbers off the charts, surveys provided overwhelmingly positive feedback. Many thanks to The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey for the great turnout.
Would your school community (or another group) like to schedule an in-person or virtual presentation of our original Primer, Health Primer, or Business Primer? Our turnkey process makes it easy to request and book a speaker.
C-Change Makes Second Visit to the Capitol
Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) is the ranking member (Republican leader) of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and a member of the Conservative Climate Caucus, the third largest House caucus. The congressman has frequently addressed the annual meeting of the Garden Club of America’s National Affairs and Legislation Committee and emphasized the challenges of protecting jobs and addressing the impact of climate change. So we were especially pleased that Kathleen Biggins presented the Primer last week to his committee staff members in Washington, D.C.
Congressman Graves represents a Louisiana district where fossil fuel production is critical to jobs and the local economy. It is also an area that is literally losing ground rapidly to sea level rise. His staff was keen to discuss the role of U.S. natural gas in addressing climate change. Not only has U.S. natural gas largely supplanted coal and led to dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, they said, but it is also cleaner than natural gas from other countries, including Russia, and could be exported to help decrease emissions around the world. The staff was also very hopeful that carbon capture technology will become scalable and enable us to use natural gas more safely.
“Southern Tour” a Smashing Success
Over three days in February, Kathleen Biggins delivered Primer presentations to nearly 250 people in Athens, Georgia at events sponsored by the Athens Area Community Foundation, the Rotary Club of Athens, and three garden clubs (Junior Ladies Garden Club, Heritage Garden Club, and Athens Garden Club), which held their event at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. Positive reviews by the leader of the Botanical Garden has already motivated other botanical gardens to request Primer presentations. Dr. James W. Porter, who helped make the Emmy-winning documentary Chasing Coral, told Kathleen that our presentation is powerful because in addition to helping people understand the facts about climate change, we also tell them why they need to know it. Thank you, Dr. Porter!
And in March, the Garden Club of Lookout Mountain, near Chattanooga, TN, hosted Kathleen for a Primer presentation. This presentation had been rescheduled twice due to COVID, and it was such a pleasure to be able to be with this wonderful group. Many reached out afterward, and we look forward to continuing the conversation in Lookout Mountain.
Meanwhile, C-Change Treasurer Catherine Sidamon-Eristoff presented the Primer virtually to OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) students at her alma mater, Duke University. Closer to home, last weekend Kathleen virtually presented the C-Change Health Primer at an event hosted by the Mercer County Sustainability Coalition.
Local C-Change Efforts Keep the
On the heels of this successful “southern tour,” C-Change virtually met with women from Athens, GA and Columbia, SC to discuss how to build on the local energy and enthusiasm following Primer presentations. We are so excited that C-Change “affiliates” there and in other areas are beginning to take shape! C-Change offers support and resources to groups in any city who want to continue to educate their communities following a Primer presentation and inspire climate action. Contact Kathleen Biggins if you would like to learn more.
On the Road with Dallas
C-Change presenter Dallas Hetherington is doing a lot to help spread the word about climate change. Last week he delivered three Primers in four days at: the Long Island Children’s Museum in Garden City, NY (pictured above); the Somerset Lake and Game Club Boathouse, in Far Hills, NJ; and the Bernardsville Library, in Bernardsville, NJ.
Back in February, he traveled even further from home and enjoyed an afternoon of skeet shooting with other men at the Union League Golf Club at Torresdale in Philadelphia before presenting the Primer to the group. His fellow outdoor enthusiasts had plenty of questions and praise for the Primer, and we were thrilled to reach this kind of audience, who no doubt experience the impact of climate change on outdoor recreation. Many thanks to C-Change team member Tina Alt and her husband, Jeff, for hosting the event.
Author Eliza Smith Brown brought the Primer to the Pittsburgh Golf Club, again along with lively conversation and promising results. The president of a local university approached Dallas after his talk, and we are exploring ways to work together. In addition to his virtual presentation to The Lawrenceville School (see top story), Dallas also “Zoomed” into Arkansas in February to present the Primer to Little Rock Garden Club members and their guests.
Experts Answer Your Questions
No question is too simple or complex for our panel of science advisors, who stand ready to field your questions about climate change. Last month, Nadir Jevanjee answered a question we received about CO2 emissions and their relationship among oceans, land, and atmosphere. Nadir is a Research Physical Scientist at NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.
And now, we’re answering your questions about climate change and health. We are grateful that Dr. Joan Schiller, a lung cancer physician, is a member of the C-Change team.
Read other Q&A here, and don’t be shy about asking your questions here.
Does COVID-19 have any tie to climate change?
Dr. Joan Schiller answers:
Share Your Striking Images
Following our presentations in Athens, GA, C-Change friend and supporter Valerie Aldridge emailed us this story:
“I wanted to share my observations of global warming in Morocco. Our guide was shocked by the lakes and riverbeds that had dried up in the 2 ½ years since he had been in these areas and was very worried. In the Middle Atlas Mountains the lake – a main source of water – had all but dried up. The riverbeds in the valley near Ait Benhaddou were completely dry and whole olive groves were dead. Water was only used in areas used by tourists. The people are very concerned about the lack of water for drinking and crops.
Thank you for all of your continued work with C-Change Conversations. We will continue to spread the word.”
Thank you, Valerie, for sharing truly sobering photos and observations from your trip. We invite all our C-Change friends and supporters to share images of what you see – during your travels and even from your hometown – that help illustrate the challenge of climate change.
ICYMI – Princeton Magazine Features C-Change in February Issue
C-Change was honored that Princeton Magazine, a leading publication in the community where we began, published a terrific article about our team, including our founding, our success, and where we’re headed. Like audiences around the country, the magazine recognizes the value of our unique outreach. We are thrilled that the magazine devoted so much space to our efforts.
C-Change Would Like Your Help
Looking for a way to support our work? Here are a few ideas.
- C-Change is open for business this summer! It’s easy to schedule a
presentation of our original Primer, Health Primer, or Business Primer.
- Share the useful, thought-provoking, non-partisan C-Change newsletters and blogs
that you receive.
- Donate to help us expand our reach. Our major initiatives include:
● Creating local teams to continue educating their communities after we present
● Developing more in-person and virtual programs and resources
● Training additional presenters