Why are we not taking action and what will happen in 2071….?

 

This incredibly moving TEDx talk given by a young student speaks about our future and how HOPE is just not enough.   We need action and we need it now.

 

Students Speaking Up For Climate Change.

 

Further research has shown that there are Climate Change Tipping points in the globe happening as early as 2020.   In addition, the past three decades have been the warmest decades since 1850.   And with all of our TED talks, articles, videos, and Al Gore presentations and trainings, what ACTIONS are there to take NOW?

Below are 10 SIMPLE PRINCIPLES pulled from a BB Article dedicated to ending climate change:

 

1. What is the single most important thing humanity has to do in the coming years – and what does that mean for me?

The number one goal? Limiting the use of fossil fuels such as oil, carbon and natural gas and replacing them with renewable and cleaner sources of energy, all while increasing energy efficiency. “We need to cut CO2 emissions almost in half (45%) by the end of the next decade,” says Kimberly Nicholas, associate professor of sustainability science at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), in Sweden.

The number one goal is to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources

To mitigate climate change, the number one goal is to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources (Credit: Getty)

The road towards that transition includes daily decisions within your reach – like driving and flying less, switching to a ‘green’ energy provider and changing what you eat and buy.

 

2. Changing how industries are run or subsidised doesn’t sound like anything I can influence… can I?

You can. Individuals need to exercise their rights both as citizens and as consumers, Robert and other experts say, putting pressure on their governments and on companies to make the system-wide changes that are needed.

 

3. Other than that, what’s the best daily action I can take?

One 2017 study co-authored by Lund University’s Nicholas ranked 148 individual actions on climate change according to their impact. Going car-free was the number-one most effective action an individual could take (except not having kids – but more on that on that later). Cars are more polluting compared to other means of transportation like walking, biking or using public transport.

 

4. But isn’t renewable energy extremely expensive?

Actually, renewables like wind and solar are becoming increasingly cheap across the world (although final costs are subject to local circumstances). The latest report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) found that several of the most commonly used renewables, like solar, geothermal, bioenergy, hydropower and onshore wind, will be on par with or cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020. Some are already more cost-effective.

Solar energy is now the cheapest source of electricity for many households

Solar energy is now the cheapest source of electricity for many households in Latin America, Asia and Africa (Credit: Getty)

The cost of utility-scale solar panels has fallen 73% since 2010, for example, making solar energy the cheapest source of electricity for many households in Latin America, Asia and Africa.  In the UK, onshore wind and solar are competitive with gas and by 2025 will be the cheapest source of electricity generation.

 

 

5. Could I make a difference by changing my diet?

That’s a big one, too. In fact, after fossil fuels, the food industry – and in particular the meat and dairy sector – is one of the most important contributors to climate change. If cattle were their own nation, they would be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, after China and the US.

If cattle were their own nation, they’d be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases

If cattle were their own nation, they’d be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases (Credit: Getty)

The meat industry contributes to global warming in three major ways. Firstly, cows’ burping from processing food releases lots of methane, a greenhouse gas. Secondly, we feed them with other potential sources of food, like maize and soy, which makes for a very inefficient process. And finally, they also require lots of water, fertilisers that can release greenhouse gases, and plenty of land – some of which come from cleared forests, another source of carbon emissions.

By reducing your consumption of animal protein by half, you can cut your diet’s carbon footprint by more than 40%

You don’t have to go vegetarian or vegan to make a difference: cut down gradually and become a ‘flexitarian’. By reducing your consumption of animal protein by half, you can cut your diet’s carbon footprint by more than 40%. A larger-scale approach could be something like banning meat across an organisation, as office-sharing company WeWork did in 2018.

 

6. How harmful are my flying habits?

Planes run on fossil fuels, and we haven’t figured out a scaleable alternative. Although some early efforts to use solar panels to fly around the world have had success, we are still decades away from commercial flights running on solar energy.

 

7. Should I be shopping differently?

Most likely. That’s because everything we buy has a carbon footprint, either in the way it is produced or in how it is transported.

For instance, the clothing sector represents around 3% of the world’s global production emissions of CO2, mostly because of the use of energy to produce attire. The hectic pace of fast fashion contributes to this figure as clothes are discarded or fall apart after short periods.

. Groceries shipped from Chile and Australia to Europe, or the other way around, have more ‘food miles’ and usually a higher footprint than local produce. But this is not always the case, as some countries grow out-of-season crops in energy-intensive greenhouses – so the best approach is to eat food that is both locally grown and seasonal. Even so, eating vegetarian still beats only purchasing local.

 

8. Should I think about how many children I have (or don’t have)?

Nicholas’s study concluded that having fewer children is the best way to reduce your contribution to climate change, with almost 60 tonnes of CO2 avoided per year. But this result has been contentious – and it leads to other questions.

 

 

9. But if I eat less meat or take fewer flights, that’s just me – how much of a difference can that really make?

Actually, it’s not just you. Social scientists have found that when one person makes a sustainability-oriented decision, other people do too.

Here are four examples:

Social scientists believe this occurs because we constantly evaluate what our peers are doing and we adjust our beliefs and actions accordingly. When people see their neighbours taking environmental action, like conserving energy, they infer that people like them also value sustainability and feel more compelled to act.

 

10. What if I just can’t avoid that flight, or cut down on driving?

If you simply can’t make every change that’s needed, consider offsetting your emissions with a trusted green project – not a ‘get out of jail free card’, but another resource in your toolbox to compensate that unavoidable flight or car trip. The UN Climate Convention keeps a portfolio of dozens of projects around the world you can contribute to. To find out how many emissions you need to ‘buy’ back, you can use its handy carbon footprint calculator.

Whether you are a coffee farmer in Colombia or a homeowner in California, climate change will have an impact on your life. But the opposite is also true: your actions will influence the planet for the coming decades – for better or for worse.

 

 

In reading this,  I have chosen to be someone who uses public transport, eats less meat, and support local Climate Effort Organizations.   What will you take on?

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Entertainment That Causes Conversations…Not Comfortable…Always Necessary.

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Theater as a medium for social change

Above is a powerful TedX talk about how theatre for social change can get sparked just by being moved by one singular play.  And while many of us may not be the people who constantly write to our local congress or who march or who put demonstrations together, we can use an incredibly powerful tool to inspire people to speak, act, and talk.   That tool is storytelling.   While we can all read statistics and hear news reports, those often will not make the difference needed.  It is when people are moved and transformed in their seat that things can shift.

I as Executive Director am always looking at examples of the arts that make a difference.  Recently, I binge watched “13 Reasons Why” on Netflix while also watching many of the interviews with the cast and writers.   This show which so accurately depicts the viciousness of teenage depression, eating disorders, teenage sexual assualt, and the pressure of growing up while undergoing these atrocities will absolutely cause people to act.  Check out more here….

The Difference 13 Reasons Why Made.

This video is quite poignant.

 

At Ripple Effect Artists, our shows have caused audiences to volunteer, sign petitions, and have conversations that matter in their family, workplace, and in education.   And we will continue to do this, causing ripples.   Is it uncomfortable?  Yes.   Must we continue?  Without a doubt.

Join us in creating more ripples……

 

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“Given that 85 percent of U.S. counties are home to some number of incarcerated individuals, it’s likely that most of our nation’s theatres are close to at least one correctional facility. In those facilities about two thirds of the incarcerated are people of color. As theatres work to diversify their audiences along lines of income and ethnicity, a growing percentage of those attendees will have a personal connection to mass incarceration, opening up new opportunities for relevance to communities. In short there seems to be great room and reason to expand this field of work.” – American Theatre

 

This quote among many show the incredible impact theatre can make.   As Ripple Effect Artists approaches its 6th annual gala, I, as founder, reflect on just how powerful theatre can be for the human condition.  It is theatre from Shakespeare, Chekhov, and the recent masters that cause audiences to look within, discover our own falsehoods, perceive people, life, and situations differently and therefore, create a shift.  Or as we say–A Ripple Effect.   While often seen as frivolous, we say it is crucial.  And we have devised a way in which it can be–using theatre to raise awareness and funds for societal issues.

 

And after 10 years, we continue to create ripples….

Spotlight on our First Board Member–Cindy Fahay!

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Cindy Fahay brings a diverse background of education and professional expertise  to the Board of REA. With an MS degree from the University of Massachusetts, Cindy was employed by NOAANMFS in 1971 where she participated in off-shore research expeditions and co-authored several peer-reviewed manuscripts for ten years. In 1981 she joined The McGraw Hill Company as a research analyst and worked her way up the ladder using her sales and science skills to one of the VPs of The McGraw Hill Company. Nineteen years later she joined a non-profit independent school where she taught Language Arts and English Literature to Middle School students for eight years. Cindy is currently retired and living in Maine and is thrilled and proud to be a member of the REA Board since the company’s inception nine years ago.
“Ripple Effect” as it applies to Ripple Effect Artists means creating a movement by simply touching one person, who will touch another, who will touch another until many of the world’s inhabitants have been touched by the importance of the advocacy work that we do at REA. With our theater arts productions that revolve around social issues, we touch more than one person at a time. Because theater is audience driven, we end up touching many with our thought provoking productions and our advocacy programs. Therefore using theater as an art form to generate action as an advocacy forum.

Spotlight on Ripple Effect Artists Board President–Jessica Jennings

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A ‘ripple effect’ is created by a point of impact, energy that shifts the area around it.  It may start small, but causes waves of change far beyond where it began.  To me, this is about one good idea that causes other good ideas; or one conversations that keeps going, that’s picked up by other people in the room.  This Season at Ripple Effect Artists we are leveraging theatre and film projects to look deeply at issues of Climate Change.  And our art is already impacting my own life.  Issues of ‘waste’ are resonating with me, so I am taking steps to reduce one-use plastics in my life.  A year ago I replaced my son’s disposable straws with reusable, composting bamboo straws. I refuse plastic bags more than ever, and I won’t use a coffee lid if I’m sitting to drink at a cafe. Next: I just ran out of saram-wrap, so I found a a product called Beeswrap that I’m going to purchase; and in the near future I will be trying my hand at compost – which is terrifying so please help me!  These are small steps for a woman, but if everyone got present to their waste and rejected one-use plastic we could cripple the industry and make the sort of drastic overhaul that the planet deserves.

Holidays are here…and what will Santa do without a North Pole?!

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As we embark on our theatrical season addressing climate change, some research has been done.   In watching Al Gore’s sequel, there are some enlightening facts that we now have realized we cannot ignore.   Over the past decade, hurricanes in New York, Houston, Florida, and other locations across the globe have taught us that sea levels are on the rise due to massive heating of structures that were once ice.   And in the U.S., we still have an administration that vastly opposes taking any action towards this crisis.

Watch this HERE!

 

Some facts to consider:

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With the facts above, what are the next best steps?

With Ripple Effect Artists’ Production of 2071 and our partnership with 350.org, we are committed to creating a safe and healthy planet for future generations–for no other reason than it is OUR FAULT.

This Holiday season, we at Ripple Effect Artists charge consumers with engaging in activities that can reduce our CO2 emissions.   These include:

Taking Trains

Recycle!

Give LED lights as Christmas Gifts!

Give a tree to plant as a Christmas Gift!

To learn more about our Carbon Footprint, give this a look!

 

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Stay educated and give our future generations the GIFT of a healthy planet.

Spotlight on our upcoming Stage Manager…

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Stephen is thrilled to be working with Ripple Effect and the incredible team working with 2071. Stephen directing and produced “The Cover of Life” by R.T.Robinson – Off-Broadway. Production Stage Manager for “Blood Boundary” by Vicki Mooney – Off Broadway  Other credits include: Production Stage Manager – Into the Woods, Annie, Pirate’s – a musical, Macbeth, and Murder’s in the Heir.   Stephen is thrilled to be working with Ripple effect for so many reasons, including but not limited to the ability to bring theater to life to share an important message of change and art with those that may not have an opportunity to experience this. The world is always going to be changing, and we are part of the problem, reason or example that change can be for the better or for the worse. Ripple Effect has a strong connection that I believe in, within the exploration of charity, and how we are able to share what we have for others whether in our professional lives or personal. Ripple Effect is an inspiration because of the team that is involved to make Ripple effect possible, along with sharing this vision and message with the entire world at large.