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A Response to the IPCC’s “Code Red for Humanity”

After the sixth assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was released earlier this month, I’ve found myself pretty shaken up. Normally, I keep my blog posts light and educationally-focused; however, this month I was moved to stray from my status quo.

The IPPC’s assessment report is a deeply harrowing document that serves as a dire warning for humanity, and as an environmentally conscious person with a sustainable small business, I’ve wanted to scream for about the last 24 hours. Anyone with me here?

This report has made me reconsider my plan with my partner to start trying for a baby next year, something we had finally agreed upon after years of debating whether this was a fair decision for us to bring another little life into this breaking world.

It has made me reconsider how thoroughly and intentionally I engage in sustainability through Summit Sustainable Goods, and has led to the rekindling of my climate grief and anxiety, which I had been able to set on the back burner while focusing on building my business in the past year.

For the typical citizen, this document may make stomachs flip, perhaps invoke an eye-roll or a heavy sigh, a half-hearted commitment to drive slightly less or carpool occasionally. For me, this was yet another reminder that at the age of 28, the security and stability in my life may very well be at its peak, that my decision to start a family and provide a healthy and happy life for a child is countered with the knowledge that they will face difficulties in their lifetime that I cannot fathom.

Wildfires are burning out of control worldwide. Here in Colorado, I cannot spend more than an hour outside maskless without my lungs constricting and aching for the lack of quality air. Flooding is rampant and devastating on multiple continents, and here at home, landslides have impeded safe travel through our gorgeous and oh-so-vulnerable mountains. For me, this report has felt like an aggressive blow to everything I’ve been working for, and yet, most people still haven’t been stirred to action.

So for those who, like me, are back in the throes of anxiety and grief, let’s sit with this together and help each other move forward. And for everyone - truly everyone - inaction is no longer an option. Giving up is no longer an option. Sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the state of the world is no longer an option.

Let’s look at ways to support one another, hold everyone accountable (this especially relates to governments, the oil and gas industry, and large polluting corporations), and work on healing this earth. Because I want a future. Because I want stability. Because more than anything I want to be a parent to happy, healthy children who get to experience nature. And ultimately, because this is not about me - it’s about humanity and all the generations that will inherit the earth after us.

So let's suck it up and save the world. Who’s with me?


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