Climate Change

I’m writing this on a brilliant fall day- Asheville trees are magnificent in their fall colors and there’s just the right amount of chill in the air.  It’s hard to believe that Earth is in crisis on a day like today.  But just one week ago, I got a call from a family member in San Francisco- the “bomb cyclone” storm, along with a rare weather phenomenon called an “atmospheric river”, had resulted in the strongest storm in that area in 26 years. Heavy rainfall, flooding and landslides, especially in areas that had been burned in the wildfires, resulted in floods, road damage, evacuations, power outages and loss of life… weather sequelae that are becoming commonplace.

Today marks the beginning of the UN Climate Change Conference 2021 in Glasgow.  Known as COP26, which stands for “Conference of the Parties”- this is the 26th meeting on climate change, and will run for two weeks.  In 1997, during COP3 in Kyoto, the Kyoto Accord was drafted but it wasn’t until 2015 that all 197 COP participant countries agreed to the Paris Accords.  The Paris Agreement included making significant changes to greenhouse gas emissions, decreasing carbon footprint and furthering green energy initiatives as a global endeavor, with larger more prosperous countries banding together to help underdeveloped countries financially and technologically to meet the global climate crisis.

The USA has been warmly welcomed back (no pun intended) to the 2021 Climate Conference and is continuing to take a leadership role in COP26 after the last administration’s abandonment of climate action and the Paris Agreement.  Ironically, the countries the least implicated in the causes of climate change are the ones being the most affected, with island nation countries literally at risk of losing their entire civilizations and populations with sea level rise.  This year’s Conference is vitally important to decrease temperature rise and limit the worst effects of climate change on the Earth, and world leaders seem to recognize the urgency of the situation.

To see the UN Climate Change Conference real-time is a powerful experience as leaders, diplomats and change-makers share insights, technology developments and initiatives from around the world.  Here are ways to hear the meetings as they happen, or to replay later:

See information, sessions and more at the main website:

Moving to a more plant-based diet may be one of the most important things we can do to limit greenhouse gas emissions- one study showed that vegan diets can reduce our carbon footprint by 73%!

Here’s a wonderful butternut squash soup perfect for our colder nights- I like to add some carrot and even apple to give it more “fall flavor”… .

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