Some issues pervade all businesses, industries, and individuals. In 2020 alone we have seen a handful of them. The far-reaching effects of Covid-19 has changed everyday life for every individual around the world. Social injustices have affected millions of people directly or indirectly in the United States and elsewhere. Addressing these issues isn’t easy, but to initiate change and progress it’s important to do so.
As a running community we care about this planet deeply. Collectively we get to see as much of this planet as any group. Running down alleys in the city, around parks, in local gyms, along beaches, and up mountains, our feet take us just about everywhere. We want to keep the world clean so we can breathe the air, enjoy the view, and share it with future generations.
Today’s guest gave us more insight into climate control, an issue we have discussed before. Dr. Margaret Klein Salamon shared with us new perspectives on what it means to battle global warming and why it is so crucial to start now. This is a bipartisan issue that we should all be able to get behind because the planet is important to all of us, runners especially.
The Biggest Threats of Rising Temperatures
Dr. Klein Salamon explains two major reasons for concern that climate control is currently presenting. First is what is called feedback loops. A feedback loop in this sense is essentially a reaction from rising temperature that in turn creates more rising temperatures. Think fires. Increased temperatures mean more fires and more intense fires. These fires then add to carbon emissions that raise temperatures further. It’s a snowball effect, but in a much more damaging way.
The second and larger issue is the threat on food production which Margaret says is a pending “collapse of civilization.” With rising temperatures there is likelihood for droughts across various countries around the world. Immediately this results in food shortages and mass exodus. We have already seen what can happen when millions of citizens try to leave their country in a short amount of time and the burden it places on individuals and countries. Many Syrian refugees are experiencing this first hand.
What Needs to Happen?
By now you have heard all about our “carbon footprint.” The amount of greenhouse gas emissions that we are responsible for does make a difference. However, Margaret argues that the small things we are trying to do, might not make that big of a difference, even collectively. Refusing plastic straws, eating less meat, and riding our bikes instead of driving our cars are all positive things, but frankly, they hardly make a dent in the problem.
Large scale, political, and industrial change is what needs to happen if we are to stabilize what is world temperatures. Margaret says that the entire system really needs to change if we are to have a chance. This means that people in charge have to make some big decisions. Our best use of time might be spent trying to influence who is making those decisions and how they are making them.
What Can We Do?
It can be extremely hard to deal with this kind of information. Anger, sadness, shame, and frustration may all come out at once. Dr. Klein Salamon encourages you to not let your emotions go to waste. Take that energy and try to make some progress.
In her new book, Margaret explains that allowing ourselves to feel these emotions will help us battle what is ahead. It’s okay to feel these things, in fact it’s what might make the difference in how we act.
This really is a simple, though critical, issue. Temperatures rising will cause problems, potentially civilization collapsing ones. If we have a way to stop that from happening, we ought to. That’s the simplicity of the decision. Implementing it may be the hardest thing humanity has done, but it will be the most important as well.
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Thank you to my wonderful sponsor Tracksmith, Athletic Greens, and The Underbelly for sponsoring this episode of the Running for Real Podcast.
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The black owned business for this week is all about The Under Belly, owned by Jessamyn Stanley. A yoga studio you can access right from your phone, where she is your guide to cultivating mindfulness in your everyday life through yoga. I just love what she is doing for the world in bringing more peace into our lives.
Check her out here and show some support.
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Thank you to Margaret, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.