The time for addressing climate change is now, and the move is ours.
Earth’s climate is changing at a rate modern civilization has never seen before. Human activities, primarily in the form of greenhouse gas emissions, have directly led to warming temperatures, along with a rise in extreme weather and climate-related events that will pose increasingly devastating risks to society.†
It’s one of the most substantial challenges humanity faces when looking to the future.
So today, Indiana University is taking decisive actions to confront climate change. After making a commitment to strengthen the resilience of communities within Indiana and across the globe, IU is leading the way in providing research and innovation designed to prepare for, and mitigate the impacts of, a warming climate.
From developing the Environmental Resilience Institute (ERI) to directing efforts to solve deadly pollution in Madagascar, Indiana University does not shy away from challenge.
Description of the following video:
Climate change is unquestionably real. It's not a question of belief. It's a question of facts. The climate is changing because there are increases in greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. There's just no room to debate that anymore.
Our temperatures are getting warmer in the Midwest. We are seeing changes in our precipitation. We will have on average more precipitation, but even more significant is it's not going to be distributed evenly throughout the year. We are going to have more of it in extreme downpours. It may not increase the frequency of storms, but it's increasing the severity of the storms.
There's significant public health risks associated with climate change. Longer allergy seasons, more air pollution. That's bad for people with asthma, with other respiratory illnesses, with heart conditions. It's bad for people whose jobs have them working outdoors. So lots of ways in which climate change is going to affect our health.
I think that we are seeing a real change in the conversation around it, but there has been a lot of resistance to public policy, making changes that would address climate change. There are a lot of partisan politics that have gotten in the way of people being able to have reasonable conversations. The future of our state, our nation, the world, if we don't take action on climate change, is a grim one.
Scientists have been doing all this work that needs to be out in the public sphere in a way that people can understand, in a way that relates to them.
What we've done here at IU is to say, we're not going to argue about who's responsible, we're going to recognize the climate change is happening. These are the ways it's affecting us and what are the things, what are the skills, what is the expertise, what are the resources and assets that IU can bring to the table.
We have a range of scientists from atmospheric modelers to people who study species movement to people who study agriculture and how local governments, how businesses deal with issues like climate change.
The overarching mission of the Environmental Resilience Institute is to develop research tools and resources to help Indiana be more resilient in the face of climate change and also provide knowledge, resources, and scholarship to help with the climate change challenge in the world.
We work significantly with local governments at the Environmental Resilience Institute, and I have been flabbergasted at the interest among cities and towns for the resources that we can provide.
All across Indiana University, we have researchers, teachers, and others who care deeply about the issue of climate change, the implications of climate change for our world, our country, and our state, and are doing what they can to contribute to addressing this issue.