"Sustainuary" Lecture Presents Climate Change as an Issue that Affects All of Us

To kick off “Sustainuary,” Kathleen Biggins of C-Change Conversations, a local non-profit organization committed to raising awareness about climate change, gave a lecture at Lawrenceville this past Tuesday.

To kick off “Sustainuary,” Kathleen Biggins of C-Change Conversations, a local non-profit organization committed to raising awareness about climate change, gave a lecture at Lawrenceville this past Tuesday. The lecture is the first of a quarterly sustainability series directed at the parents and friends of the School to “reach out to not just students, but the community behind the gates [… in the form of] a learning opportunity,” Director of Sustainability Sam Kosoff P ’19 said.

Of C-Change’s mission, Kosoff said, “Their goal is to depoliticize climate change and present scientific fact so that the message gets to people that might not accept it.”

Biggins began by explaining the purpose of the presentation: “Most Americans understand that climate change is happening. A strong majority understand that man is influencing it. But what Americans report across the spectrum is that they don’t understand how it impacts them personally and why there is such urgency to address it. And that is what this presentation was designed to help with.”

The majority of her presentation was on the evidence supporting climate change. Biggins mentioned how temperature indexes have increased over recent centuries and provided statistics suggesting human activity is the cause. Her goal in sharing these statistics was to emphasize that climate change is objective and is not an issue of political conservatism or liberalism. She also highlighted the economic and health consequences of climate change, referring to examples of flooding due to rising sea levels.

Though Biggins noted that her presentation only showed projections, she stressed that the projections “are based on what we’re doing today, and not what we may do tomorrow” and that, essentially, it is possible that “we are putting our kids and grandkids in danger.”

Closing with a hopeful message about recent government action to slow climate change, Biggins also shared evidence that illustrated how long term solutions such as weaning off of fossil fuel and switching energy sources are still possible.

Of the lecture, Kosoff said, “We need to act fast, and we need to act big. [Biggins] really came to that by looking at examples of companies that are beginning to give significant attention to climate change.”.