Climate Change Action: Opportunities Lost, Opportunities Ahead

an OPEN Global Distance Learning Event

OPEN with our partner, Dominic Nyasulu, National Coordinator for the National Youth Network for Climate Change (NYNCC) in Malawi, produced a most timely educational event on climate change for our schools and ministry partners, which linked up 10 countries on December 21, 2021. nnnThe catalyst was the recent COP 26 Global Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, which Mr. Nyasulu attended and presented on during our Zoom session. We also were honored to have by way of recorded news interview another important attendee, Mr. Richie Merzian, representing Australia, a key country in the global battle for limiting the rise in average global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and transitioning at a quickened pace to economies driven by renewable energy sources. nnnNewman of OPEN presented first describing his professional experience at the inception of the renewable energy business in the late 1970s early 1980s in energy regulation, and how we lost opportunities back then to transition much earlier due to entrenched interests. To hammer home the point we played a few excerpts of Professor Carl Sagan who presented a warning to the US Congress at a hearing in 1985 on the topic of greenhouse gases, and of the then recognized growing threat of global warming by the scientific community. nnnWe fast forwarded to COP 26 and discussed its shortfalls, such as the lack of full consensus and commitments by the largest fossil fuel producers and carbon emitting nations such as Australia, Russia and India. Before special guest Mr. Nyasulu, we heard an empassioned presentation from a 4th year student at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Zione Zikiel. Ms. Zikiel spoke of the droughts and hardships that climate change has already brought to her developing nation of Malawi, already struggling to produce enough food and conserve enough clean water for its people. Malawi as several of our other nations that joined this call are all on the front lines really feeling the early impacts of global warming. nnnSeveral young students, notably Ahmed Salami of the Royal School of Educational Therapy in Abuja, Nigeria also spoke passionately about their trials and experiences so far with global warming. Laurian Wekesa, a Senior at the Chewoyet National School in Bungoma, Kenya asked pointed follow up questions related to the lack of commitments of wealthy nations to support developing countries to help them blunt the worst impacts of Global Warming, and get quickly on to a growth path using no or low carbon emitting renewable energy systems.

We did end our Climate Change event on a positive upbeat note, with a group Zoom discussion about the work we are doing together with our schools and ministries worldwide with sustainable agriculture and IoT smart farm data analytics, and how this in the end could prove to be an easy to implement solution without much if any government intervention. The goal is for smallholder farmers worldwide to lower their emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in the future over a relatively short period of time. They could do this by just using tried and true regenerative agriculture practices such as cover crops, no till farming, intercropping and other organic farming methods, thus sequestering more carbon in the soil, not sending it up into the atmosphere.

More global education events on this and related topics from OPEN planned for 2022-2023 and beyond. So stay tuned!