Climate change, already a generational challenge, produces another problem that can feel insurmountable: hopelessness.
Highlighting the climate action efforts and solutions that are underway—and showing progress—is a viable antidote.
As my friend and enduring source of hope, Katharine Hayhoe, chief scientist of The Nature Conservancy, said recently as she hosted the event Atlas of Climate Action: Resilience and Reduction through a Geographic Approach, “The changes we’re seeing are unprecedented in the history of human civilization on this planet. But there is so much good work going on.”
Much of that good work is a result of the amount of location-based data being collected from satellites, sensors, and people on the ground that is gathered and analyzed with geographic information system (GIS) technology. In GIS, users run models, display progress on dashboards, and make data and data products available to whomever may want it. Open data and open science are fueling a more inclusive and collaborative approach to meet the urgency of the moment.
Based on what we learned at the Atlas of Climate Action event, here are details of what’s already being done, what we can do in the future, and how we can make a difference on climate change and in people’s lives both today and tomorrow.