Our climate is changing and as the Earth’s temperature continues to rise, we face a variety of impacts – from rising sea levels and flooding to increased droughts and wildfires. Climate change is one of the most critical issues we face today. Although it can be a controversial topic, there is a 98% consensus among experts that climate change is real and is caused by human activity. Global greenhouse gas emissions, primarily carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, are the main contributors of global warming. Concentrations of CO2 in our atmosphere, caused by the burning of fossil fuels, have increased by 35% since pre-industrial years. Animal agriculture, another driver of global warming, contributes more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector and accounts for approximately 50-60% of global methane and nitrous oxide emissions.
Climate scientists advise immediate action to stay below the dangerous threshold of a 2˚C rise in temperature. Much of this information is not new; however, there still seems to be a loss of connection between acknowledgement of the facts and motivation that drives us to get involved. Some people may feel as though climate change is a problem for future generations with consequences that will not be seen in our lifetime thereby making it easy to disengage and avoid taking action. Others, however, may simply not know where to turn to help make a difference.
I recently joined a local group that is working to combat the challenges of climate change as well as raise awareness of the urgency of the growing climate crisis and need for immediate action. MOVCA meetings encourage action by providing a platform for meaningful discussions and presenting educational films. Their slogan, “Save the Grandchildren”, is a reminder that climate change affects all of us, our children and our grandchildren, and there is no time to waste so we must act now. Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action is a nonpartisan and nonprofit group of about 150 members whose mission is to educate and mobilize concerned citizens in our area to fight for a planet that is habitable for the next generation.
Founded in October of 2015, the MOVCA is a Chapter of Citizen’s Climate Lobby and 350.org, as well and a science booster club for the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). Their fiscal agent is WV Citizen Action Group (CAG) through whom they have access to a 501(c)(3) via their Citizen Action Education Fund. The MOVCA is a recent recipient of a $6,000 grant from the local Dunn Family Foundation, giving them the means to increase their presence in the Mid-Ohio Valley. Members have participated in events such as the Multicultural Festival, the Charleston People’s Climate March, and the Parkersburg Homecoming Parade in order to bring their message directly to the people of the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Growing up in an area dominated by Mountaintop Removal Mining, oil and gas pipelines, and hydraulic fracking, I have always been concerned with the role these practices play in furthering environmental destruction and global warming. I became a member of the MOVCA because our ideals are aligned and because I believe in the work they do to bridge the gap between awareness and action. I encourage anyone interested in getting involved to attend MOVCA public meetings held at 7pm on the first and third Thursdays of each month at the First Christian Church located at 1400 Washington Ave. in Parkersburg. Climate change is a serious issue with grave consequences if not addressed, but all hope is not lost as long as we are active and work together to preserve the planet for future generations.