Climate change impacts the environment in ways that are both obvious and complex. We can see this simply by observing the natural world around us. However, societies cannot be separated from their environments. Climate change’s effects extend far beyond the obvious and deep into the fabric of our lives.
Climate change is symptomatic of societies out of balance with the natural world that sustains it.
Some of humanity’s most pressing problems directly result from
the hyper-consumerist, fossil-fuel-based energy economy, impacting our health, homes, communities, and fundamental human rights. None are exempt from the effects, but the most vulnerable of us suffer the most consequences.
Globally, most of the developing world experiences the impacts of climate change at the extreme end of the spectrum. The effects are felt by all sooner than later, but resource extraction, biodiversity loss, deforestation, deteriorating ocean health, and more greatly impact disadvantaged populations.
So, how do we work toward a world where everyone can live with basic human dignity, a healthy quality of life, and security? The answer is complex, but the Sustainable Development Goals developed in cooperation with world leaders provide a framework in which all sectors of society can begin to transform and mitigate environmental impacts as we strive toward the future we want.
With this aspirational framework, societies can provide space for the individual and structural transformation necessary to survive and thrive in an uncertain and finite world.