SolaVida has been working within professional communities to help communicate the need for action, and to spin-up activities designed to engage these communities. The present focus of that work is the medical and public health sector. We are gathering groups of medical and public health professionals in New England into state level consortia. These groups will work to inform legislators and the public about the staggering impacts climate change will have on human and animal health – locally and globally.
As of the summer of 2017, the first state group is up-and-running: “the Vermont Climate and Health Alliance.” You can learn about more about this group, and its plans, at VTCHA’s new website.
We also have a parallel project underway in collaboration with the University of New Hampshire’s Sustainability Institute. The project is creating materials designed to meet the challenge of communicating the mental and physical health impacts of climate change to three constituencies: medical professionals, legislators, and the general public. The outputs of this work will be posted in the Fall of 2017.
The genesis of the work in this sector started in 2014 with a report written for Health Care Without Harm – a global organization whose mission “is to transform the health sector worldwide so that it becomes ecologically sustainable and a leading advocate for environmental health and justice.”
Communities Outside of Work
One focus here has been the community of individual investors – where the connection between global warming and personal investing provides a powerful pathway for investors to join the call-to-action. Our goal is to help build a worldwide community of individual investors who have moved their personal investments away from fossil fuels – whether they are young people just beginning to save or seniors who have built a substantial portfolio. As the divestment wave grows, these investors will join a global drive for investment in a new sustainable energy economy – a push that will be a powerful engine of change. The SolaVida divestment website and blog (divestor.org, project blog) are two pieces of this program.
Another group we’re focusing on are people who love winter recreation. As the planet warms, winter sports will change radically. If its too warm and there’s no snow, there’s no downhill skiing, ice climbing, snowmobiling, snow showing, cross-country skiing, outdoor skating – or even a quiet walk in the snow. Two recent University of Vermont graduates created “Last Tracks” – a wonderful call-to-action documentary. SolaVida and their new company, Mountain Theory Films, have been working with other NGOs in sponsoring showings in the East and in the Rockies.
More broadly, we have worked with Vermont Interfaith Power & Light and others in setting-up showings and discussion of Merchants of Doubt – a powerful documentary about the very real conspiracy to mislead the public about global warming and the expected effects on humanity.