In Dallas we do not have disappearing glaciers, dying polar bears, or advancing tidal floods. Our average annual temperature has not even changed much over the last hundred years. I wanted to educate Dallas citizens about climate change that is happening here, along the Trinity River, so I developed A Climate Change Walk through Downtown Dallas to show the change we already experience and what we can do about it. Globe 22, Rivers, plays the role of questioner, passed from hand to hand near the end of the walk: “When you hold the world in your hands, think of what you will do to protect it.”
I got Rivers in the evening after the last Climate Change Walk through Downtown Dallas for the summer of 2019. I had asked for the lightweight globe in the hope of taking it on hikes with Dallas Sierra Club members. Summer temperatures are so high here that we typically do not lead day hikes from June to August. In September, as our weather began to cool and the Global Climate Strike began, we held four climate-change-themed walks. In downtown Dallas we observed efforts the city is making to improve drainage because of increased street flooding, increase green space in downtown, plant trees, improve building efficiency, and conserve water. We noted vegan meal availability at restaurants. We saw tremendous changes the city has made in the past, such as the replacement of the vast Santa Fe Freight Terminal and rail yard by the LEED certified Convention Center and Pioneer Plaza Park. Participants who held Rivers responded that they plan to downsize their home, ride bikes to work, try vegan eating, vote, educate others…
A concern participants often express is “I am just one person.” Each of us is just one person, but one person who makes a positive change encourages another person to make a positive change, and we do see more and more people aware of human-caused climate change. We also see that there are more and more options available to each person to for reducing damage to the atmosphere, often with immediate corollary benefits such as better health and financial savings.
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