For many people, the words "climate change" may seem like just another set of buzzwords, without any concrete meaning outside of their use in highly politicized debates between scientists and deniers, but because of the scope of the effects of global climate change, it's time to make it personal, because it can and will affect all of us in one way or another.
Whether we're concerned about the food system or the forests, the oceans or the weather, the freshwater supply or the future of our favorite outdoors activities, we need to realize that what we may have taken for granted in the past may not be around to enjoy in the future, thanks to a changing climate.
The latest campaign from the Climate Reality Project aims to bring the effects of climate change up close and personal by helping people understand how it affects their lives, so they can take action to help save the things they love,The What I Love website asks users to pick their eight favorite things (from categories ranging from food to drink to sports and pets and community), which are then used to create a "Canvas" that will educate and enlighten them as to how those things are affected by carbon pollution.
"Carbon pollution is a man-made problem. It’s time for man-made solutions." - What I Love
For instance, if you pick whisky as one of your favorite things, you'll learn that due to climate change, extreme weather events in barley-growing regions are intensifying, and because barley is susceptible to extreme heat, drought, and storms, those crops intended as future whisky ingredients could end up only being fit for animal feed, not for distillation and consumption during happy hour.
Many people may find that climate change is striking much closer to home than they ever thought, and that the things they love are being threatened by massive amounts of carbon emissions, in large part due to the energy industry and our wasteful habits.
"The dirty energy industry is dumping unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into our atmosphere, which threatens the things and the people we love. If we’re going to stop them from treating our atmosphere like an open sewer, we need to build a strong grassroots network devoted to fighting back." - Climate Reality Project