Mission Statement (unaccomplished!)

Mission! - We need a mission statement. This is not so easy since iBerry's climate change
initiative was only launched last year and it's not yet clear exactly what our objectives are.

In broad terms iBerry is concerned with climate change education and its role in creating informed opinion - why? Because severe climate change may be imminent and it's very possible that drastic solutions aimed at the greater good will bring problems as lifestyles are forced to adjust. Climate change mitigation iconA climate of informed opinion is necessary so that populations are constructively involved in the weighty decisions and challenges that lie ahead. But wait, is climate change really imminent and severe? Experts are sure that since the industrial revolution the main cause of global warming is down to human activities that rely on fossil fuels. Of that there is little doubt unless you deny the word of just about every qualified climatologist on the planet. Yes, there are some deniers but many non-experts, iBerry among them, fully accept the scientific consensus. At least part of our mission is to promote understanding of how change is inevitable and is already affecting our lives.

Devil in the Detail - But this is where things become less clear. Changes are definitely coming but when and how do we face the challenge? Some pin their hopes on intergovernmental cooperation, scientific innovation, nuclear power and a rather laid back 'business as usual' attitude, assuming it all eventually gets sorted out. At the other extreme, some anticipate a degree of societal collapse (eg Deep Adaptation (DA)) or even human extinction as the planetary ecosystem kicks back. The truth must lie somewhere between these extremes but the where, when and how can be hotly debated. If your tiny island is completely flooded as the sea rises then obviously your society will collapse whereas other locations may be relatively safe, or maybe in time - not. Who knows? Many factors are involved and are difficult to predict. There are already examples of societal collapse and surely even a slight but real chance of widespread collapse or human extinction signals a monumental emergency to be prepared for? Even if we're not recklessly heading towards 4°C global warming, societal collapse and mass loss of life, whatever happens, preparing for the worst can bring benefits as we're forced to rethink our place in the Earth's natural ecosystem. Traditional ideas such as everlasting economic progress based on Gross Domestic Product (GDP), are not sustainable and must be up for challenge. What about Gross Happiness Product? See how Bhutan manages: Bhutan's Gross National Happiness Index.

The Role of Education - Formal education is certainly inadequate at present. Sustainability and climate change should be taught across the curriculum, equipping future generations with the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding. Of course all the scientific details are accessible to those with the motivation, time and knowhow needed to study and master the extensive literature for a really informed opinion. This, however, does not describe the busy teacher, parent or concerned non-expert of any age. Fortunately, there's now somewhat more informed commentary on radio, TV and most newspapers. There's also a large number of bloggers providing excellent up-to-date news and comment on climate change and the environment and from a variety of different specialties and perspectives that often do not get reported elsewhere. iBerry follows over 30 of these blogs and the automated page, iBerry Hub, provides daily summaries.There's so much information out there it's important to be selective about where it comes from and how (see 'Top 100 Approaches to Bust Disinformation'). Another part of iBerry's mission is to provide reliable information and an open directory, 'Climate Change and Environment' is being compiled.

Hearts and Minds - Well known and established climatologists such as Michael Mann (he of the famous 'hockey stick' graph) and many others may be trusted sources for scientific information but are not necessarily best guides when it comes to the political, social and psychological issues that surround climate change. These can be difficult areas to navigate but for concerted action on the climate emergency there clearly has to be a rapid coming together of hearts and minds across a wide range of political opinions, religious and other strongly held belief systems. Sadly, governments have yet to rise to the challenge and dedicated activists like David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg and others are left attempting to fill the gap and encourage awarenes. Extinction Rebellion (XR) have also been strikingly successful with attention grabbing non-violent actions that have clear objectives and a significant impact on public awareness. (This street presentation by XR activists in the UK is a good example.)

It is ironic, that just as large scale geoengineering 'solutions' imposed on a suffering planet are unlikely to work, the coercion of skeptical mass populations by governments is also unlikely to have the desired effect. People themselves must have the will to adapt and the motivation and courage to explore inner emotional, psychological and spiritual implications that may arise. Prof Jem Bendell has much to say on these issues and whatever views there are on the detail, his approach to open, civilised debate and respect for his critics is commendable. iBerry's mission has always been to encourage open and friendly discussion. Changing hearts and minds in an emergency, on a massive scale does not call for strident confrontation and insulting behaviour when there are no easy answers.

Conclusion - Mission statement so far unaccomplished but one step towards? We hope so and as always, we are grateful for comments and suggestions - Contact us.

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