“Climate change poses a major challenge to U.S. agriculture because of the critical dependence of the agricultural system on climate and because of the complex role agriculture plays in rural and national social and economic systems. Climate change has the potential to both positively and negatively affect the location, timing, and productivity of crop, livestock, and fishery systems at local, national, and global scales. It will also alter the stability of food supplies and create new food security challenges for the United States as the world seeks to feed nine billion people by 2050.”
Not only will this contribute to the problem of starvation and malnutrition, it will force those suffering to migrate to other parts of the world seeking refuge. The inequitable contrast between those who have too much and those who have too little is already apparent. Borders naturally create division between humans; when the world is struggling to survive because basic human necessities like food, water, and shelter are in short supply, this will only entice those who have too little to move to a more vehement form of action to save their lives and the lives of those they love.
The Pentagon and the CIA have released a number of threat assessments in recent years identifying climate change as a threat to military installations, and as a potential driver of conflict – a ‘threat multiplier.’ The UN agrees with the US Defense Department’s report, saying climate change could lead to war and increased migration. “Climate change can indirectly increase risks of violent conflicts in the form of civil war and inter-group violence,” the report said.
We can look at the current refugee crisis to see how those seeking aid might be welcomed into first world nations in the event that they must flee their homes due to climate disaster. We are on the verge of witnessing a class war if we remain complacent about climate change’s effects on the lower class.
Aside from the global impact of climate change on the impoverished, the poor here in Norfolk are affected. We are reminded that our city is threatened by sea level rise whenever we experience a good rainstorm. In order to represent our entire community, Norfolk needs to take action now in passing legislation enforcing requirements for sustainable development and renewable energy. If Norfolk is reluctant to move forward with such policy, it will be clear which class of our community those in office are representing.
The city of Norfolk is full of potential not because of those in office, but because of the dedicated and passionate people who work on the ground to make it a better place. We can see this when we look at the NEON art district. We can beautify our city and make it sustainable simultaneously, and it’s imperative that we do so. We are proposing a “Sustainable Arts Coalition” in Norfolk, which would coordinate projects ranging from community gardens, moss murals, living art installations, green rooftops, flood preventative rain gardens, vertical gardens capable of feeding those in need and numerous other projects that will benefit us all. We can develop even stronger community ties with one another and our planet by widening our circles of compassion and uniting under this paramount cause.
Through a sustainable arts coalition, we can explore what living in peace with nature means, and begin work on flood diversion projects and sustainable urban development to establish a truly resilient and proactive solution for the sea level rise we face.
Due to the recent and horrific events that took place in Paris, those that were intending to take to the streets in Paris are now unable to assemble during the UN COP21 Summit. We invite you to stand with us in solidarity with the rest of the world on Nov 29th at the Plot in Norfolk’s art district from 1-5pm to make up for the cancellation of the climate march in Paris., We will be hosting community discussions, food trucks, a march of the arts district, and live music from local artists Kelsie Mcnair and Skye Zentz at the People’s Climate March, Norfolk. The facilitated group dialogues will entail break out groups on various issues that our community faces, such as art and sustainability, flood prevention, urban permaculture, and the prospect of founding a sustainable arts coalition.
Bring a sign, some paint, a costume, a vegan dish to share with the homeless and hungry, your friends, musical instruments (to march with), and an idea for the future of our community. Following this event, an album recording after party will start at 7 pm at Electricorganic featuring the Nerdlucks, Billy Mercury, Zach Jones of Little Pants and The Brothers Grizz. Follow our Facebook event page for updates and the after party lineup, to be announced soon.