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On Earth Day

Happy Earth Day– the day of the year we are encouraged to pause– just a bit– and consider the beauty, importance, and fragility of our home planet. A couple of weeks ago I was sent an article about the current state of climate change. The gist is that we are losing polar ice much more quickly than predicted even a few years ago and that, frankly, we are in big trouble. The effects of climate change that our farmer partners have been experiencing in the global south are now being felt more acutely in the north with a higher intensity. In short: we are running out of time to counteract the worst effects of man-made climate change.

I don’t know about you, but I have been operating with climate change as a concern that has stuck firmly in the back of my mind. One of those “Oh wow, I should really learn more and adjust my habits…at some point” things. In the past two weeks I took the time to study the basic nuts and bolts– and I am now very concerned and worried about our future on this planet.

The Trump administration is not interested– to admit the problem would then lead to a need to balance their insatiable greed with the well-being of the earth. Not happening. Furthermore, lawmakers– both Democrats and Republicans– have continued to push off responding to the challenge due to a mix of selfishness and fear of offending their patrons and losing their offices. The few politicians that have attempted to bring the critical need to respond to climate change quickly have been ridiculed even within their own Democratic party. All while time for action is running out.

Without government intervention we are left to manage the climate crisis by ourselves– individually, in our communities, and in our businesses. As for Just Coffee Co-op, we are responding to the challenge as best as we can. We contribute .03 per every pound of green coffee we buy to a fund that contributes to farmer projects that focus on sustainable growing practices and to track their carbon footprints. Not to put it all on farmers, we also track our own carbon emissions and are dedicated to reducing them. Last year we installed a new roaster that uses 80% less fuel and puts out 80% less emissions than our old machine. Finally, we are talking with bag companies in order to find the most sustainable 12oz bag option– this is our biggest challenge because there are no perfect options currently available.

If you’d like to check out more info on the current state of climate change, and what we are up against, please check out this article. It has proven to be controversial as it looks at worst case scenarios, but I think it is important to visualize where we could be headed if we do not take immediate action.

If you’re interested in connecting with a group organizing direct action to focus on fighting climate change, check out Extinction Rebellion.

If you’d like to contact your congress person or senator to demand action on climate change, you can find them here.

Whether you believe that there is an organized effort to ignore climate change out of greed or that we simply as a global society have not been able to properly understand it as a crisis, I urge you to take a little time to understand its causes and to do something to meet its challenges.

If you don’t believe in man-made climate change I challenge you to do a little investigating. The NOAA (National Oceanic Atmospheric Association)– a federal governmental organization with no political bias– has a good primer here. This is not a “liberal vs. conservative” issue. It is an issue for all human beings to respond to. And we need to do it soon.

The only home we’ve got.