Notes from Climate Change for the Rest of Us Panel

THATCamp at University of Cincinnati 2015

Panel: Climate Change for the Rest of Us

Panel Chair: Eira Tansey

Panel Collaborators and Attendees: Carolyn Hansen, Eira Tansey, Karen Cudjoe, James Van Mil, Amy Koshoffer, Sean Crowe, Pam Bach, Vinamarata “Winnie” Kaur

Primary Notetaker: Vinamarata “Winnie” Kaur

Carolyn: MoMa’s most visited and highest rated exhibit, “Rising Currents,” recently was on climate change; recent events like earthquakes in Nepal; Nepal situation similar to Louisiana situation about blaming it on homosexuality (homophobia intersects with climate change); individual actions aren’t necessary political; organic food and local food is more expensive. EBT programs. Restrictions.

Eira: Impact of climate change on librarians [and humanists] but also people who don’t have background in science; relationship with communities; intersections of people and environment; [an aspect of] environmental justice deals with not making marginalized communities suffer more; IPCC.OH website; adaptation to climate change; How bad is it going to be? Shift in political language of climate change; everyone alive is affected by climate change; why don’t we have a discussion about this? Why aren’t libraries talking about it? Carbon-neutral library (Mandy Hank): Ecology, Economy, Equity; Australian archivist studying Pacific Island nation archives; concerns about geographical relocation because of rising sea levels (audio clip on Australia Plus); potentials about what we could be doing to help; national landmarks at risk; how museums represent the topic of climate change (museum endowment dependent on fossil fuels); dealing with controversies; Cleveland as next NYC and Cincinnati as next DC; David from Winnie’s decolonizing EH+DH session brought up the slow motion process, which related to why people don’t often bring up climate change in wake of natural disasters; disaster management and Higher Education Climate Adaptation Committee; how cultural heritage institutions reconsider how disaster management looks like? Klein’s This Changes Everything book (capitalism is a religion and incompatible with real mitigation of climate change). What expectations should be on countries like China and India when they believe they have their own issues to deal with as well? Libraries are almost always part of a larger organization. National Climate Assessment. How is agriculture going to change? Warmer-weather crops growing in the midwest over time? California drought. Human migration patterns because of climate change; people are still moving from, example, England to South Florida. There isn’t much literature out there for how to engage librarians in climate change. Planning for future? Take joy in little things related to nature like hiking, being outside, seeing birds; gardening; locally-grown food. Why should people care? People care for something they love rather than going for something they’re told not to do. Let’s subsidize kale and spinach! Personal stories of Cincinnati, NOLA, and Michigan.

Karen: Projections about Ohio’s disasters? Recycling is important. Personal family story. How do we get people, especially our own families and communities, to recycle and make change? Plants; urban gardening; cancer. How to consult with the right people?

James: Portico for preservation and access purposes. Easier to pre-coordinate logistics. Detroit problem. Mick and Mack politics with Faculty Club, Cincinnati State, UC, etc. Economies of scale; corn subsidies; it’s all about the politics. Even not eating meat for a day can do a lot than other activities combined.

Amy: How much impact does individual change make? Awareness? Education?

Sean: We know about libraries, archives, and climate change. How about museums and climate change? Start conversations to engage libraries.

Pam: Could unsustainable food choices on UC’s campus be because of contract with Aramark?

Winnie: Some Nepal earthquake’s social media forum debates were shocking to the extent that they were blaming superstitions and unsustainable practices of ritual killing and polluting water bodies and were thus reigniting racism and classism, taking approach of victim-blaming, when the period of mourning should be to build solidarity, re-establish communities, and not blame people although human intervention, anthropocenic privileges, and resulting climatic changes must be dealt it as well (racism and speciesism intersecting with climate change). Cincinnati 100% renewable electricity credits (Seelbach); UC Bike Path; unsustainable food options on our university despite demands from students for healthier options; hardly any locally-grown, vegan options in dining halls or establishments at UC; we still have Chick-fil-A despite the petitions to remove it from the university (junk foods, promotes homophobia, and speciesism); UC’s climate action plan; City’s green fleet plan; recycling trash cans and bottle water fountains aren’t up to par with other universities; UC’s partnership with Cincinnati Metro to provide discounts to students for using public transport; bike rental on and around campus, REDBike program. What about Mick and Mack on campus? Water fountains on our campus don’t have refilling bottle designs (many water fountains, especially in McMicken Hall, hardly even work); in our classrooms, we have a “regular” garbage can rather recycling cans (in comparison to other university campuses like UMD, for example). “Meatless Mondays” initiatives by some companies. Convenience meals; animal agriculture impact; greenhouse emissions; corporations talk about taking shorter showers but not about reducing meat and dairy; how over the last few decades our diets have changed as a culture; why are we not teaching our future generations about proper nutrition? Why is food imported from other countries more expensive versus locally grown food that doesn’t use as much fuel for transportation?