When it comes to climate change, start with people, end with solutions.
Recently, I was asked to come up with a bumper sticker to describe human-centered design, the core strategy of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford, the d.school. My bumper sticker: Start with people, end with solutions. This is also a roadmap for crafting next steps on climate change.
The first step in human-centered design is to start with people, establish deep empathy, understanding the needs of the people you are serving. Although empathy has its critics, empathy and equity are essential parts of the design process. Developing deep empathy for your end users helps you develop solutions that meet peoples’ needs.
I have spent the last several months talking with people, mainly older adults, about their views of climate change. Why older adults? They are living climate memory and keen observers. As one recently retired couple put it: “When we were young, teachers talked about change over the next 100 years. It’s already here. We heard about them when we were younger; now we are seeing them when we’re older.” A retired national park scientist summed it up: “We are valuable observers at this point. Farmers know they no longer have bumble- bees to pollinate…They don’t have to have data. They just see it.”
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Confronting climate change is hard work. A first step is to be clear about the scientific evidence: Climate change is real and happening now. But the next step — figuring out how to persuade people that we can do something to limit the damage — is not easy either.
Bay Area residents have an opportunity to do something positive on climate change through the Clean and Healthy Bay measure (Measure AA on the June 7 ballot), an important step forward on regional climate action. If passed, the measure will add $12 a year to the annual property tax in nine counties, providing funding for coastal flood protection by revitalizing bay wetlands, at half the cost of levees. The initiative is also attracting national attention as a possible model for regional adaptation to climate change. To succeed, though, the measure’s backers should listen to Will Rogers’ advice: “Peoples’ minds are changed through observation and not through argument.”
Read the full post at: http://www.sfexaminer.com/picture-clean-healthy-bay/
As the Baby Boomers reach and move beyond traditional retirement ages, they are increasingly concerned about issues of aging. The demographics are compelling. By 2050, the older portion of the population will increase from 7 to 16 percent of the world’s population, with the developed world leading the way with even higher percentages. Today’s older adults are pioneers of a landscape historically unprecedented. With possibly thirty years of a “longevity bonus,” many older adults are asking how best to use their years. While there are many social policy and political issues involved in managing an aging society, there are many things that individuals can do throughout their lives to prepare for aging. Lifestyle choices reflecting aging accelerators or decelerators will impact the pace and outcomes of aging processes. This essay draws lessons from several books in the fields of gerontology (the study of the normal processes of aging) and geriatrics (the study of diseases that often accompany aging) to answer a simple question: How shall we age?
Read the full post at: http://www.thesolutionsjournal.com/node/237448
John Glenn’s second flight may hold some important lessons for the US and the world in coping with climate change in a time of an aging population. It may be especially helpful for older adults who are asking ourselves what difference we can make in climate change.
Read the full post on John Glenn’s second space flight on LinkedIn.
At the local, state and national level, political leaders should engage older voters on climate issues, from measures needed to adapt to climate-related changes, such as responses to severe weather events, to support for clean power regulations from the EPA.
Get the full post “Older adults: an untapped, renewable resource on climate action” on The Conversation.
How are Robert Redford & the Pope Alike?
Robert Redford and Pope Francis. At first glance, the two seem to have little in common. But both represent a growing movement I call Graying Green: Climate Action for an Aging World.
Read the full post Robert Redford and the Pope on LinkedIn.