Metro Atlanta DSA Hosts Forum on Climate Change
The Metro Atlanta Democratic Socialists of America hosted the event.
The conversation centered on two documents – Laudato Si, Pope Francis’s Encyclical on the environment; and This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein.
“We all understand how urgent the current time we live in is to all of us, because to be quite frank, if we don’t do something, who will?” Daniel Blackman of Social Karma, and former candidate for Public Service Commission, asked the crowd.
This past summer, Pope Francis issued a lengthy letter calling for “a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet.”
Sister Liz Sully reflected on the Pope’s words.
“I think corporate America has a hard time with this particular [Encyclical], because it challenges unfettered capitalism, it challenges American exceptionalism, and it challenges individualism,” Sully said.
Laudato Si takes on a wide range of environmental issues, including water, biodiversity, and climate.
“We’ve got to see how interconnected we all are. I think right now one of the huge issues is the ocean. The plankton is near collapse. It’s a huge concern,” Sully said.
Blackman spoke to changes that need to be realized in Georgia.
“Three hundred thousand children in Georgia suffer from asthma,” Blackman said, further talking about the need for Georgia to invest in clean energy.
“We’ve got to understand the issues that are germane to the State of Georgia. Georgia Power and AGL Resources are about to merge,” Blackman noted.
There was also some discussion around the individual impacts many environmentalists feel in engaging with this work over the long term: “despair to the point of desperation,” as one audience member put it.
“Wherever you live and whatever you do, become part of the organization,” Jeff Bragg, Supervisor, Dekalb Soil and Water Conservation District, said, referring to environmental organizations.