The topic of climate change isn’t always easy to discuss, but the subject has become unavoidable. Sea levels have continued to rise annually by 0.14 inches since 1992. Glaciers and ice caps are melting at an alarming rate. Studies have shown that flooding is at least 300% more likely to occur than it was in the past and storms are raging with the immense power that comes from elevated sea levels.

CAPTION: The retreat of Pedersen Glacier, Alaska. Left: summer, 1917. Right: summer, 2005. Credit: 1917 photo captured by Louis H. Pedersen; 2005 photo taken by Bruce F. Molnia.

Turn on the news and it’s common to see severe weather wreaking havoc on coastal communities around the world. An excessive amount of greenhouse gases are being released into the atmosphere. The Earth responds by heating up and the oceans absorb over 80% of the additional heat, causing the water to expand. All the while, biodiversity of many regions, which is essential to life, is being devastated due to environmental imbalances and numerous species are in danger or going extinct every day.

Not only is climate change a complex issue – it’s a scary one.

In 2013, the Environmental Research Letters published the exhaustive research of John Cook and fellow authors searching for points of agreements in the scientific community in regards to climate change. After reviewing 11,944 documents, a strong consensus was discovered.

CAPTION: Temperature data from four international science institutions. All show rapid warming in the last few decades and that the last decade has been the warmest on record. Data sources: NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NOAA National Climatic Data Center, Met Office Hadley Center/Climatic Research Unit and the Japanese Meteorological Agency.

97% of scientists studying climate change contributed global warming to human activity, according to scientific consensus shared by NASA

This was a study met with controversy around the world. Many agreed with the findings while others dismissed the research based on personal theories and political standings.

Put into perspective, climate change does not have to be a controversial or political issue. It can easily be viewed as a people issue, leading to a joint effort of people unifying beyond politics and boundaries to preserve the planet’s resources and protect biodiversity simply because we must to survive and leave an inhabitable planet for our children and their children. it’s the humane thing to do.

Apart from the debates, there is a movement underway that is exercising the power of positive influence on behalf of our planet, and the leaders of this movement are social entrepreneurs.

The growing number of social entrepreneurs is rightly impressive, and the shifting mentality towards entrepreneurship for the greater good has been gaining traction for quite some time.

From 1989 until 1998 the number of businesses inspired by the concerns of citizens rose by 60%. Beginning in 2006, social entrepreneurship was steadily on the rise and by 2014, 60% of new businesses were social enterprises, according to the Harvard Business Review.

In 1990, there was a rather interesting fact worth noting. 100,000 environmental organizations were already operating independently across the globe.

These statistics present more than mere numbers. They are a testament to the societal changes led by progressive thinkers dreaming of change and determined to turn that dream into reality.  Today, there are millions of special interest groups and their numbers are steadily increasing. Climate change is occurring rapidly, but our society has the ability, empathy, courage and growing enthusiasm to confront the challenge.

Now, more than ever, we also have the immeasurable power of technology on our side. Consider the innovative world of clean technologies. At the forefront, attractive solar panels and electric vehicles are among the many technological advances that are helping us to cut back on our use of non-renewable natural resources without asking consumers to sacrifice modern conveniences while creating jobs in the process. In the short span of a year (ranging from 2012 to 2013), this sector had created upwards of 75,000 employment opportunities.

While social entrepreneurship extends far beyond the confines of the internet, the online world helps to highlight the presence of businesses that start important conversations and often lead to much-needed monetary aid for the underfunded. Through the internet and social media, the isolation of current environmental crises gives way to worldwide attention. With more than a billion active users on social networking sites, a sense of community can now be created between social entrepreneurs and the general public without geographical restrictions. Hashtags commonly go viral and introduce potential supporters to open discussions on pressing issues. Many entrepreneurs find loyalty and popularity online because of the brand awareness and trust gained from their online activities and the ability to network with fellow influencers.

Wherever they are found, social entrepreneurs are a driving force of inspiration, motivating individuals and big businesses to take action against climate change.

 

This was a study met with controversy around the world. Many agreed with the findings while others dismissed the research based on personal theories and political standings.

Put into perspective, climate change does not have to be a controversial or political issue. It can easily be viewed as a people issue, leading to a joint effort of people unifying beyond politics and boundaries to preserve the planet’s resources and protect biodiversity simply because we must to survive and leave an inhabitable planet for our children and their children. it’s the humane thing to do.

Apart from the debates, there is a movement underway that is exercising the power of positive influence on behalf of our planet, and the leaders of this movement are social entrepreneurs.

The growing number of social entrepreneurs is rightly impressive, and the shifting mentality towards entrepreneurship for the greater good has been gaining traction for quite some time.

From 1989 until 1998 the number of businesses inspired by the concerns of citizens rose by 60%. Beginning in 2006, social entrepreneurship was steadily on the rise and by 2014, 60% of new businesses were social enterprises, according to the Harvard Business Review.

In 1990, there was a rather interesting fact worth noting. 100,000 environmental organizations were already operating independently across the globe.

These statistics present more than mere numbers. They are a testament to the societal changes led by progressive thinkers dreaming of change and determined to turn that dream into reality.  Today, there are millions of special interest groups and their numbers are steadily increasing. Climate change is occurring rapidly, but our society has the ability, empathy, courage and growing enthusiasm to confront the challenge.

Now, more than ever, we also have the immeasurable power of technology on our side. Consider the innovative world of clean technologies. At the forefront, attractive solar panels and electric vehicles are among the many technological advances that are helping us to cut back on our use of non-renewable natural resources without asking consumers to sacrifice modern conveniences while creating jobs in the process. In the short span of a year (ranging from 2012 to 2013), this sector had created upwards of 75,000 employment opportunities.

While social entrepreneurship extends far beyond the confines of the internet, the online world helps to highlight the presence of businesses that start important conversations and often lead to much-needed monetary aid for the underfunded. Through the internet and social media, the isolation of current environmental crises gives way to worldwide attention. With more than a billion active users on social networking sites, a sense of community can now be created between social entrepreneurs and the general public without geographical restrictions. Hashtags commonly go viral and introduce potential supporters to open discussions on pressing issues. Many entrepreneurs find loyalty and popularity online because of the brand awareness and trust gained from their online activities and the ability to network with fellow influencers.

Wherever they are found, social entrepreneurs are a driving force of inspiration, motivating individuals and big businesses to take action against climate change.

So where do we go from here?

This is a question that can be answered in almost countless ways. On this beautifully diverse planet we share, combining environmental focus with well-to-do business minds and empowered citizens could be one of the most impactful ways to initiate changes that will benefit us for many generations to come.

Let’s end the hesitation to discuss climate change by starting the conversation at home with family, friends and community leaders. When a problem is presented, the curiosity to know more tends to follow. The more people learn about issues that affect the Earth, the more solution-driven they become.

There are no prerequisites to be part of the bigger mission to combat climate change and heal our planet wherever healing is possible. People of varying nationalities, age groups, and socioeconomic standings are united by their love of nature and their concern for an inhabitable world for all living things.

Contrary to what some believe, our lives do not have to be drastically altered to take part in conservation efforts. For example, if everyone simply recycled instead of trashing items that could be reused, $7 billion of revenue could be generated! By being mindful of what we do on a daily basis, everyone can have a major impact. Eating less meat to reduce deforestation and biodiversity loss, recycling, buying sustainable products, using less electricity and not abusing our access to free-flowing water saves energy and resources that we all need. Every time we buy something it is a vote for the word in which we want to live.

The visual appeal and creative vision of eco-friendly businesses and technology continues to blow our minds and lessen our carbon footprint. From the revered inventions of Elon Musk to the lesser-known locals offering presentations to students and communities to teach ways to stand together against climate change, brighter hopes for tomorrow are awakened each day.

Envisioning a world where species are thriving, the ocean is no longer plagued by pollution and the forests are once again filled with trees may seem improbable. Still, there are people working behind the scenes to make it happen.

If climate change scientists agree that we are the problem, we must acknowledge that we are also the solution.