Responding to a changing climate

As printed in The Marketplace – May/June 2018

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For people scratching out a living subsistence farming, climate change isn’t some abstract future theory. It’s already having significant, often detrimental impacts on their livelihoods.

Farmers in Kenya and Tanzania (like Martha Kisanga, profiled on pg. 13) find it increasingly difficult to grow crops without irrigation. Many can’t afford the means of doing so.

Some people’s favorite morning libation, coffee, could be harder to come by if current weather warming trends continue (see Caffe Del Duca, pg. 15).This issue contains several stories that have a climate change/environment focus, including the excellent work done by Kitchener’s REEP Green Solutions (pg. 6). Congratulations to all the people and organizations around the world that are working to lessen carbon footprints and mitigate the impact of a changing climate on communities, including the most vulnerable. Some of MEDA’s responses to these challenges are laid out in intern Tariq Deen’s article on pg. 8. Here are some other praiseworthy enviro-efforts I have learned about recently.

Student solar at EMU
Students at Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia have been fundraising to cover the costs of a student-initiated solar project. The project will install a 41-kilowatt solar array on a campus office building. An anonymous donor is matching the $12,000 fundraising goal, which has almost been reached. Once completed, the project could produce 56,000 kilowatts of power a year.

Solar powered church at Goshen College
In a similar vein, Goshen College and College Mennonite Church plan to install a 924-panel, 277-kilowatt solar array, the first on the Indiana campus. The array will provide all the electricity for the church and chapel building, which is jointly owned and maintained by the college and the congregation. Costs of the project will be fully recovered in about a decade, with the panels providing free power long after that.

Caring for waterways
Mennonite Creation Care Network is calling for churches across North America to apply tender loving care to their local rivers this summer. That effort could involve a trash harvest by canoe, a creek walk, a clean- up along a riverbank trail or under bridges. The Creation Care Network is also running a photo contest, with prizes for pictures of the wackiest find during a cleanup.
For further information, visit https://www.mennocreationcare.org/river/ -MS

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  • MEDA is an international economic development organization that creates business solutions to poverty. We work in agri-food market systems, focusing primarily on women and youth in rural communities in the Global South. Our success is measured by income, improved processes, increased knowledge, and the creation of decent work.

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