Of all the obstacles to human dignity, creativity, and survival, the accelerating impact of the climate crisis is one of the most existential. The result of burning carbon and other greenhouse gases for over 150 years is already causing hotter temperatures, more severe storms, increased drought, warming and rising seas, species loss, food shortages, new or worsening disease, poverty, and displacement.
These impacts are only going to get worse.
The world has yet to exceed the 1.5-degree threshold, but dangerous conditions are already occurring at the current warming of 1.1 degrees. Even while we must continue to fight for climate mitigation, the need for adaptation is now inevitable. It’s not just the climate advocates who need to calculate the threat multiplier of our warming planet into their strategies. Everyone will need to adapt.
Everyone, of course, includes funders who, arguably, should be leading the way. That does not appear to be the case, though, according to research just released by the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP). In CEP’s new report, Much Alarm, Less Action: Foundations and Climate Change, we see that there is a notable disconnect between the alarm that foundation leaders express about climate change and the actions they are taking. But as the climate crisis pervades every area of our lives, it’s time that alarm leads to urgent action.
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s programs address some of the most pressing challenges of today — including the climate crisis, yes, but also shrinking democratic participation and vitality, geopolitical conflict and the dynamics that drive violence, and defending free expression in the arts. The Fund’s programs leave footprints across the globe, including in the United States, China, Central America, the Western Balkans, and New York City. The RBF also operates The Pocantico Center, in the verdant hills of the Hudson Valley, which hosts nonprofit and world leaders for strategic dialogue, artist residencies, and community events.
But the climate crisis is seeping into every part of our work, over and beyond our more traditional climate programs. Climate change is making the problems more difficult and the solutions more complicated, all while further stretching the capacity and wellbeing of our grantees and partners.
Read the full article about growing climate alarm by Stephen Heintz and Deborah Burke at The Center for Effective Philanthropy.