The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just released its new report on climate change. It details a very, very scary future if we don’t start to curb climate change now.

If you’re not concerned yet, you should be. In the scorching reality of climate change, Utahns need to face the harrowing fact that it’s only going to get worse from here, but that this doesn’t have to be the end of us.

The main story doesn’t change. The rapid and excessive use of fossil fuels pollutes our air, which contributes to the Greenhouse Effect, which warms the air, which changes weather patterns, which adversely affects those ecosystems unused to climate shifts, and so on.

We’ve heard it all before. It’s a dreary matter to consider our polluted world. It causes one to experience denial, guilt and grief. Even the most proud consumer can feel the burden of climate change. What lacks significantly in these climate musings is a discussion about what people are doing right now to prepare for these inevitabilities of a changing climate. Not all is lost!

Consider the term “resilience.” It is the ability of something to bounce back into its initial state after a stretch, pull, tug or other action that takes it away from that state. Much like a resilient material, communities take on these same characteristics and will need to bolster themselves in order to maintain their current way of living.

All around Utah, there are citizens who understand what’s to come, who are gathering up their strength in their resiliency and who are preparing for the worst. In fact, there is a project and website that works on tracking these community creations that are countering the adverse effects of climate change. The organizations on the Utah Resilience Map are there to help us as Utahns be better prepared for our changing climate. The best thing we can do is help ourselves by making our communities more resilient when the climate comes a-knockin’ and it all starts with knowing where to go and what to do.

Check out the Utah Resilience Map — — to see which community effort best matches your interests. For me, I’ll be focusing on clean energy efforts to limit our use of fossil fuels, something that I see as the most mitigating effort of combating climate change.

Samantha Brimhall

Samantha Brimhall is a student at the University of Utah, currently studying environmental sustainability.