The Policy & Practice of Climate Change & Water


Can climate change be a personal crisis as well as an institutional or technical one?

This guest blog is written by Ingrid Timboe, a member of the AGWA Secretariat.

Born in the 1980s, I grew up during a time of increasing climate awareness as the concept of human-induced climate change moved out of obscurity and into the mainstream. I have no trouble believing what the science tells us: that global warming is real, it’s here, and it will continue to impact our planet in varying ways for decades if not centuries. But it wasn’t until a few years ago, listening to a piece of music for solo piano entitled “Elegy for the Arctic” by Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi, that I fully connected with the reality of climate change and what it means for us and for our planet. As I listened and later watched the video of Einaudi playing this beautiful composition floating in front of Norway’s Wahlenbergbreen glacier, I felt profound sorrow for what is happening. At the same time, his music moved me to feel an even deeper commitment to keep working.

Nearly everything about climate change – from the name itself to the global phenomena it generates – is maddeningly complex, broad, and impersonal. For example, it is rather difficult to elicit strong emotions or personal connection with words and phrases like “CO₂ concentration,” “mitigation,” or “general circulation models.” But strong emotions are precisely what is required to respond to the very real and present threats associated with a changing climate.

Climate Change + Emoji = Climoji

Climate change communication is notoriously difficult, but a group of artists and students have come up with an innovative and thought-provoking new way to connect people to climate change in the 21st century: climate change emojis, or ‘Climojis.’ Designed by artists Marina Zurkow and Viniyata Pany with the help of Zurkow’s students at New York University, Climojis are a set of downloadable climate change-themed sms stickers for android and iphone that are designed to be used in text messages to spark conversations about climate change.

Free Global Environmental Education Online Course

We would like to share an exciting opportunity with you - an online course open to all (students, non-students, credit, non-credit) starting on 1 February 2016. It’s a trans-disciplinary approach so includes not just environmental education but also environmental sociology, environmental governance, environmental psychology, environmental communication, and natural resources management. 580 students from over 80 countries have signed up as of mid December 2015, so it’s a great opportunity to network with environmental professionals around the world.

You are encouraged to form local or interest groups—e.g., students at a university or professionals in a stewardship organization could take the course as a group. For non-credit (Cornell certificate) participants, it’s free.

Course information is available at and below is announcement. Read More...