Climate Action Day adapts to the times

Planners shift gears to online experience but remain committed to "educate and inspire."

April 21, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic offers further evidence of the planetary ripple effect humans have on our environment and on each other. As the 50th Earth Day dawns Wednesday, perhaps the best reminder of how the occupants of this planet are so closely interconnected is what is keeping them apart.

And as with the virus, climate change and its deleterious effects have no respect for international borders and indecision. Bold action and a change of behavior are required to change course.

It’s in this environment that the sixth annual Climate Action Day arrives. The planners were forced scramble when the daylong April 24 event, like nearly every scheduled event this term, became a victim of circumstance. The CAD committee — led by uppers Bea Burack, Scarlett Lin, Erin McCann and Alicia Coble — adjusted its plans and pressed on. Instead of setting up a series of hands-on workshops, the committee set up an online resource center.

“We decided to continue planning Climate Action Day because we believe very strongly in the importance of the day, and we didn't want all of the committee's planning to go to waste,” Burack said. “Right now, everyone’s health and safety have to be a top priority. But for those who are able, we wanted to provide a way for them to still engage and think seriously about climate change this week.

The site includes a host of links to environmental journalism and research, a series of live webinars on climate change and sustainability and videos showing performances by Exeter students scheduled to be performed during the CAD assembly.  

“We know that this online experience will be different than previous Climate Action Days, but this doesn’t mean that the impact has to be any different," Burack said. "The goal remains the same: we hope to educate and inspire the Exeter community.”