ITRC Conference on Preparing People for Climate Change in the Pacific Northwest

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What this Conference is about:

From Adverse Childhood Experiences, to job and financial struggles, and many forms of systemic oppression and injustice, trauma and toxic stress are at epidemic levels today. Climate change will aggravate all these adversities and add many new ones.

Even with aggressive emission reduction efforts, global temperatures will rise by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5C) above pre-industrial levels, possibly within just 9-10 years, and likely far higher afterwards. Humanity is entering an era of dramatic changes in the earth’s climate and ecological systems that will produce gut-wrenching shocks and stresses for people until temperatures can be reduced again.

Yet, almost no attention has been given to preparing the people of the Pacific Northwest for the psychological and psycho-social-spiritual impacts of climate change, leaving many unprepared for the challenges that lie ahead. Many are also unaware of how with good knowledge and skills climate adversities can be used as catalysts to bring people together to create tangibly better conditions for everyone.

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This conference will directly address these risks and opportunities by explaining:

• How, left unaddressed, the disasters and toxic stresses generated by climate change will produce rising psychological problems including severe anxiety, depression, PTSD, and suicides, as well as psycho-social-spiritual maladies such as child and spousal abuse, crime, aggression, extremism, and violence that threaten the safety, health, and wellbeing of everyone.

• How these harmful human reactions also threaten to stall efforts to cut carbon emissions and delay efforts to reduce the climate crisis to manageable levels.

• How building widespread levels of psychological and psycho-social-spiritual resilience can minimize the harmful human reactions to climate impacts by creating a trauma-informed and skilled region that brings people together to engage in actions that greatly enhance social and ecological wellbeing.

The conference will achieve these goals by:

• Offering an array of informative presentations and workshops by leading experts who will describe preventative skills, tools, and policies that can be applied at the individual, organizational, and community levels to build psychological and psycho-social-spiritual resilience for climate impacts.

• Helping attendees develop action plans for expanding existing or launch new initiatives to grow a powerful preventative human resilience building movement in the Pacific Northwest that offers the added benefit of addressing many types of adversities beyond those generated by climate chang

When: November 15-16, 2017

Where: University Place Conference Center, Portland Oregon

For more information or to become a conference co-sponsor contact: