About Adrian Sherwood
1) How would you as a director navigate the current international political environment to further Care about Climate’s mission?
Our society has lost the art of cordial discourse. Long gone are the days of constructive argumentation between those with fundamentally different philosophical views, from which all involved parties benefit. What we see today is ideological warfare, in which both sides refuse to be receptive towards and antagonize the other. This development is not exclusive to the United States, as divisions have been sowed from Britain to Pakistan.
From these divisions arises a state of politics marked by tribalism, where individuals refuse to stray from the accepted ideology of their political party. The issue is not exclusive to any group, as both conservatives and liberals have fueled this trend by constantly antagonizing their political opponents. In today's environment, nearly every topic has become politicized, including global climate change. Unfortunately, matters that are innately scientific and indisputable are characterized as political beliefs.
There are two potential paths available to Care About Climate: accept the current state of affairs and jump into the political fray or go against the tide. I believe that Care About Climate's best option is to refuse to associate with any political parties or any political issues. Climate change should not be political, and neither should Care About Climate.
It is not my intention to give the impression that I am against environmental organizations joining the political conversation. They provide a voice of reason in a time when reason and logic seem to be disappearing, and groups such as the Sierra Club have had considerably positive influences on policy. However, when one examines the value proposition that Care About Climate presents, it is not in the political realm. Care About Climate, at its core, intends to educate the populace- liberal and conservative, young and old, urban and rural- about the science behind climate change and provide them with the knowledge they need to make our shared environment more sustainable.
Although it might provide instant gratification to respond to the latest tweet by President Trump calling climate change "fake news" or the newest EPA scandal, doing so would ultimately be detrimental in the long run. President Trump has a 40% acceptance rate. Climate change affects 100% of us. In the battle against climate change, we are going to need as many of those supporters as possible to work towards a sustainable future; we can not afford to alienate them.
In short, I would navigate the current political environment by refusing to treat a scientific issue as a political one. For, I have faith that when people are presented with indisputable facts from a reputable source, they will accept it as such. It is up to Care About Climate to occupy that role and refuse the follow the tempting siren call of politics.
How would you contribute to and improve current Care About Climate programs?
If presented with the opportunity to serve on the board of directors for Care About Climate, I would likely focus my efforts on contributing to fundraising efforts. The majority of Care About Climate's programs are not running to their full capacity. The cause: a lack of funding. It is not that the programs themselves are faulty or that those running them are not doing a good job, but rather that they do not have the requisite financial resources. If Care About Climate could afford to pay for full-time staff, travel to more speaking engagements, or give seed money to climate ambassadors, I believe that its true potential would be unlocked.
As a rising sophomore at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, my educational background is not in sustainability, but rather in finance and strategic management. Although I might not possess years of environmental experience, I provide something that I believe the board needs: a business perspective. My role would not be the leading of any specific program, but rather in working to ensure that those currently running programs have the resources needed to fund the initiatives they seek to carry out. In fact, after leading a pro-bono consulting project for Care About Climate, I am already working on securing financing. I have worked to develop a comprehensive business plan to be sent to donors, and my team has identified potential grants. If elected, I would continue the efforts that I have already started.
What do you see as the most important aspect surrounding climate change that we need to face as a society?
I could wax poetic about climate change and the immense impact that it has had. However, I will keep my response concise. The environment has been irreversibly damaged by actions undertaken by humankind and we must work to stop the degradation of our home.