Who We Are

Let's face change

Description of the video:

Climate change is unquestionably real. It’s not a question of belief, it’s a question of facts. The climate is changing because there are increases in greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. There’s just no room to debate that anymore. Our temperatures are getting warmer in the Midwest, we are seeing changes in our precipitation, we will have on average, more precipitation but even more significant is it’s not going to be distributed evenly throughout the year. We are going to have more of it in extreme downpours. It may not increase the frequency of storms but it’s increasing the severity of the storms. There’s significant public health risks associate with climate change – longer allergy seasons, more air pollution. That’s bad for people with asthma, with other respiratory illnesses, with heart conditions. It’s bad for people whose jobs have them working outdoors. So, lots of ways in which climate change is going to affect our health. I think that we are seeing a real change in the conversation around it, but there has been a lot of resistance to public policy making changes that would address climate change. There are a lot of partisan politics that have gotten in the way of people being able to have reasonable conversations. The future of our state, our nation, and the world if we don’t take action on climate change is a grim one. Scientists have been doing all this work that needs to be out in the public sphere in a way that people can understand. In a way that relates tot them. What we’ve done here at IU is to say we’re not going to argue about who’s responsible, we’re going to recognize that climate change is happening, these are the ways it’s affecting us, and what are the things, what are the skills, what is the expertise, what are the resources, and assets that IU can bring to the table? We have a range of scientists from atmospheric modelers to people who study species movement to people who study agriculture and how local governments and how businesses deal with issues like climate change. The overarching mission of the Environmental Resilience Institute is to develop research tools and resources to help Indiana be more resilient in the face of climate change and also provide knowledge, resources, and scholarship to help with the climate change challenge in the world. We work significantly with local governments at the Environmental Resilience Institute and I have been flabbergasted at the interest among cities an towns for the resources that we can provide. All across Indiana University we have researcher, teachers, and others who care deeply about the issue of climate change, the implications of climate change for our world, our country, and our state, and are doing what they can to contribute to addressing this issue.

IU Grand Challenges Program logo over an image of Bloomington

A Grand Challenge

Launched in 2017, the Environmental Resilience Institute is part of Prepared for Environmental Change, the second initiative developed and funded through Indiana University's Grand Challenges Program.

IU's investment in the initiative supports ERI’s efforts to better predict the impact of environmental change and to facilitate collaboration between IU's world-class faculty and Indiana residents, businesses, and nonprofits. 

Read about ERI's mission and vision

Goals

Predict

Predict coming changes in weather patterns, water, plant and animal behavior, and disease risk

Measure

Measure public risk perception of environmental change

Communicate

Communicate the consequences of Indiana’s warming climate to Hoosiers

Motivate

Motivate individuals and communities to prepare for environmental change

Advise

Advise strategies for governments and businesses to invest productively in agriculture, industry, infrastructure, and public health

Deploy

Deploy innovative strategies for conserving wildlife and natural resources and contribute to greener, more resilient communities

Great research universities like IU are uniquely positioned to help lead these partnerships and provide the intellectual talent, resources and expertise to develop and implement innovative and high-impact solutions to the most pressing needs of our local communities, our state and our world in the face of environmental change.

IU President Michael McRobbie