In the Southwest you can’t ignore the climate crisis-a #ClimateStory by Amazon Employee Sophie Rehrig

I’m a Software Development Engineer with the Customer Trust and Partner Support Machine Translation team. I am interested in uniting people through removal of language barriers AND in addressing the biggest threat for Mandarin, Russian, Tamil, Hindi, French speakers and all us inhabitants of earth.

I grew up in California and the drought impacted every part of daily life. My mom had her water rationed. We had signs all over our house about water usage. What day we could take a shower. What day we could do a load of laundry.

Water was a luxury, not an entitlement.

When I moved to Arizona for my job the power of climate crisis was apparent in a new way: the heat. It was so hot in Phoenix at one point that the planes were grounded because they couldn’t get the lift to take off.

In the Southwest you can’t ignore the climate crisis.

I also feel called to speak out because my Jewish faith teaches us about the responsibility of humans towards our natural world. For example, ‘in the beginning’ in Genesis God tells Adam to ‘serve and guard the earth’. There are many texts that tells us to pay attention to the earth.

My faith intersects with my own experience of being impacted by climate crisis. We all have an impact on the planet and on people. climate crisis disproportionately harms those who are most vulnerable and the idea that all people are equally made ‘in the image of God’ is one of the main tenets of my faith.

Some dismiss this calling it a ‘political issue’ that shouldn’t be discussed at work. But the earth isn’t political, climate crisis is real and we are impacting it through our work, even if our air-conditioning keeps us from noticing the effects personally.

climate crisis can be frightening to fully accept and internalize. But we need people to see the facts rationally for us to begin preserving the world. At Amazon we are highly intelligent and motivated people with a strong bias for action. If we recognize the change the world requires of us we could lead the stewardship that the Earth deserves. “

I read the open letter, I agreed with it, so I signed it. I was really happy to see the letter and that thousands of people had already signed because it is one of those problems that feels so big what could I possibly do, but then if there’s two or three thousand of us — and now it’s over 7,800 — maybe we can do it. This is more empowering than just one person going to the board of directors because there’s a better chance of something happening.”