Reality Check – Time to Take Action
This week it seems like maybe a bit of a reality check has hit people. Maybe it’s because the summer is over and students are heading back to school, maybe it’s just that vacations are done and people are starting to again take a look at the serious stuff in their lives. Maybe they’re scared.
Two of the top 5 news stories this week are about taking action and I believe that’s a very good thing. The reality of the IPCC 12 year warning is finally sinking in and the fact that we are all going to have to change, either by societal pressure (in 2019 flight shaming is a thing), or by legislation. I think we’d all prefer to take action without being forced into it.
Either way, people are now interested in what they themselves can do to stop or slow climate change. They are wondering if there is actually anything they can do that will make any difference. In Will reducing your carbon footprint actually make a significant difference to climate change? Almara Abgarian asks what if any, impact do her actions actually make. The reality is an individual’s actions make a lot of impact. It just seems like it couldn’t because there are so many people on the planet.
When you consider that in the UK, the majority of flights taken every year (70%) are by 15% of the population1, you have to consider that if you are one of the 15% you can make an impact. If you choose a clean energy EV over a traditional automobile, you will save approximately 4.6 metric tonnes2 of carbon from entering the atmosphere EACH YEAR. These numbers add up; even if people just replaced their second cars with EV’s, you are talking about staggering numbers in the USA alone.
This sentiment is echoed in 16 Sustainability Leaders Weigh In: How YOU Can Help To Reverse Global Warming by Ryan Hagen, however the notion that there is enough time for individual action to be enough is challenged. Most of the most influential climate scientists and advocates speak of larger scale actions. In their own ways, they all speak of making government hear a large number of voices. They speak of engaging with todays children as they will be tomorrows voters, or of voting with your dollars and putting the polluters out of business. They can’t influence policy if they don’t have money and most of them get their money from the people in one way or the other.
So consider your next purchase wisely. Can you do it for a lower carbon cost? Can you take a train instead of a flight? Can you offset the carbon? Can you replace your second car with an EV? Yes you can and the more people do it, the bigger the impact.
In other top happy eco news stories, in a unique collaboration between Arizona, Nevada and Mexico, volunteered water restrictions actually mean everyone gets some, toy company Hasbro gets off the plastic packaging wheel of death, and while the Amazon burns, one remote tribe wins a big court victory.