No planet B
“I want you to act as if our house is on fire” a 16 year old school girl from Sweden proclaimed. The IPCC reported that if action is not taken immediately, within just 12 years time we will notice irreversible effects. We live in a world which has become obsessed with political scandals but what if we alternatively become enamoured with the beauty of nature surrounding us. It has been laid out in black and white what needs to be done: lower global warming to below 1.5°C.
Like any political movement, the outcry over the climate crisis has generated a backlash to the protesters in the streets. Those who are misinformed deny that there is anything to worry about at all. I know this all too well, having had frequent debates with my own father. Firstly they claim that “CO2 is necessary for trees to grow” which is true – no one is calling for CO2 to be vacuumed into the nearest bag for life and shipped into space. What is being called for, however, is a reduction. The planet hasn’t been this warm in 800,000 years and it is down to human activity. Good job guys. Then comes “It’s all cyclic! Climate change has existed for millions of years!” Yes – the planet goes through natural stages of warming and cooling, interesting then that today’s warming is completely out of sync with previous stages and is in fact much higher. Of course, this is again man made – burning coal and cutting down trees. You go Glen Coco! Although the warming may only occur by a few degrees, WWF reported that an increase of even one degree Celsius has completely changed our climate, representing the UK’s more drastic hot and cold weather conditions.
As sea levels rise, so too do the people
The political will of the people and the government must come together in order to create a planet fit for our children’s generation. This means taking individual movements. Starting with becoming more aware and green; car share or even go electric. Use your facilities wisely; turn switches off when they’re not in use and wash your clothes cold. I can not write this as though I am some green thumbed, mother natured kindred spirit ready to live with pack of wolves. Despite the rise in my carbon footprint from reversing my vegetarianism, I will preach that if you can avoid meat then please do – or at least be less wasteful and go organic at the same time. Invest in the renewables surrounding you; this is not a call to prop up wind turbines in your back garden, but you can invest in the companies supporting these movements rather than fracking indulged ones.
Most importantly, vote. You may feel as though your single vote is insignificant, but through a collective and unified body the right representatives can be elected to help the world flourish. Ongoing protests, beginning in October, finally pressured the government into declaring the climate emergency that the United Kingdom is facing. With a failure to enact regulations over greenhouses gases, the Labour Party addressed this energy use stating public sectors would have to adhere to green standards. With plans for net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Green Party expanded on this to produce 10 points based off their promise to reduce greenhouse gas emission rates by 60% along side their Green New Deal for 2050.
Rewriting the future
Going forward, the climate crisis must be taken seriously. Just days after the ‘climate emergency’ was announced, the Guardian reported they would be using stronger language for the issue. Now abandoning ‘climate change’ and instead, calling it what it is, the ‘climate crisis’. Although language may seem insubstantial, the media’s previous failure to portray the catastrophe has allowed the public to view it as something far more gentle. This is for our children, grandchildren, the animals and natural habitats around the world. If we do not act we will leave room for rising sea levels, increased emissions, more droughts and wildfires. Pressure your local MP to act on the climate crisis by writing to them and sign petitions at petition.parliament.uk.