I’m writing this on Earth Day, 22 April 2019. This is a change from my usual blog but bear with me. Lately I’ve been spending much of my time contemplating climate change, its rate and its likely impacts if left unattended. None of those potential impacts are very encouraging. Many of them are horrific. Therefore we must seriously change things if we are to avoid the bad news in favor of some less bad news 20 years from now. The problem is that my personal changes won’t make much difference. Nor will yours. But together, with millions of other earthlings, we might be able to move the future to a better place than where it’s headed now.
First, learn the facts, such as 95+% of climate scientists have established. There are uncertainties but they change the details, not the general trends. So far, the pronouncements of the International Panel on Climate Change have been too optimistic.
Second, there is one group of things that we all can do: change or adjust the ways we live. As an example, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada has produced a what-to-do guide Change Habits for Climate that has a pretty good list of suggestions, at least for inhabitants of detached dwellings in semi-rural areas. But, aside from the bee-keeping options, there are many hints for relatively painless actions you can start today.
Of course if you’re a teleworker keep it up or increase the frequency of your traffic-free days. If you’re not a teleworker, what are you waiting for?
Deflect or Convert the Stragglers
Having done all the things that are within our direct power to change, it is past time to exert pressure on those stragglers in the climate change process. That generally includes all of the following:
- the conservative media;
- your local political representatives;
- local polluters and energy wasters;
- corporate polluters and energy wasters;
- your national representatives;
- political action groups;
- the representatives of polluting countries other than your own.
Admittedly the larger each of these candidates is, the harder it is to move it but move it we must; our and our kids’ futures depend on it. All of them respond to persistent pressure (snail mail, phone calls, email, personal appearances) from their constituents or customers. You can leverage your own pressure by joining and/or supporting such groups as the Sierra Club, the World Wildlife Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, the International Union for Conservation and many others. Together we can move the direction of climate change to a cooler place.
Earth Day is a very good day to start or intensify your efforts.